A while back, well back in Avengers (Vol. 5) #4, one of Ex Nihilo’s Origin bombs formed a pod in the Savage Lands. From this hatched several Zebra-like children, who latched onto Hyperion calling him Daddy. Hyperion led a group of Avengers to the Savage Lands to help educate the children to their new world but the High Evolutionary had other ideas and took four of the kids…
Just as the last issue ended, this one starts with the High Evolutionary and the four children he took. He loads them up into one of his machines and they seem quite happy to go along with this. The Avengers meanwhile are searching the lands for the missing children with no success. Fortunately Captain Universe has found Garokk the petrified man and he can lead the Avengers to where the children were taken. They are in the High Evolutionary’s ship hidden by a holographic mountain, which Spider-Man accidentally strolls right through (whilst complaining that Garokk apparently led them on a wild goose chase as there are no children there, just a mountain – oops!).
As the Avengers take on the High Evolutionary’s beasts in battle he releases a Terminus robot that crushes Iron Man (don’t worry it’s a remote controlled suit remember). Thor takes on the giant droid whilst Hyperion goes to have “a chat” with the High Evolutionary about where the children are. Just as Thor is about to strike down the Terminus, Hyperion works out that the High Evolutionary has tapped into the children's limitless energy and turned them into batteries powering the robot. Fortunately he flies to the droid just in time to remove the children before lightning strikes.
Hours later, Thor and Hyperion sit reviewing their latest challenge. Thor is concerned that Hyperion’s link to these children is a weakness enemies may choose to exploit. Hyperion tells him not to fear and that the opposite it true; the children make him strong and god helps anyone that tries to take them from him.
I was kinda dreading this issue as the last one had scored so well the only way is down, right? However the conclusion, whilst not quite as good as the opener, was first rate. Firstly I was worried that the High Evolutionary would come along and further evolve the children and I thought this would have been foolish. If these children are the next evolution of planet Earth designed by a god like Ex Nihilo, then surely they wouldn’t be able to evolve much more. Fortunately the writers agreed with me and instead used their limitless supply of energy to convert them into the batteries needed to power up broken Terminus. Great twist and not the mutated zebra monsters going up against their “father” that most of us may have expected.
A lot of this issue is just standard battle scenes between the Avengers and the enemies of the week, but there is still space for some nice character moments. As with last issue I think the writers have really got a grip on the characters’ voices. I really like Spidey, how he is so quick to whine and complain that Captain Universe is “All-powerful” but ultimately “All-useless” when she provides no help. Also his rant at Garokk seemingly sending them the wrong way only to stumble upon the base they were looking for was quite funny. The difference between Peter humour and Otto humour is well used and not just the “turn up only to insert a one-liner here” moment that Mr Parker was all too often used for. Good use of remote control Iron Man, being able to destroy it and so show the threat Terminus is whilst keeping Tony Stark safe. I am also warming to Hyperion more each issue and find the interactions and dialogue between him and Thor to be well done. Thor and Hyperion have got a Bro-mance to rival Sunspot and Cannonball! Not much time for Hawkeye and Spider-Woman this issue, but you can’t have it all!
Lastly the art; it was good once again with only one minor confusing bit (and it really is minor). The power unit used to bring Terminus back to life seemed to be made up of 6 or 7 batteries, but only 4 children were taken – you see I said it was minor but I’m a stickler for continuity!
Not quite up there as the last issue, but very good none the less.
Good two parter all round with some great character development and a nice story that was a bit of a break from the on going "Universe is broken" theme yet still managed to fit in with the ongoing Avengers arc.