Avengers (Vol. 1) #503

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


The worst day in the history of the Avengers saw the deaths of three members. Ant-Man, a.k.a. Scott Lang, died in an explosion that decimated the mansion, the Vision "died" (rather melted) while throwing up Ultrons, and Hawkeye died valiantly while facing off with a large Kree army that couldn't be picked up on S.H.E.I.L.D. radar. The remaining Avengers and the thirty-something affiliates who came to offer their support are after some answers. Who could be behind these attacks? Dr. Strange, in friendly ghost form, made an indicative comment about magic being used to make the attacks on the Avengers. A somber Captain America looks like he knows the answer.

Story 'Chaos'

  Avengers (Vol. 1) #503
Summary: Spider-Man appearance
Arc: Part 4 of 'Avengers Disassembled: Chaos' (1-2-3-4)
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: David Finch
Inker: Danny Miki

The issue starts with a flashback to a week ago, when Janet Van Dyne and Wanda Maximoff are tanning and chatting by the mansion's poolside. The subject of kids pops up, and Janet accidently mentions something about Wanda having had kids of her own. Wanda is confused and asks what Janet meant, but Janet eludes further questions by running off to the bathroom. Wanda makes an angry face.

Back to the present, we have Dr. Strange telling a rather large group of superheroes what a great sorcerer he is. After babbling on about magics and giving lame excuses as to why he wasn't around earlier, he asks a question in one panel: "Is there anyone the Avengers have dealt with who has THIS level of mystic power? Someone who could orchestrate this level of chaos?" Chaos being the key word of the day. Captain America cries in the next panel.

Another flashback has the Scarlet Witch yelling at Agatha Harkness wanting to know where her kids are. In the present, some of the heroes are arguing about whether it could or couldn't be the Scarlet Witch behind the attacks. Spider-Man mentions that "she's married to a robot", is met with foul glares, and is reprimanded by the Falcon who argues that the Vision is an "android".

After disproving Wanda's "hex magic" as nothing more than her giving a name to magic she doesn't understand, Dr. Strange goes into a rant about how Wanda is responsible for the attacks on the Avengers and that she has slipped away into madness. There is a pretty two-page Scarlet Witch collage.

The heroes venture off to confront the Scarlet Witch, and after Cap talks to her, we find that the decimation of the Avengers is revenge for taking away her "magic" make-believe kids. She then magics up a battle royal for them. Warbird is fighting a "magic Rogue", who wears an old-school 80's workout costume complete with headband. Wolverine fights the Beast, Red Skull and the Cap are going at it, Hulk is there, Ultron as well, and Spider-Man is fighting two Spider-Men. Dr. Strange steps in, and the Scarlet Witch tries to magic him. Dr. Strange is having that. He whomps on her magically and puts her in a state where her mind is gone but her body is alive.

Magneto shows up to claim his daughter. Nobody attacks him, so I guess he's forgiven for trashing New York over in New X-men a while back. But wait, that wasn't really him! But wait, nobody knows that except for Xavier! Why aren't they attacking him? He flies off without saying much. Soon everyone else flies off and so ends the Avengers.

Oh yeah, and there's a couple of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby pages in the back showing Quicksilver's and Scarlet Witch's induction into the Avengers.

General Comments

I'll start by saying the art in this book is awesome. The emotions are captured splendidly. Much props goes out to David Finch. This story unfolded well (I'd expect no less from superman a.k.a. Bendis) though Scarlet Witch being the villain was not a surprise. It was implied in the title of the story arc and in the fact that you barely see her. However, why she turned on her teammates was justified well and impressed me greatly. I thought that everyone forgot about her kids. Apparently Bendis didn't.

I also learned that Dr. Strange likes to brag alot.

Overall Rating

Perfect score! The build-up was perfect, the answers were perfect, and the execution was perfect. I only hope the New Avengers can top this. What am I saying? As long as Spider-man and Wolverine are on the team, and are being controlled by Bendis and Finch, I've got no worries.

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