During the final battle with The Sentry during the siege of Asgard Loki used the Norn stones, (the source of The Hoods powers) to repower Earths mightiest heroes. Powerless The Hood and Madame Masque fled from the battle.
Madame Masque and The Hood are still on the run from the law. They have gone to Madame Masque’s father Count Nefaria for help. Luke Cage calls Jessica Jones to let her know he’s okay and he’ll be back as soon as everything is cleared up. The New Avengers wonder what will happen next and if they will be arrested. Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, tells the team he’s been summoned by the President. The Asgardians have captured most of The Hood’s crew and with a bit of coaxing the captured villains tell The New Avengers about The Hoods cousin John King.
Later John King is called by The Hood. The Hood tells him to get all of hsi money and to fly out to see him. The New Avengers have John and were using him as bait. They fly out to L.A. and use the Quinjet’s spy tech to see what they’re up against. John tells them they won’t change anything, there will always be a Kingpin of crime, and someone will always be there ready to fill that role. Luke agrees but tells the team that The Hood has always been behind Osborn and he’s taken several shots at them and there is no way he’ll let him get away again so he can come back later. The team get John to call The Hood and tell him he’s on his way, during the conversation The New Avengers discover that The Hood has no powers. They discuss tactics, The Hood is powerless, Madame Masque isn’t much of a threat but Count Nefaria is very powerful. Luke makes a phone call.
In Count Nefaria’s apartment he tells The Hood that he can repower him for a price. The New Avengers crash into the room and Spidey grabs The Hood while Cage and Ms. Marvel take on Count Nefaria. Ms. Marvel absorbs some of the Count’s energy and uses it against him, this only makes him angry. While the Count attacks her Wolverine appears and viciously attacks the Count while Ms. Marvel finishes him off with an energy blast. Victorious The New Avengers leave.
Back in Asgard, The New Avengers return and hand over Count Nefaria, Madame Masque, The Hood and John King to Maria Hill. Luke asks what’s next? Hill tells him to check the news. The Super Human Registration Act has been thrown out and Steve Rogers has been given Norman Osborn’s old job. Later Steve meets with the team and tells them it’s over, they won and they don’t have to hide any more. Mockingbird asks what should they do now? Luke says that’s a good question. He tells them they’ve been fighting for what’s right because if they didn’t who would? Even when things got really crazy they were still there fighting the good fight. It was all like a giant test, they could have quit at any time as individuals and as a team but they didn’t. Luke says they were fighting for freedom and liberty and he would know when they would be free when they could take a walk together in the open, and on that day he would know they would have won.
With this been the final story from the first volume of The Avengers everything is wrapped up. Their long term nemesis, The Hood has been de-powered and captured and the S.H.R.A. has been over turned and they are free. I have to say it's about time! While I enjoyed the whole underground Avengers theme it's about time the team had a happy ending.
4 webs. Everything's nicely wrapped up and the future looks bright.
Bendis shows his usual style of writing while Bryan Hitch and Stuart Immonen do a fantastic job on the art. I also really enjoyed the 9 double page splashes by all the key New Avengers artists that flash back to all the major story arcs in the past 64 issues, while finally showing everyone in their civilian identities enjoying a day in the park, bringing a real sense of closure to the past few years.