Avengers (Vol. 1) #501

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Frank Man (E-Mail)


A dead Avenger named Jack of Hearts stopped by the Avenger's Mansion to blow it up. While delivering a speech to the U.N., Tony Stark became mysteriously drunk and threatened the Prime Minister of Latveria. The Vision crashed a Quinjet through the mansion and into a tree and barfed about 4 or 5 Ultrons. After the Ultrons were destroyed, She-Hulk ripped Vision's dead body in half (longways), smacked the Wasp, and hulked out in a way that would make her green- skinned cousin proud. The Avengers were having a bad day.

Story 'Chaos'

  Avengers (Vol. 1) #501
Summary: Spider-Man cameo
Arc: Part 2 of 'Avengers Disassembled: Chaos' (1-2-3-4)
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: David Finch
Inker: Danny Miki
Articles: The Wasp

The issue starts with the Chief of Staff for the President reprimanding Tony Stark for his outburst at the U.N. meeting. Tony is forced to resign his position as Secretary of Defense. Though Tony is both penitent and confused by his actions toward the Latverian Prime Minister, he excuses himself from the meeting, via satellite, and rockets through New York toward the mansion melee.

She-Hulk is going ballistic at the mansion, showing the likes of Captain Britain, the military, and Volkswagen Beetles who's boss. One good punch to the jaw from Iron Man takes her down, however Iron Man "takes no pride in that".

The aftermath is that two people are in the hospital in critical condition (Captain Britain and the Wasp), one is in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody (She-Hulk), one is dead (Ant-Man), one is in a box at a Stark Enterprises Warehouse (Vision), and one has a dislocated shoulder (Captain America).

While Henry Pym is crying to a comatose Wasp in the hospital, the other more able-bodied Avengers discuss their current status. They agree they don't know who implemented these attacks, but signs seem to point to Ultron. Henry Pym comes into the conversation dressed as Yellowjacket and yells at Iron Man for being drunk. Iron Man gets mad and flies away. The other Avengers get a call that something is going on at the decimated mansion.

After parallel parking the Quinjet at the park, Hawkeye and Captain America are suprised to see 39 superheroes (and Nick Fury) have answered the Code White priority call and are assembled on the ruins of the mansion. Spider-man is perched atop a fire truck on the far right.

General Comments

A very revealing piece of material this story is. It shows the humanity, vulnerability and resolve of the Avengers. She-Hulk goes berserk and they hesitate to take her down. Henry Pym sees that the Wasp is down and he rushes to her aid. Captain America is told by a doctor to "take it easy for a couple of weeks" and he is back in the tights during his next scene. Henry Pym pours his heart out to the Wasp, and feels guilt for creating Ultron. It's a shame that it takes a major disaster to bring about great character development.

I liked seeing all those heroes gathered at the end. It's a great way to stir up hope and confidence in the trying times of the Avengers. Besides, Spider-Man is a busy man. It's refreshing to see that he took time out of his busy schedule of looking for Aunt May, turning into a giant spider and fighting Gwen Stacy's kids to perch on a fire truck.

Overall Rating

A very well-executed book. Shame that Spidey's presence was only in cameo form, but I know for a fact he'll be on his game in the next issue. Four Webs.

 Posted: 2004
 Staff: Frank Man (E-Mail)