Comics : New Avengers #16

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This review was first published on: 2006.

Background...

Months ago, a devastating confrontation paired the X-Men and the New Avengers against the reality altering powers of mutant and one time Avenger Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. Afterwards, most of the mutants on Earth woke up to find themselves without their mutant gene.

The question is where did the mutant energy go?

In Detail...

New Avengers #16
Apr 2006 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man & Spider-Woman Appear
Editor:  Tom Brevoort
Writer:  Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils:  Steve McNiven
Inker:  Dexter Vines
Cover Art:  Steve McNiven
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 Reprinted In: Marvel Heroes Flip Magazine #16

This issue starts with a large energy mass travelling towards Earth, it impacts in a post office in Alaska, destroying everything, then a glowing figure rises from the ashes and screams.

Next we see S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Hill speaking via video link to Tony Stark. She thanks him for the heads up on the Avengers going public. Tony tells her he thought she didn't care one way or another. Hill informs Stark that when a group of "super-powered vigilantes publicly announce they are going to police the planet, and as two of the Avengers are also S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, she cares an awful lot. Tony is about to hang up on Hill when she asks him about The house of M. Hill explains S.H.I.E.L.D. has footage of the X-Men's Blackbird and the Avengers Quinjet flying to Genosha, then all of a sudden millions of mutants weren't mutants anymore. Then all of a sudden the mutant gene doesn't doesn't exist, and all she has is a someone called Eileen Harshaw, muttering the words "HOUSE OF M" over and over again. Stark tells her the trip to Genosha was for sight seeing, Spidey said he'd never been there. Hill lets Stark know that she doesn't need him to like or respect her, but she hopes that he will be man enough not to put his arrogance before the safety of millions of people. Stark says its good that she doesn't need him to like or respect her. Hill tells him they don't have to be enemies, Stark says they aren't, as he rarely thinks about her one way or another, he says goodnight and hangs up.

Just after Stark hangs up, the S.H.I.E.L.D. base goes on red alert. Hill asks what's going on, she's told that Alaska was hit and its not terrorists as the energy came from space. Hill asks if it's an alien attack, but the readings are inconclusive. Hill tells the agents to get the President on the phone, and asks who are the closest agents to the incident. A team is en route and now on-line. The teams sargeant tells them they are following the energy trail, and its on its way to Canada, they are packing Hulk buster armour and have the Nexus nullifier on standby. They have a visual, it appears to be a man who is on fire. They cannot get any readings as the sensors are malfunctioning, all they can tell is he's moving fast at around 200 miles per hour. The glowing man stops, turns and looks at the approaching S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopter. He's looking at them even though they are 22 miles away! The signal goes dead with feedback, Hill tells them to go to satellite imaging, the helicopter has been destroyed. Hill notices that the man is on a heading towards to Canada. She says she needs to talk to the President and the Prime Minister of Canada to get the army involved. One of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents says Hill should call some super heroes, maybe the Avengers to help, Hill says no, and to get the Fantastic Four on the phone. Hill asks if there is anyone closer?

Next we see Alpha Flight Canada's premier super team ready to contact the glowing man. First they tell the man, "On behalf of the Canadian government, we'd like to ask you to turn your naked self around and back away". Back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base the signal goes dead again, once they get the signal back we see Alpha Flight completely decimated, and the glowing man in the distance. Next we see Hill on the phone to the President, he tells her to contact some super heroes, Hill advises him that the FF aren't answering and the X-Men are in no position to help. The President tells her to call Captain America, he'll handle this. He always wins somehow. The glowing man has changed course, he's now heading towards America. Reluctantly Hill says "Avengers assemble", then swears.

In General...

Right I'm going to give this book two reviews:

One - as a stand alone issue of NA this book is not very good. We see one Avenger in the entire book. Also we get very little action, as all the fighting is done "off camera". We don't see how this glowing man takes Alpha Flight apart.

Two - the way I'm going to review this book is as part of an arc, this issue is a great start to what could be the New Avengers toughest challenge yet. Knowing this new character is the mutant energy that was lost at the end of House of M, he will be extremely tough. Finally we should see the Avengers fight a menace as a complete team, with no holding back.

Overall Rating...

As a single issue this would get 2 webs.

As the first part of the first real threat the New Avengers will face, this issue sets the tone for what could be a real action packed arc.

I give it 3 webs.

Footnote...

This issue contains a bonus untold tale of the New Universe