Marvel Adventures Avengers #4

Background

Super-soldier from World War II, weather Goddess, super-strong alter ego of scientist Bruce Banner, spider-powered web-slinger, giant sized crimefighter, brilliant armored inventor, feral mutant brawler. Together they are the World's Mightiest Heroes, battling the foes that no single super hero could withstand!

Marvel Adventures Avengers is a continuity free book aimed at younger readers. It has a non tradional roster featuring the big seven of Marvel. Storm and Giant Girl are not members of the Avengers in the 616 Marvel Universe. Storm is probably in because of her large part in X-Men movies. Also she may be taking the role of the "thunder god" that Thor usually holds. Personally I think her uniform looks a lot like Carol Danvers (Warbird, Ms. Marvel, Binary...). Giant Girl is a member of the Young Avengers and the daughter of Ant Man (Scott Lang) in the mainstream Marvel Universe.

The Masters of Evil come calling for the Avengers!

Story 'The Masters of Evil'

Wow! What an issue. Although not directly linked by a story arc, this issue wraps up the first four issues of the series. We open with the Avengers riding in the Quinjet towards a prison break. The Quinjet looks different than usual. It look likes a cross between the X-Men's Blackbird and a Quinjet. Spidey says the Quinjet is faster than Airwolf. This is a reference to the 1980's super-helicopter TV show Airwolf. If my memory is correct it was a pretty good show. I remember the main character would play cello on a boat in a lake.

Anyway... The Abomination is the only escapee. The Avengers do not bring the Hulk fearing he would cause too much collateral damage. It seems like almost every issue, they sedate the Hulk. Make one bad movie and they put you in a virtual reality scenario. We see some super villain Easter eggs: 2 members of the Wrecking Crew, the Shocker, the Thinker and the Grim Reaper. The Avengers quickly handle the grammatically incorrect Abomination; pass on some prison food and head back to the tower to "go oil Iron Man". But all is not as it seems. The Quinjet has been booby trapped with sleeping gas. I am not sure why Wolverine's sense of smell and healing factor and Iron Mans armor did not detect or neutralize the gas. Then we see the see the cockroaches from "Joe's Apartment" revealed as the villains. O.K., not really, Ultron has returned!

Giant Girl is the first to wake up. The Masters of Evil (Baron Zemo, The Leader, Ultron and the Abomination) stand revealed. Each Avenger is in a special room set up to nullify their powers. It is very Dr. Doom type of set up. Wolverine's trap looks familiar. I know it has been used in X-Men or the movies. Strom does not freak out being in an enclosed space, though she should. This is a main point of her character. She was buried alive early in her life. It might have been too much to bring up just for one issue. Hey, the Hulk is still asleep. The cage is a very "Hollywood Squares" as Spidey points out.

Ultron is ready to do away with all of them, but just like in issue #2, the Leader want to pull the whole "Bond-villain-Dr. Evil-tell-them-the-plan". Ultron was responsible for breaking the Leader and Baron Zemo out of jail to destroy the Avengers. The Masters of Evil decide to make the Avengers their robot brained henchmen, except Spidey. But just like Joe Quesda's view of Spidey's marriage, Ultron sees no use in Spidey. Spidey and Iron Man have a plan. They begin to turn the Masters of Evil against each other by playing off their own egos and plans for world domination. Ultron wants a world ruled by machines, but Baron Zemo and the Leader want no part of that and they being to squabble amongst themselves. This gives the Avengers the chance they need to break out. Strom is free enough to break the Hulk. She clears the air and gives him a lightning bolt zap on the head (a nice touch). Spidey has an internet geek moment tells Ultron "LOL! PWNED!" Hulk smashes Abomination and Iron Man zaps Ultron. Iron Man catches Ultron's essence on a memory card and most disturbing thing. Ultron's system is on the memory card "Along with some pictures from our Paris adventure." OK, OK, I know he doesn't mean what I think he means. This is an all ages comic. But come on, what an odd choice of words by Jeff Parker. Overall, the best issue so far.

General Comments

This is definitely the best issue so far. There were lots of quips, action and villains. The cover and art was great. My only small complaint was Storm's fear of being trapped in small places not being shown, but I am a total X-men geek and most people didn't know that about her. Oh yeah, quit putting the Hulk to sleep. Part of his charm is seeing him try to fit into situations where he is not the perfect fit.

Overall Rating

Definitely a must read for any Spidey or Avengers fan!