Why The World Will Always Need The Avengers
“And there came a day unlike any other, when earth’s mightiest heroes were united against a common threat! On that day the Avengers were born! — To fight the foes no single hero could withstand!”
Most fans of Marvel and The Avengers know this quote, the quote that ushered in a new era of superheroism, when the likes of Iron Man, Thor, Wasp, Ant-Man, and The Incredible Hulk united on accident to defeat the God of Mischief, Loki. However, as the years have progressed, this quote seems to have taken an almost mythic persona, foretelling an inevitable fact that can’t be ignored; no matter what, the world will always need Avengers.
Not one year after the Scarlet Witch’s mental collapse in Avengers: Disassembled, writer Brian Michael Bendis and Artist David Finch continued their epic reimagining of the Avengers with the team’s unlikely return in 2005’s The New Avengers. While the ending of the original team made things feel like we would be waiting for quite a long time for the return of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Bendis seemed to really want to drive home the fact that while the Avengers may feel broken, the world would always need them. As Nick Fury once said, “Trouble always comes round.” The first volume of the series is titled Breakout, and the chaos that a word like that can evoke is not lost on the first few issues.
The series opens with a recap of the events that transpired in Avengers: Disassembled. We are then shown a man, later to be revealed as Electro, given a job, a job that will take him to the maximum maximum security prison known as The Raft. This prison houses some of Marvel’s most powerful and deadly criminals and is where we can find Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, Foggy Nelson, and Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil visiting a legal client of theirs. What was meant to be a routine visit quickly descends into madness as the power goes out.
Across the Hudson, Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, spends time with his wife MJ when a huge power outage followed by an explosion from The Raft forces him to don his red and blue duds to see what the deal is. Not only has power been cut off from the prison, but all of its inmates are now roaming free without any power dampeners. With a helping hand from Captain America, he and Spider-Man try to quell the uprising. Levels below, Murdock and his friends try to find the man they were supposed to see, Robert Reynolds aka The Sentry. At this point, not much is known of the character, who is said to have the power of a thousand exploding suns. Still, as Carnage (yeah, he’s here too) begins to threaten Foggy, we see that power in action as he takes the symbiote sociopath into the upper atmosphere to rip him in half.
With multiple bruises and a broken arm, Spider-Man continues what is quickly becoming a losing battle until Iron Man appears along with Matt and the others to help stop this breakout. It takes time and a satisfying whooping to a surprise Jessica Jones enemy, but the breakout is finally secured with nothing but a handful of heroes and lots of hope. The next morning sees Tony and Steve recapping the night and exactly how it ended, and on the deck of that SHIELD Helicarrier, Steve gets an idea, an idea unlike any other.
With Tony’s hesitant acceptance, Steve begins to recruit a new team of Avengers. Everyone who was on that island says yes except for The Sentry, who went AWOL, and Daredevil because of course he wouldn’t; he’s Daredevil. With a new tower, Jarvis coming back to aid the heroes as only he can, and energy not found since before Wanda’s breakdown, the Avengers are back in action with a new mission: apprehend all escaped Raft prisoners. What makes this new team so unique, to me, is that they really aren’t trying to make the same mistakes they did the last time and actively try to avoid it. Working as a tighter unit with the backing of SHIELD, these new Avengers feel less like a global peacekeeping force and more like a small team just trying to do some good, which is how they started in the first place.
After taking in Electro with little to no effort needed, the team discovers who he was hired to take from The Raft, a mutant by the name of Karl Lykos aka Sauron, a man who can turn into a giant Pterodactyl (or is that just a regular-sized Pterodactyl…let’s just run with it). The hunt brings them to the Savage Land, an island untouched by time and Marvel’s very own Jurassic Park. On the island, the Avengers are introduced to the next unlikely member of this ragtag team, Wolverine. Sent for the same reason as the Avengers, he ends up teaming up with them for the mission’s duration. I remember reading this and thinking how awesome it was to see an X-Man also becoming an Avenger. While the later years would argue that being an Avenger is more of a title than anything, I think Logan’s inclusion shows that so long as you are helping those in need, you’re an Avenger.
By the end of the first volume, readers are treated to the inclusion of Wolverine, Yelena Belova’s return as the Black Widow, and a tease of a possible turn to villainy following an accident that left her severely burned by the Avengers. The first volume of The New Avengers offered up huge promises for the future and showed readers the importance of taking hold of those moments presented to us by fate. This series was actually my first official introduction to the world of the Avengers, and as unorthodox as it was, it did a great job with making sure that I understood the core values of what it means to be an Avengers. Whether the team officially exists or not, so long as people are willing to come together against a common threat and make a difference, there will always be Avengers. People and even superheroes will always need that inspiration to do what is right against unbeatable odds because without it, is anything worth fighting for?
Thank you so much for reading my latest post! I am hoping to cover this series, as a whole, over time, and I hope you all will join me for the journey. If you haven’t and would like to, give my post about Avengers: Disassembled a read as it leads up perfectly to this one. I hope you can share my stuff if you can so we can get the word out! Also, make sure to follow this blog and my social media to stay up to date. Much love and stay marvelous!