Friday, December 23, 2016
He used to be Marvel Boy--come to think of it, Noh-Varr is probably Marvel Boy now as well--but there was a brief stretch when he wore a black-and-white uniform and the title "Protector." Protector would get a Marvel Legends figure in the Hit-Monkey wave back in 2013--we've had him out a few times, namely throwing a game of cards to Deadpool about a hundred episodes ago. What I didn't have was any comics with him in that outfit--until now! From 2012, Avengers #27, written by Brian Bendis, pencils by Walt Simonson, inks by Scott Hannah.
This issue was set in the middle of the AvX crossover--ordinarily, I'd have a link there; but was the actual series "Avengers vs. X-Men" or "AvX"? I say that because there were spin-off fight titles under AvX, but don't care enough to keep looking. At any rate, a small band of Avengers is in space trying to stop the Phoenix Force from reaching earth: they manage to clip one of its...big, flaming, energy wings and hope to use the captured energy to find a way to stop it. Except the team is then double-crossed, knocked out, and left to die by one of their own: Noh-Varr.
A dream of Sif awakens Thor in time, as the Avengers' ship is falling into a star. Meanwhile, Noh-Varr has brought the captured Phoenix energy to his boss, the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree. Whom I didn't think was Noh-Varr's boss: I could be misremembering Grant Morrison's Marvel Boy, but I'm pretty sure he was a Kree from another dimension or reality; but I guess he could still have some loyalty to his people and their leader. Who immediately betray him, opting to try to use the Phoenix power themselves, and telling Noh-Varr his mission as Protector of earth was over, those guys were a lost cause.
The Avengers manage to halt their plunge into the star, as Thor literally gets out and pushes. Which is actually pretty cool. Meanwhile, Noh-Varr tries to convince the Supreme Intelligence that as "the advanced culture, the superior intellects," they had a duty to try and save earth. S.I. points out the earthlings are dangerous and stupid, which is admittedly a valid point: they had roughed up the space-time continuum more than a little lately. Noh-Varr turns on the Intelligence and the Kree, and gathers up the Phoenix energy, planning on running back to the Avengers...who have just caught up to him on Hala. And are pissed. Even the ones that rarely get steamed, like the Beast and the Vision, are mad as hell. Noh-Varr knows he messed up, but they don't want to hear it; with both Beast and Ms. Marvel telling him he "lost your earth privileges." Pulp Fiction swipe!
Noh-Varr has about three seconds to feel sorry for himself, before the now-equally pissed Kree come after him. With his nega-bands turned off, it looks bad for Noh-Varr; but he still seems to ditch his suit, steal a ship, and nuke the place in an escape that takes only a few panels! Meanwhile, on earth, a girl waits for Noh-Varr's return, but it's implied it might be a while. (Actually, I'm guessing she's waiting for him, the dialog doesn't specifically refer to Noh-Varr!)
Thinking about it for a moment, maybe I might have a reprint collection of the first few issues of this Avengers series. Obviously it made an impression...The Protector also now joins a small but growing number of figures that I have, but hadn't to that point read a comic of, alongside Red Hulk. Who is name-checked in the blurb for the next issue, and I'm pretty sure Simonson did at least some of that one as well; which makes it at the very least worth a look.
Christmas Day, we have our traditional reruns; next Monday we begin what, our eighth annual "The End" week? Great Guardians! Once again, we plow through a bunch of last issues of books that have probably been relaunched half-a-dozen times since. Well, as long as I haven't been cancelled yet, anyway.