Issue(s): Avengers #313
Adding to the problem is the arrival of the Mandarin. It seems he got tired of sitting with the cabal and watching things get bungled from afar, and he's decided to get directly involved. It's also worth noting that compared to his X-Men appearances, he's in pure old school villain mode here. I do admire his ability to let the crowd's racism flow off his shoulders.
Mandarin is not playing around. He incinerates a cop soon after landing.
And then starts blasting his way into the Avengers subbasement.
Back at the Acts of Vengeance arch-villain's meeting room. Doom has a little freak-out about Mandarin's unauthorized attack.
The Red Skull comes in to pick a fight with Doom. Doom says that if he were there, he would have reduced the Avengers headquarters to a smoldering crater already. The Red Skull challenges that.
Really, dude? Did you forget that Dr. Doom already did exactly that at the start of this crossover? It's literally the one tangible victory that you guys have had. You're really going to snipe at him about that?
It's really the wrong conversation anyway. I'd really like them to talk about why the Mandarin is off doing something by himself, and what it means for the group. Like, maybe he's got the right idea, since our plans so far haven't really been panning out? Should we go join him? Or, alternatively, he's ruining our plans because we should be doing X right now instead. But instead of that it's just a generic pissing match between Doom and the Skull.
You know that Doom is angry when he's reduced to one word insults. Dolt! Moron! Surf! Peasant!
Also, don't be too impressed with the Red Skull's demonstration of agility. He's really just a robot thanks to the events of Captain America #367.
The Kingpin walks in just as the Red Skull is blasting Dr. Doom.
I do not see Doom letting that shot at him go unpunished, but both he and the Red Skull are stopped by the Kingpin claiming that neither of them understand real power. And then we cut back to the Avengers, who get the alert from Jarvis that the Mandarin is attacking. On their way to the park, Wonder Man bumps into the Wizard, who was just deciding that he has no choice but to join the Mandarin. Say what you will about the Wizard; at least he isn't back at the meeting room squabbling with the others.
Also, he's got Wonder Gloves.
Since it's not fair to make three Avengers that include Wonder Man and the Vision fight two whole super-villains, the Black Widow and Hellcat join in. Although the colorist seems to think it's the original Cat.
Then Thor shows up to even out the odds.
Mandarin flees, but the Wizard is captured. He claims that the whole thing is his idea, which contradicts what the Avengers heard from Cloak & Dagger, who knew that Dr. Doom had organized the Jester's attack on the Avengers in their part of the crossover.
Back at villain HQ, Dr. Doom decides he's had enough of this alliance, and splits. It's revealed that he's been a Doombot, although it will be said in a future issue that we don't know if that's been the case the entire time.
That's good acting, Red Skull. You mean, he's a robot?! Surely no one else here is a robot! Unless... we're all robots!
Also in this issue, Magneto pulls the Scarlet Witch's West coast compound bungalow into space.
The cover bills this issue as the "ultimate super-villain team-up" which i might agree with if Dr. Doom and Magneto and the Red Skull also came out in full force (Kingpin can stay behind). It's actually barely a team-up at all, since Wizard is only getting involved reluctantly and the Mandarin doesn't want him there. The Mandarin and the Wizard are shown to be powerful enough to go around with some of the mightiest of the Mighty Avengers, but the fact is that they accomplish nothing and the Wizard's capture is what leads to their downfall. We are at the penultimate issue of the crossover in the core (Avengers) titles. At this point (if not earlier) the arch-villains should be making their move and reaping the fruits of their victories to date. Instead they've won nothing the entire time and even now most of them are back at their headquarters squabbling with themselves. It's terrible. If the point of this story is that villains can't work together, i didn't need three months across Marvel's entire line to prove that point. I saw that the first time two villains ever teamed up together. For this event to mean something, they should be able to work together, at least long enough to put the heroes in some real peril. The Avengers have never been in danger during this story. Other than Quasar, they weren't even around for the initial sinking of their island, and since then they've been standing around scratching their heads wondering what was going on, but never actually having to do much serious fighting. Or investigating, for that matter; the answer to what's going on will soon fall in their laps thanks to an incidental story in Thor. Very odd crossover. On the strength of the battle, this issue is fun in its own right, but as part of the bigger picture it is just more of the same, and that's not what was needed here.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Avengers West Coast #54.
Crossover: Acts of Vengeance
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
This was the only AoV issue of Avengers (East) that I bought at the time and that was mainly because I thought Mandarin's new armor looked cool. Sloppy slip-up about Hellcat's hair. It's not a big deal I guess but you would think somebody would've caught it.
Posted by: Robert | April 8, 2015 4:05 PM
"Learn that, Herr Doktor!" is a cool line
Posted by: kveto | April 8, 2015 4:36 PM
"Surf, peasant!" sounds like a single from the classic Beach Boys album, "Live in Leningrad."
Posted by: Andrew | April 8, 2015 10:22 PM
It's part of the premise, but somehow actually seeing the Wizard state that this is all his plan is still hilarious. Sure, Wizard...you're playing Doctor Doom, Magneto, the Red Skull, the Kingpin, and the Mandarin for saps to achieve your revenge at last.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | November 8, 2015 5:41 PM
Loved the Acts issues in this title, Spidey and Captain America. Nothing much comes of it in the end but it was still a fun ride.
Posted by: Grom | November 8, 2015 5:52 PM
Kingpin is lucky that was a Doombot, because if that was the real deal, he'd be dead.
Posted by: mikrolik | August 28, 2016 6:40 PM
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