Avengers (Vol. 5) #26

Background

Last time: A.I.M. used their multiverse spanning Auger to pull a team of Avengers into "our" dimension. These Avengers had suffered an Incursion and were saved just in the nick of time. I probably should mention that these Avengers are evil. Oh yeah and S.H.I.E.L.D. have the corpse on Ant Man in their possession and are questioning “our” Avengers as to what happened.

Story 'Look Around... There's No Way out'

  Avengers (Vol. 5) #26
Summary: Spider-Man Cameo (Also Spider-Man Adaptoid)
Arc: Part 2 of 'Alternate Avengers' (1-2-3)
Editor: Tom Brevoort, Wil Moss
Assistant Editor: Jake Thomas
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Cover Art: Frank Martin, Mike Deodato
Lettering: VC's Cory Petit

One month ago, A.I.M. took blood samples from the unconscious Avengers (following their fight with the Origin bomb robot in Avengers (Vol. 5) #17). A.I.M. then spend the next three weeks incorporating the genetic information from the Avengers into a group of Adaptoids that then take on the appearance of several Avengers at once (arms of Thor, chest of Captain America, head of Spidey, etc).

Three hours ago, The 'Avengers' are acting as were last issue and are still “educating” the people of the Earth. A.I.M. sends in the Adaptoids in an attempt to capture the 'Avengers' as part of their field-testing. 'Wasp' presses a button on a controller and sends 'Hulk' to attack the Adaptoids. The Adaptoids detect this and so destroy the controller. This turns 'Hulk' into 'Dr Banner' who, despite 'Wasp' trying to reassure him, runs off. Whilst trying to recapture 'Banner', 'Ant Man' gets leapt on by an Adaptoid, who promptly breaks his neck. This rattles the 'Avengers' and so Thorr (how 'Thor' spells his name) teleports them away. A.I.M. also withdraw, taking the Adaptoids with them, concerned that the droids adapted beyond the original mission protocols.

Back at the present time, Maria Hill is asking the Avengers where they were three hours ago. After several unhelpful, and humorous answers, Hyperion uses his sun vision to determine that the corpse is not “our” Hank Pym. Maria Hill already knew that but still wants answers. Fortunately, after hearing 'he' was amongst the 'Avengers', Iron Man tries to track them down through 'his' armour. Tony gets lucky and discovers that the 'Avengers' are still in the neighbourhood.

Back with 'Banner' and he's heading to a building in New York, figuring if his world has "one" then this world may also have "one" too. It does. “It” is a safe room, there's just one problem for 'Banner' – “our” Banner is already in it.

Finally on A.I.M. island the Adaptoids have decided to carry out their original mission, that of exploration. They adapt to a more robotic homogeneous design, as opposed to a mixture of Avenger parts, and are now self-aware!

General Comments

So the story continues, or rather the backstory to the story is filled in. I'm not always a fan of flashback issues; they have to be done in the right way. If you want to tell a story in a disjointed way, fine but make sure you have reason to. Fortunately it works here, especially because most of the story is from the point of view of the bad guys.

This issue we find out just what A.I.M. wanted with all those blood samples taken ten issues ago. It also provided us with a nice little Spider-Man cameo. In addition, we get it confirmed that the corpse was not our Ant Man (as suspected). The next issue has been nicely set up for Avengers vs 'Avengers' and I am looking forward to it.

Overall Rating

Not really story progression as such but filling in the blanks and acknowledging loose plot threads allow this comic to score better than its predecessor.