Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Honestly, you'd think they'd have a packet for that.

This one had "Secret Invasion: Epilogue" on the cover, and I thought it might help wrap that one up. Well, no. From 2009, Mighty Avengers #20, written by Brian Michael Bendis, art by Lee Weeks, Jim Cheung, Carlo Pagulayan and Jeffrey Huet.

Hank Pym had been replaced by a Skrull, although from this issue I'm not sure when or for how long. (If you're going to go that route, say he'd been replaced around Avengers #213.) Although freed, his ex-wife Janet Van Pym, the Wasp, had been killed at the end of Secret Invasion; and it's safe to say Hank was utterly wrecked by it. After a flashback to Hank and Jan right after they pulled Captain America out of the ice, we cut to the present and Hank making funeral arrangements with Carol Danvers and Simon Williams. Or not, as he wants to get out as soon as he can.

In a limo, Carol explains to Hank that the Skrull version of him had been "their face," so it was probably going to be a bit before people looked at him and didn't see a Skrull. She also recaps the last several crossover events that Hank missed: "No more mutants," from House of M, Civil War, Cap's death, World War Hulk, and up to Secret Invasion. Both of them are crying, a lot, by the end. Although, this has to happen to the Avengers pretty regularly; you'd think they would have a whole protocol for it, like a dossier you get when you come back to catch you up!

The next scene is Jan's funeral, but isn't clear if it's a couple days later or not: reading through it, it's like Carol and Hank were driven straight there. When asked if anyone wants to "share their words and feelings about the deceased," Hank steps up, even though Carol can already tell that's going to be a trainwreck. And it is, as Hank immediately accuses Tony Stark.

Thor stops Hank from going on, and while his speech is eloquent and graceful, he does sneak in a dig at "the once-great Avengers," as well as mention Valhalla, which if she was there, couldn't Thor take Hank to see her? Like right now? (Spoiler: I don't think Jan was dead dead at any point there.) Thor hustles Hank out of there to "mourn together in private" and not further embarrass himself; and the rest of the issue is building up to the next big crossover, Siege, as Clint Barton confronts the hero of the Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn. Yeah, Bendis seemed to go back to that matchup more than a couple times, and I gotta say, I love Hawkeye, but the Green Goblin would chew him up and spit him out.

I liked the flashback scene--Lee Weeks may have helped that a lot. Also, this issue had a pretty recent U.S. Postal Service Statement of Ownership, meaning somebody had to be getting this through the mail. Line C Total Paid Circulation: average number of copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 104,627. Single issue nearest to filing date: 108,665.


SallyP said...

I've always felt a little sorry for Hank. He just cannot catch a break.

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

For real. Damn, hey I'd go with the whole "Hank was replaced by a skrull back in Avengers#213" too. Doesn't help that writers keep going to that well even though it's long been forgiven.
It's really unfair to judge the man for the rest of his life based off that one bad moment. I mean shit, he had/could still have serious mental issues.

Anyhoo, damn that has got to be the best Lee Weeks' art has ever looked, especially with that coloring job.

Ronnie said...

To be fair, Hank is right about Tony.