Posted - November 3, 2015
Avengers 35 & 36
Look at Hyperion and Thor.
They don't look very happy do they? And why should they be happy? They've volunteered to be sent to the farside of the multiverse from which they never expect to return. Yup. Multiversal Avengers is what they're called. These two and anybody fool enough to go with them. And who would that be? You ask? Let's take a look at the formation of the Multiversal Avengers.
It all starts with Bobby DaCosta.
Ah, Sunspot, how you've grown from your days when I was writing about you in the New Mutants. Looking at that young Bobby, I saw the heir to Colossus. He might not have Peter's toughness but Sunspot's sun-derived strength would be formidable when he grew up. That's what I thought. Little did I think that Bobby's real strength would not be his mutant power but the wealth and power he would inherit from his Brazilian multi-billionaire father. With that money Bobby bought these guys.
A.I.M., Advanced Idea Mechanics. Bobby's purchase of A.I.M. actually bods well for the efforts against the incursion. Bobby's team is the New Avengers and these guys are actively preparing plans to deal with the Incursion. The other Avengers teams, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Avengers and the Illuminati, are too busy bickering - as we will see later. Anyway, Bobby has tasked A.I.M. to build technology that will allow a strike team to be sent to the far side of the multiverse to, and I quote Bobby here, "punch the problem to death". Thus, the multiversal Avengers.
But I'm getting ahead of the story. Before the strike team can be sent, they have to gather, and this is what we see here.
First up, the Ex Nihili
Universal caretakers, the Ex Nihili have sensed the start of the universal collapse and they have used their powers to stem it - to no avail. The Ex Nihili have become aware of the "importance" of Earth. They will be meeting up with Bobby's New Avengers.
Bobby travels to Shi'Ar controlled space for an important recruitment run.
Sam! Cannonball and Sunspot together, of course, what could be more fitting? Plus, Izzy is, of course, coming along. Cannonball and Smasher both. They won't be part of the multiversal Avengers - you don't send new parents to a suicide mission. They will, be left behind to be part of the New Avengers.
Now we come to two other members-to-be. They look great and I don't know them but one of them has a familiar name.
He's the one taking out the robot with his power. Starbrand. A name I recall from Jim Shooter's New Universe effort? Hmmm. Never did read any of the Starbrand issues. Here Starbrand is talking to Nightmask.
Don't know anything about him either but I love the character design. In general, that panel above is just fantastic.
Back on Earth, the Hidden Land has been designated as the launching point for the Multiversal Avengers. Thor and Hyperion are already there.
It's the Hidden Land, a tropical jungle in the middle of the Antarctic, so the view is breathtaking, but it's Thor that's my focal point here. Is he still Thor if he doesn't have Mjolnir? Are you still you if you lose that Corvette you've been driving half your life? Of course you are. And this is still Thor; he's just not Thor, God of Thunder. I've never seen him more dour though. Thor is just silent in this story; only Black Bolt is quieter. You can sense the depression. Oh well.
Here's a neat little detail.
Smasher is related to the 1940's Timely(Marvel) hero, Captain Terror. Being from that era, Captain Terror has the most popular power set for heroes back then (this is before the Liberty Legion retcon; that team is full of 70s style super powers) - he knows hand-to-hand combat.
Finally, the Multiversal Avengers - a grim team for a grim task.
Starbrand, Nightmask, Hyperion, Thor, Abyss, and behind them, a lot of Ex Nihili. The others look formidable but Hyperion and Thor alone are major heavy hitters. Punching the problem to death indeed.
Heaven forbid if we don't stop to take a look at great location panels. This one is for the current S.H.I.E.L.D. base, formerly Stark Tower.
What an improvment. Remember what this looked like when the Sentry put that "abomination" on top of it? Let this location panel transition us from the New and Multiversal Avengers to the Crazy Avengers. As in, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Avengers and the Illuminati. These two groups are absolutely nuts. The end of the world is nigh and they're playing hide-and-seek.
We come upon Amadeus Cho, a member of the Illuminati, trying to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. Here he is being pursued by War Machines. Ms. Marvel, the Invisible Woman and Hawkeye soon to follow. Oy!
So those math squiggles in the panel, did they open a math book and copy them down? They're effective and artistically nice to look at. Meant to convey that Cho is smart. Book smart. Remember boys and girls, knowing post-graduate level math is no guarantee that you'll be able to pay the groceries.
Anyway, I like it, but the panel below is more effective in conveying that Cho is all about that supercomputer on his head.
So another Marvel egghead? No, this one is different as the panel above attests. Cho uses his smarts while in combat. Unlike Richards, Stark and Pym who have all these inventions to prove they're smart; or Banner who is rumored or known to be smart. Cho analyzes things under duress - and that's a refreshing way to convey smarts. Nope, not just another Marvel egghead. That doesn't mean he doesn't get caught though - the Invisible Woman is after him for heaven's sake.
And that's it on our continuing story arc. Multiversals launch and Crazy Avengers play the harp while Rome burns. Later!