Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Editor: Tom Brevoort, Art: David Finch
First, a quick recap of the events of Disassembled and House of M: the Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) loses her babies and goes crazy, altering reality so that mutants are the dominant species and her family rules the world. When she is confronted, she utters the now famous words "no more mutants", and instigates a mutant genocide. Millions of mutants lose their abilities, and are now human.
Meanwhile, Scarlet Witch also destroys the Avengers mansion; killing Hawkeye, Ant Man, and the Vision; and loses her powers and memory. The team quietly disbands. Later, Wanda turns up as Doom's bride-to-be, gets her memory (and her babies) back, and vows to help aid the people whose lives she has damaged.
New Avengers, Volume 1 begins with a shadowy figure offering someone (I think it's Electro, a villain we've seen before) a great deal of money to take advantage of the weakened state of the world's caped heroes.
Meanwhile, Jessica Drew (Spider Woman), Matthew Murdock (Daredevil), and Luke Cage (I don't know nearly enough about Luke Cage) are meeting on the Raft, a S.H.I.E.L.D. prison. Listen, guys. I harp on about this a lot, but it is just incredibly retarded to take all your super-powered jerkwads and lock them all up together on a big floating ISLAND OF VILLAINOUS DOOM. As my boyfriend pointed out, this is kind of like Hogwarts, where you take all the most evil kids, and you put them in all in room together, at a school actively designed to increasing their power.
Matt has also brought along his "law partner" (is that a thing? Do people have "law partners"? That doesn't seem like it's a thing. Anyway!), Foggy Nelson. Foggy doesn't want to get out of the helicopter, since that helicopter has just landed ON AN ISLAND OF VILLAINOUS DOOM, as previously pointed out, so Foggy wins my coveted "Congratulations, You're Apparently Not A Complete Dipshit" award.
Luke Cage has a quick staring match with a bad guy called the Purple Man before Foggy goes on to lean dangerously into "You're Clearly The Only Sensible Person Here, It Was Really Nice Knowing You" territory.
Jessica: I don't know what else they can do to keep these creeps under wraps.NOPE. LUKE CAGE WINS THE CYANACD AWARD, EVERYONE ELSE GO HOME.
Luke: You could take them out back and shoot them in the head...
Side note: Matt denies being Daredevil. Either everyone in this universe is a fucking moron, or he also has the ability to control MINDS, because you have to be missing ALL YOUR BRAIN not to be able to work that out.
After Jessica goes to great lengths to explain how totally safe and not a ridiculously bad idea the Raft is (prisoners are kept under water, with their powers neutralised, cut off from external contact, in adamantium cells, watched by an army of fully trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, yadda yadda yadda) she says my favourite line of foreshadowing in all of fiction, second only to "what could possibly go wrong".
"This is probably the safest place in New York City."WHAT. WHAT ARE YOU DOING. DON'T SAY THAT, YOU FOOL OF A TOOK!
So then guess what happens. Duh.
Explosion. Colour me goddamn surprised. The power also goes out, seemingly across the whole city, which is just a damn shame because Peter Parker (Spider-Man, as if you didn't know, and if you didn't, what the hell are you doing reading this?!) had just agreed to watch a Hugh Grant movie with MJ.
Tee. Motherfucking. Hee. You're not cute, MJ. I hate you.
Pete suits up and webs on to a fucking helicopter to get over to the Raft. A helicopter containing Steve Rogers (Captain America), which is promptly struck by lightening and then crash lands, because Steven Rogers can't get a goddamn break. Seriously. Does every plane he gets on crash? Maybe you should stop travelling by plane, Cap.
So Electro busts everyone out of the Raft. WHAT A GODDAMN SURPRISE (the filename for this shot is "I dub thee captain sassypants" btw).
Matt urges Foggy to get behind Luke, since he has impenetrable skin. This is the super hero equivalent of "stay in the car, I'll be right back". If you want to hang on to your CYANACD nomination, Foggy, you best stay in the goddamn car.
Jess points them in the direction of the prisoner they were there to see, Robert Reynolds (Sentry) who was supposedly the most powerful super hero in the world, until he killed his wife, and got sent to the Raft. He is rocking a serious Castaway beard and you may put me down as intrigued.
Since there are 60-something issues in this volume, I am gonna be capping them up a bit tighter, and probably grouped by story arc instead of one at a time. So onwards we go!
Spidey rushes in to help S.H.I.E.L.D. contain the breakout, but he is quickly overwhelmed by a throng of escaping criminals, none of whom appreciate the fact he put them away. One of them snaps his arm in half. It makes a gross CRACK noise, and is disgusting.
Foggy begs Sentry to help, and then Sentry somehow spirits a costume out of his butthole, or wherever it was hiding, grabs a bad guy, busts open the roof, flies into space, and then rips said bad guy in half. The rest of the gang duke it out with the escaping bad guys, with Pete already looking like he's been strung through a meat grinder.
Matt: You doing okay?And then Cap gets smacked so hard he flips backwards and is gonna fall and hurt himself and get a boo-boo until...
Spidey: How do I look?
Matt: You dropped your mask.
Matt: Not a great career move!
d'aww, Iron Man came to save his boyfriend!
touchy touchy touching.
Iron Man: Lord, look at all this! Guess we shouldn't have broken up the Avengers.Oh snap.
Cap: We didn't. You did.
Remember how I said Luke took time out from Foreshadowing Weekly to stare at a dude called Purple Man? Yeah.
Zebediah Killgrave (Purple Man): Luke Cage, do me a favor. Kill all these other "hero" friends of yours...and then kill yourself.Fuck.
Wait, did Rob Liefeld come back just to draw Sentry's hair for this cover?
This issue begins with the sun rising behind the mother fucking hellicarrier (my favourite thing ever) and Tony bringing his boyfriend a bagel for breakfast (OKAY FROM NOW ON I promise to stop being such a ridiculous SteveTony shipper).
Apparently the final tally from the power outage was 42 villanous Raft Prisoners escaped, 45 Villanous Raft Prisoners remaining detained on the island. If, like me, you are screaming "WHAT HAPPENED TO LUKE CAGE", then heads up! S.H.I.E.L.D. had the Purple Man on drugs to suppress his powers, so he couldn't mind control Luke. Luke beat the shit out of Purple Man before manfully restraining himself when Cap says Purple Man had had enough.
The whole fight reminded Cap that beating the snot out of bad guys was the whole reason the Avengers got started in the first place, and he says that they don't need Tony's money or a shitload of tech or a big fancy mansion or politics or even the old team. All they need is a place to meet, because the world needs the Avengers. Tony is all "let me think about it" and Cap is all "great, I'll go assemble the team." BECAUSE HUSBANDS, THAT'S WHY (OKAY NOW I'LL STOP, I PROMISE).
Steve uses his super power of being extra charming and handsome and patriotic to convince Peter to join the team. Pete's first reaction to seeing Steve is "am I in trouble?" Then Steve goes to visit Luke and his girlfriend Jessica Jones, who is pregnant with his child, they suspect it's a girl, and there's a chance she'll be born with super powers. Luke's first reaction to seeing Steve is "did I do something wrong?" because apparently Steve is everyone's stern, disappointed father.
Jessica Drew agrees to be the liaison between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the new team. Daredevil (YES MATTHEW, WE ALL KNOW YOU'RE DAREDEVIL, GOD) says no, because he doesn't want to endanger anyone with all his issues, and boom. You have the New Avengers.
I...I can't even find the words to deal with this cover. Let's just move on.
Stark Tower is to be the team's new home. Steve has something called "full champion licence" which gives him the authority to assemble any team he sees fit, and go on any mission he wants to. They inform Agent Maria Hill (Acting Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Nick Fury's [as yet] unexplained absence) that the Avengers are getting back together, with or without S.H.I.E.L.D. approval, though it would be nice if everyone could share their toys in an effort to recapture the forty-or-so escaped super criminals.
Tony: I'm sorry if you were under the impression that we were asking permission.Oh. Oh Tony. I love you.
Spider Woman comes in all suited up and everyone is all "woah girl it's as if you are a highly sexualised representation of the 'ideal' woman and I can totally see the shape of your bits inside that suit". Pete establishes that he and Jessica Drew are in no way related, she just stole his name.
Jessica: You said it was okay.The team views some footage from the breakout and Pete recognises Electro, because he'd "know that blurry shoulder anywhere". He is then embarrassed, because the dude responsible for the breakout was "one of [his] bad guys". Iron Man tracks him to Boston, and then shows off his "WELCOME TO THE TEAM YOU GUYS, I LOVE BEING AN AVENGER" present:
Pete: I didn't say you could lend it out. There's, like, ten of you now.
The quinjet he made! And just happened to still have. Six months after the team broke up.
So they fly to Boston and confront Electro, who is smack bang in the middle of telling his girlfriend to shut her stupid waitress mouth and just run away with him already. Luke threatens to beat the snot out of him until he gives up the name of the specific inmate he busted out, and Electro faints. The team are momentarily stumped, until Spider Woman comes up with the ingenious plan of offering donuts to whoever on the Raft will squeal.
Karl Lykos is the name, and his S.H.I.E.L.D. file is restricted, so we have no idea who he is. Pete's fought him before, though, and says that his powers have "something to do with sucking".
Pete: And when he overdoes it, he turns into this giant green ol' Jurassic Park thing. Like a dinosaur. A vampire dinosaur. Vampire or dinosaur would have been enough.Turns out the dude calls himself Sauron. SAURON. SAURON.
The team head for the Savage Land, where SAURON lives. The Savage Land is somewhere in Antarctica, and is "the land that time forgot".
They promptly crash, of course, and are chased into the jungle by a giant t-rex, and Spider Woman is held at claw-point by Wolverine.
This issue begins with Tony blasting his way out of a dinosaur's mouth, and Jessica cutting Wolverine's throat with his own claws. She may be my new favourite.
Logan (Wolverine) explains that a dude named Hudak was trying to get Lykos out of the Raft, before they are all attacked by mutates, which apparently look like this:
and all their powers are suddenly gone, and then everyone gets really sleepy and takes a nap. Because the Savage Land, that's why!
Once nap time is done, the team find themselves... well.
And we finally meet Karl Lykos, who eats yoghurt. Villanously.
He claims he was part of the Weapon X program, which was designed to hunt down rogue mutants. Kyle tells his goons they should kill the Avengers, and Tony activates his empty armour. It frees them, and they all manage to land SO STRATEGICALLY.
The bad guys disappear, and Luke expresses what might just be the most sensible philosophy of this entire universe.
Luke: I hold to a simple philosophy: just assume everyone's a piece of crap and then be pleasantly surprised if you find anyone who ain't."And this is why Luke wins the Congratulations, You're Apparently Not A Complete Dipshit award.
We then get to see what Sauron looks like...
before a chick called "Agent Belova" shows up, shoots him dead, and orders her team to execute all witnesses. Including the Avengers.
Bigger what, Pete?
Agent Belova shoots one of her team when he refuses to gun down Captain America. Wolverine goes after her and Cap throws his shield at Wolverine to stop him from killing her. Turns out, Yelena Bolova is a freelance S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and Jessica Drew is still my favourite.
Jessica: You have -- I'll be honest -- you dohave a chance of getting out of this place ifyou cough up a name. Without it? Not so much. I have assassination authority, Barbie. A name or I tickle your frontal lobe with my venom blast.Then Sauron comes back (anyone surprised? No? Didn't think so) and shoots flames at everyone, so Luke promptly clocks the dinosaur vampire in the face and he falls into Wolverine's arms back as Kyle Lykos.
The team decide to hijack the rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agents' plane back home, but on the way come across a disturbing sight: the US Government enslaving the Savage Land natives to mine vibranium, the element used in the creation of illicit superhero weaponry. Cap orders the team to bust up the operation, because that is a hot load of bullshit, but before they can do their thang, the Hellicarrier shows up and everything explodes.
Say what you like, but the Savage Land sure is pretty.
Acting Director Hill says nuking the shit out of this rogue branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. was "the appropriate response", despite the fact that it killed innocent goddamn people. She thanks the Avengers for getting Sauron back into custody, and offers them a ride back to New York.
Tony invites Wolverine to join the team, because they need someone who will straight up murder a bitch, and reveals that some serious bullshit is going on with S.H.I.E.L.D. right now. The files they gave the Avengers were tampered with, and many of the prisoners in the Raft are supposedly legally dead.
To cap this story arc off, we get a gross close up on Belova in the burn unit, recovering from her face full of Sauron blast. A mysterious voice is asking her if she wants the chance to get revenge on the Avengers, and she gurgles out in the affirmative.
And there we have it! Next up: New Avengers: Sentry, issues #7-10.