Comics : Avengers Annual (Vol. 4) #1

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This story is part of an Arc: "Avengers 2011 Annuals"
     Part 1 / Part 2

This review was first published on: Apr 2012.

Background...

Simon Williams believes the Avengers cause more problems than they solve and has been on a mission to close them down. In New Avengers Annual (Vol. 2) #1 Simon gathered a team of former heroes that might have reason to feel similarly about the Avengers and together they trashed the New Avengers team and the Avengers Mansion. They have now turned their sights on Avengers Tower...

In Detail...

Avengers Annual (Vol. 4) #1
Mar 2012 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Arc: Part 2 of "Avengers 2011 Annuals"
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Artist:  Gabriele Dell'Otto
Cover Art:  Gabriele Dell'Otto
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Cap finds out about the attack on the mansion, gathers some Avengers and arrives at the mansion to help out. As they are recuperating and wondering where Simon and his team of Revengers are, Jessica Jones notices that the Avengers Tower across town is taking damage.

Cap and the Avengers quickly travel across town, but when they arrive at the tower it is empty. Maria Hill contacts them to tell them that Simon is holding a massive press conference in town. Simon is stating his case and continues to do so when Cap and the Avengers arrive. The tension builds until Simon attacks, Iron Man is prepared though and uses some form of energy bubble to trap Simon in his ionic energy form.

The rest of the Revengers don't back down though and are teleported to the middle of a sports stadium where the Avengers quickly smack them into submission.

Later, when imprisoned and questioned, the members of the Revengers all reveal they had different reasons for wanting to stop the Avengers. Beast tries to reason with Simon, but Simon sticks to his convictions. Simon reveals some disturbing stuff at the end, claiming his isn't human and is even unsure of his existence since he was brought back to life by the Scarlet Witch. Simon also tells Beast it's not over...

At the end, it's revealed that the media and public are seeming to take take Simon's point of view seriously. Simon, trapped in his force bubble, says "They've heard." Then he disappears.

In General...

An excellent issue with some interesting ideas thrown in as well. I liked how there were a couple of unexpected twists and turns along the way. There are a few themes that are very similar to the Norman Osborn story line in the main Avengers title, particularly Simon turning the public against the Avengers and the reasons why they should be shut down. Simon believes the things he is saying though, whereas Norman just wants to usurp them and take control for himself.

It makes me wonder if these two similar story lines with come together at some point? Bendis is writing both, so either he is getting lazy with his ideas and reusing ideas or hopefully he has a plan!

Simon's exchange with Beast at the end was the highlight for me. It was chilling at one level and Simon's revelation that he doubts his own existing gave some more insight into just why he has acted the way he has. Simon is so forceful in his beliefs that Beast (as well as Cap and Thor watching via vid screen) cease trying to change his mind. It seems that Beast is horrified by how twisted Simon's thinking has become... Beast doesn't seem to consider that maybe Simon has a point though... which is interesting too.

Overall Rating...

Solid issue with interesting ideas.