Comics : Avengers Next #3

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This review was first published on: 2007.

Background...

The Avengers questions their purpose in the world as one of their own ends up kidnapped by Ulik and Warp. Katherine Power, formerly Energizer of Power Pack, was called in to help locate him but all efforts were halted by the sudden and explosive arrival of Thena, daughter of Thor. And to make matters worse, Jarvis discovers the second robbery by the villains resulted in the discovery and reactivation of Ultron!

In Detail...

"Ultron Extreme"
Avengers Next #3
Feb 2007 : SM Spin-Off App
Summary: Spider-Girl appears
Editor:  Molly Lazer
Writer:  Tom DeFalco
Pencils:  Ron Lim
Inker:  Scott Koblish
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Review

With the threat of Ultron now in play, American Dream sets Sabrecalw up to watch some old tapes of the old Avengers fighting him in his various incarnations. All the while, she doubts herself for letting him on the team and wonders if he could be a possible traitor.

Elsewhere, J2 and Thena spar. She complains they should be doing more, J2 tells her to relax while the experts are on the case. He then offends her by saying her punch actually tickled, causing her to storm off. When Bluestreak comments why he cars what she thinks, he responds she's kind of cute, causing Bluestreak to storm off because of his obliviousness to her crush on him.

Elsewhere still, Katie and Stinger finish the tracker, and now only need Warp to teleport again. He does so, bringing Kevin to Ulik and the crone near the Ultron body. Stringer suspects a trap, and the villains expect them to do so but have no doubt of the outcome of the ensuing battle. As Warp takes Kevin away, Kevin tries once again to make him realize he's not getting what he think he is from his association with the other two.

Back at the Mansion, the team prepares to leave. The others wait on Spider-Girl while Jarvis gives Thena a present to make up for their misunderstanding earlier; a brand new one-ton titanium steel alloy hammer crafted by their metal smiths. Thena is actually verging on touched when Spider-Girl finally arrives, back in her costume due to recent events in her own title. A few quips about her threads, and the Avengers are on their way with Katie in tow. On the way, Spider-Girl and Thena talk about the fall of Asgard and Dream surmises that might be why Kevin can't transform anymore. When inquired about what Thena wants with him, she vaguely mentions a debt to be paid and that it was matters mere mortals couldn't understand.

The Avengers land on a desolated island and no sooner get their bearings when they're under attack by Ultron. As J2 and Thena focus on him, Warp pops in and out to take down the other Avengers, save Spider-Girl with her spider-sense. Ulik enters the fray and takes down Thena, only to enter a grudge match with J2. The other Avengers realize something is off with Ultron, and Stinger deduces it's not the real one. Sure enough, Ultron appears inside a ball-like weapon and attacks the team full-scale. Dream splits up their efforts, and Bluestreak manages to accidentally knock out Warp as he was pulling another sneak attack.

Together, Thena and J2 get the upper hand on Ulik, Thena using her hammer to knock him into the water below...as well as cause the island to start sinking. Meanwhile, forgotten in the battle, Katie attacks Ultron and destroys his assault module. But, Ultron quickly teleports away, deactivating his drone in the process. J2 and Thena alert the others they need to evacuate the island, with Bluestreak showing up with Kevin in tow and Warp making a break for it. In the air, Spider-Girl's spidey-sense hasn't stopped blaring about Kevin, and she makes it known. The crone reveals herself in his place and that she was Ultron as well, and delivers her next attack by blowing up the Quinjet!

In General...

The mysteries deepen as more clues are dropped and the heroes have more trouble than they know what to do with. So far the central theme of the Avengers' usefulness is given plenty of justification as the team keeps finding themselves ineffective against their foes. However, having Katie save the day yet again seemed too similar to the last issue when she did that against Thena. A bit early for a rehash. Other than that, another strong issue in this mini-series that leaves one to wonder just why A-Next ended in the first place. These characters deserved a place alongside Spider-Girl for 100+ issues.

Overall Rating...

4.5 Webs. Another good installment. A plot device was reused in the second issue in a row, but other than that the typical quality we've come to expect from DeFalco's MC2 work.