Avengers Next #2

 Title: Avengers Next
 Posted: 2007


The Avengers team morale is at an all-time low, and the hits keep on coming. With half of their team down, they get attacked by Ulik and some strange woman who end up capturing a now-powerless Kevin Masterson. Twice, their mansion was invaded by them through the powers of a mercenary named Warp. And, to top it all off, a member of their arch villains the Revengers, Sabreclaw, has come seeking membership. How can it get any worse?

Story 'The Sound of Thunder!'

  Avengers Next #2
Summary: Spider-Girl appears
Editor: Molly Lazer
Writer: Tom DeFalco
Pencils: Ron Lim
Inker: Scott Koblish

Nova and Earth Sentry are on their way to answer the call of a UFO entering the solar system. When they find the object, they discover it's a meteor. Sentry is ready to write it off but Nova warns him to stay on guard. Nova is proved right when it takes evasive action as they draw close.

Back at Avengers Mansion, Stinger has been called in to help fashion a device to track Warp's power signature back to its source. Since that's not really her field, she had Franklin Richards of the Fantastic Five send over an expert in energy he knew; Katie Power, formerly Energizer of the Power Pack. While the two ladies get to work, Jarvis announces he and Bluestreak are going to take inventory to make sure the thieves didn't make off with anything else. American Dream is shaken by that idea seeing as she never thought to do that herself, making her doubt her role as leader all the more.

Elsewhere, Kevin sits tied up with Ulik threatening to harm him if he doesn't behave, but Kevin goes on and pushes Ulik's buttons until he leaves. He takes a moment to warn Warp about his new companions, but of course Warp doesn't believe him. Ulike and the crone discuss her plans, which ultimately lead them to stealing the powers of the Avengers themselves to accomplish her goals.

While Nova and Sentry stay in pursuit of the UFO heading for Earth, J2, Spider-Girl and Sabreclaw workout in the training room. Claw winds up wiping the floor with both of them, Spider-Girl practically goading him into using lethal force on her. But, he just leaves and J2 wonders why she didn't avoid him like he knows she can do. All actions in the mansion are halted as the UFO lands right outside the front door. Upon investigation, they discover emerging from the rock Thena, daughter of Thor!

Before explanations can be found, Nova and Sentry dive-bomb Thena, angering the thunder-goddess. The Avengers rush in to try and stop it, but Nova sets his sights on Sabreclaw, not knowing about his recent status change. While Spider-Girl tangos with Thena, J2 steps in to split up Nova and Sentry from pummeling Claw. But, there's still a ticked-off Thena to deal with. Amidst the battle, Thena uses her hammer on J2 and ends up shattering it. The glee over accomplishing that by him is short-lived as she calls up a massive storm all around her.

Katie has seen enough, and steps in. She blasts Thena while lecturing her about controlling her emotions. Thena calms down enough to demand Kevin, when the Avengers inform her of his kidnapping. At that moment, Jarvis emerges to inform them that something else HAS been stolen from their armory. And, at that very moment, the crone and Ulik are in some kind of underground bunker reactivating that something: ULTRON.

General Comments

More events transpire to make American Dream doubt herself and her team, keeping up with the underlying theme of the series. We get another next generation character in Thena, whom unlike the others actually existed in Norse mythology. We also got a plethora of clues to hint at the identity of the crone and the return of another classic Avengers villain on the horizon. We also get a glimpse in the possible fate of the Power Pack (which hopefully will be explored in more detail somewhere down the line). This book captures all the goodness of both MC2 and classic Avengers comics, and manages to give you a decent amount of story per issue unlike most comics these days.

About the only issue that raises some questions are why Nova and Earth Sentry would spend all that time chasing down the UFO, attack it only to realize it has greater power than both of them, and then switch gears to attack Sabreclaw? That seemed like kind of a dopey thing to do at that moment in time. Logic would dictate you'd worry about the greater threat first, then do the clean-up after.

Overall Rating

4.5 Webs. Classic villains, destined to be classic characters, and even the classic hero misunderstanding fight. One minor nitpick story-wise, but otherwise another excellent issue.

 Title: Avengers Next
 Posted: 2007