With the Avengers shot across dimensions by the Leader’s static expander, the Black Panther must face the new Cabal alone. Can he get away and gather a team of new Avengers to not only defeat the Cabal, but save the original Avengers? Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Avengers No More, Part Two.”
Before we get to the episode recap and review, I want to talk a bit about where the season’s series title comes from – Secret Wars. The original Secret Wars was a toy tie-in, and a stunt to compete with DC Comics’ Crisis on Infinite Earths, but all that said, it was actually a pretty amazing crossover event. Yeah, the summer of 1985 was a good one for comics.
A being called the Beyonder gathered the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, and the Hulk, along with a dozen or so of their greatest foes, including Doctors Doom and Octopus and Galactus, on a patchwork world to see what would happen. It changed the make-up of the Marvel Universe. A sequel followed with the Beyonder as Michael Jackson, but the less said about that the better.
Secret Wars Redux
The Secret Wars that occurred in Marvel Comics two years ago was a multi-event crossover event that ultimately destroyed both the traditional Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Marvel Universe, leaving in its wake a new universe (no, not that New Universe), as these types of supposedly continuity-fixing events tend to do. This one was a bit of a nightmare.
Drawing on the original, across a manufactured patchwork planet called Battleworld, realities containing other previous crossover events exist, all manipulated and forced into battle by higher powers. It was a mess, and hell to follow, at least for me, but your mileage may vary. If you did enjoy it, I would love to know why. It even taxed the sensibilities of my podcast partner Ray over on his blog. The only good thing to come of it in my opinion was Miles Morales in the 616.
The Black Panther vs. The Cabal
We open, just as we closed last time, on the new Cabal closing in on the lone Black Panther. Now if I had to bet money on this bout, any day of the week, my whole chunk is on T’Challa. Yeah, that’s right, against the Enchantress, the Executioner (called Skurge due to Disney censors), Arnim Zola, and yes, even Kang the Conqueror – T’Challa is the man.
The Black Panther outmaneuvers them all, puts some serious hurt on Zola, and escapes with the vibranium the Leader needs to runs his machine. I had to laugh at the Panther beating on Zola. He seems to like beating Nazis (that’s a good thing), I remember him smashing the Red Skull’s jaw in “Red Zone” back in the day. No matter how you slice it, I loved this sequence. King T’Challa rules.
As the Black Panther evades the censored Executioner, he knows he needs a team and seeks out the other new Avengers. He leads Skurge to Avengers Compound and the Vision to even the odds. When the rest of the rookie team is called in – Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Ant-Man, the Wasp – they make quick work of Skurge and his pet dire wolf.
Explanations are made quickly, but just as Ms. Marvel makes the observation that anyone who could take down Thor and the Hulk could easily beat this new team, the Enchantress arrives to prove the young hero right. While I’m delighted to see the Enchantress and the Executioner used to their full potential, I feel Kang is getting short-shrift here, but I suppose we’ll see in the, pun unintended, future.
After the Cabal blows up Avengers Compound, the new Avengers get a second chance to tackle the baddies. With a brilliant plan from Ant-Man to board the Leader’s ship, the Avengers come out fighting. There is much quipping, more entertaining than usual, but there were things that bugged me.
The constant changing partners tactic was great, except for two annoying factors – Ant-Man and the Wasp were treated as one unit as opposed to two different characters, and Kang has been reduced to a punching villain. It doesn’t last long however when the Cabal turns on the Leader, and send the original Avengers to oblivion.
All that’s left of the original Avengers are Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer. Well, we know that sooner or later Jane Foster is getting that hammer, no matter that it flew into space. She has started to rebuild the tech to find Iron Man, and it will also be used to find the Avengers as well, so there’s hope.
In the meantime, Captain Marvel, in the final words of Captain America, intends to carry on, and avenge. This team, seemingly run out of the Wakandan embassy, calls itself the All-New All-Different Avengers, which is kind of fitting. Again, there’s a lot of telegraphing, and it’s not perfect, but I enjoyed this a lot, and can’t wait for more. All-New All-Different Avengers assemble!