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Super Reads 133

Once again, with feeling...

Today, we check out New Mutants #20, Heroic Age: X-Men #1, and Blast to the Past for The Avengers #'s 32 & 33.  Enjoy and spread the word!

Spoilers Ahead!


Super Reads 133
I think the last official Heroic Age book comes out for this article.  Special thanks go out to bkthomson for his help on getting me some comics!

Looking to read up on everything from Secret Invasion to Siege and beyond?  Check no further than this link right HERE.

Let's watch as the New Mutants rise...

New Mutants #20
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artists: Leonard Kirk w/ Andrew Currie

In this issue:

• Illyana, Karma, and Pixie return home to Utopia.

• The X-Men prepare a counterattack but Illyana isn't leading them into battle with General Ulysses.

• Before leaving, she stabs Xi'an.

• In Limbo, the demon armies have been gathered.  When negotiations break down, the battle begins.

• Danielle Moonstar uses the attacking demons to free herself.  When Loca comes to kill her, she's got an arrow nocked and ready to fire.

• Toko is sent into the crowd with the Bloodstone Amulet.  When surrounded, she adds the Soulgems.

• Illyana has led the X-Men to the Limbo gate at the military base just as the Elder Gods break through.

• Karma is back in Legion's mind.  She is here to bring back a particular aspect of his personality.

The previous comic in this series was covered HERE.

So we've gone through the Fall of the New Mutants.  It's only fair that we follow the rise, right?  Keep in mind that this doesn't just resolve the Fall storyline.  This is the capper to Zeb Wells' run on the title and a lot of dangling plot points are getting some resolution.  I've been pretty good at collecting this book, but there are a few gaps here and there; so I can only try to describe some of these as they occurr.

Warlock was sent back to the mutant island of Utopia before the rest of the team headed off to Limbo to begin their "Fall."  He warned Cyclops of what was going down even though the X-Men didn't have a chance to get involved in time to help out of at least save the New Mutants.  Emma Frost is using Cerebra to track Cannonball's team, but is prevented by magic.  It's easy to wonder if this isn't the fault of Illyana Rasputin.  That thought is at least partially dissuaded when Magik teleports in with Pixie and Karma.  Face, the Inferno Kid that assisted them last issue, is not with the trio.

The rest of the New Mutants are prisoners of General Ulysses and the Inferno Kids.  The story plays loose with names, so for a lot of these mutants I can't tell you what their names actually are; but the girl with the demon and cyborg arm grafts threatening Dani Moonstar is named Loca.  Last issue, she absorbed Sam Guthrie's emotional dispair when Limbo Mutants beat the hell out of Moonstar.  In his issue, she's ticked off because Dani's not giving her any emotional fuel.  Loca tells Dani how the rest of the team is doing.  Most are locked up but Cypher is learning to play a demonic piano on Trista's (the girl who can control people by talking backwards) orders.

It's already been over two weeks since General Ulysses and his men returned to Limbo.  The demons have sensed the return of the Bloodstone Amulet and know what the humans intend to do with it.  The General is in no hurry.  He WANTS the demons to gather so that they'll all be killed when the amulet does it's thing.

In what passes for the real world, the X-Men have assembled for one big throwdown.  Warlock is with them but doesn't know if he should get angry during the fight.  For advice, he goes to Wolverine so you know how that conversation works out.

Karma isn't going with the rest of the team.  She and Pixie are injured.  So is Illyana but Magik's the teleporter so she kind of HAS to go.  Besides, it's her whole plan on her home turf.  It's just too bad the X-Men aren't clued in to what Magik is really up to.

Xi'an Coy Mahn knows.  She also knows her own part in this is far from over.  Karma was saved last issue for a specific purpose and it ties all the way back to the first story arc in this run.  When they New Mutants faced down Legion (Xavier's crazy son), Illyana let Xi'an use her Soulsword inside David Haller's mind.  All for this moment.  Rasputin plunges the Soulsword into her teammate, leaving Karma lying on the floor, unmoving.  That done, Illyana returns to the rest of the X-Men.

In Limbo, twenty days have passed.  An army of demons has assembled.  The three lead demons try their best to get the Bloodstone Amulet back through negotiation, but they use such transparent lies that it's laughable.  General Ulysses demands that they admit defeat and beg.  If they do, he'll give up the amulet.

Two of the leaders hold their posturing.  The third complies.  It does no good.  This is all about petty revenge for the General and he has every intention of using the Amulet.  Ulysses orders the Inferno Kid, Russell, to kill the demon leaders and Loca to prepare the New Mutants for sacrifice. When the demon bosses are killed, war is officially declared.

Before Loca can get to the sacrifices, a squad of demons reaches Dani, armed with bows and arrows, axes, and swords.  Our favorite depowered New Mutant uses them to her advantage, getting them to free her so that she can fight back properly.

Outside, the main demon army is seriously overwhelming General Ulysses' defenses which is all according to plan.  He wants them close.  On the General's order, Toka jumps into the crowd of demons.  She is invulnerable so is the best choice for carrying the Bloodstone Amulet into the enemy.

Inside, Loca is killing demons on her way to Danielle.  The Inferno Kid rife with trash talk as she draws ever closer to Moonstar.  She's not even half expecting Dani to be ready for her.

<--IMAGE-->

Yes, it's that awesome.  Dani shoots Loca, probably fatally.  Time will tell.

Outside, Toka is well within the demon hordes when she activates the Bloodstone Amulet, unleashing Hell.  In Limbo.  Think anyone will notice?

The X-Men have arrived at Project: Purgatory, and now stare down a closed gate that will lead them into Limbo.  Magik looks VERY startled at what she's sensing but this could just be a trick to fool the X-Men.

The gate to Limbo bursts open and out pour the Elder Gods on an unsuspecting planet.

Hey, is that the Beast?  I thought he was with the Avengers...

We're not quite done yet.  Illyana's plan has to see some fruition.  Karma?  Not dead, if that's what you were thinking.  She's inside the mind of David Haller, known to most everyone as Legion because of his multiple personality disorder.  Using Magik's Soulsword, Karma breaks down mental barriers that ought not be opened.  In a dank, dark, hidden away place, Xi'an finds the personality she's looking for.

This one looks like serious bad news, and not just because of the very dead Bishop chained up in the cell.  Worse still, he's been expecting Karma's arrival.  It seems Illyana let him know this is how things would work.


The Heroic Age: X-Men #1
Writers: Michael Hoskin, Chad Anderson, Mike O'Sullivan, Peter Sanderson, Markus Raymond, Anthony Flamini, Kevin Garcia, Stuart Vandal, Jacob Rougemont, & Madison Carter
Artists: Various

In this story:

• Commander Steve Rogers talks about the mutant question, how some of his best friends are mutants, and how he only says mutant jokes when he's surrounded by friends and those he knows would be cool with it.

• The book details the various mutant teams and file cards of the world's remaining mutant population.  It also has bits on the recently deceased.

• If that weren't enough, Rogers also includes files on the enemies and allies of the mutant population that AREN'T mutants.

• And that's about it.

Much like the Super-Heroes and Villains specials that have come before it, Heroic Age: X-Men lists every character related to the X-Men universe with some states and a personal write up by America's Top Cop, Steve Rogers.  While entries are as detailed as a Universe entry, you get some nice insights from the former Captain America.  This is pretty cool.

While I used to be something of an X-Men expert, this book brings up characters and stories I forgot ever happened.  Some I never knew about which means I need to take away my "expert" status and replace it with "novice."  It includes mutants that were killed in Second Coming, but doesn't include the Inferno Kids or General Ulysses' crew from the New Mutants.  I'm certain there are other omissions.

The book drops knowledge not only on teams and characters but also hits up some well known X-Locations.  The Xavier Institute!  The World!  Utopia!  I'm a little disappointed that the Savage Land doesn't have an entry but with a book this thick, some things just aren't going to make it and the Savage Land isn't specifically X-Men related, even though the team has headed there quite a few times in it's history.  Speaking of things not included in this book, Alex and Scott's little brother, Vulcan, doesn't get an entry (presumed dead long before Second Coming, I suppose) and neither do the Shi'ar (who have long been associated with the X-Men).  The Starjammers and Hepzibah both get entries, however.

Really, if you want a one stop shop for all things X-Men circa Post-Second Coming, this is what you need!  It'll remind you who's left in the X-Men Universe and who has recently been killed.


The Avengers #32
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck

In this story:

• The Avengers return from their mission in South America, accidentally activating their own defense systems.  The team makes short work of the defenses and look like they ACTUALLY GET ALONG.  Then Hank gets all mopey at being unable to return to his normal size and Cap fights him into feeling better.

• The Sons of the Serpent harass foreigners.

• Hank Pym calls Tony Stark to get the best Bio-Chemist available.  Stark sends out Bill Foster and the two get right to work like they've been working together for years.

• Eventually, the Sons of the Serpent attack Bill for being in the wrong neighborhood.  Foster fights back valiantly, but can't face the Serpents' numbers.  When Goliath finds his friend, Pym swears to destroy the Sons of the Serpent.

• When the Avengers are informed of the situation, Cap heads right on down to Nick Fury to gather intel.

• General Chen arrives in New York to speak at the United Nations and is nearly killed in a terrorist attack.

• The Avengers hold a press conference denouncing the Sons of the Serpent.  It puts them right in the hate group's spotlight.

• Captain America is kidnapped.

• The Avengers are forced to give in to the Sons of the Serpent's demands.

September 1966!  The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing as Americans came to grips with the whole "All men are created equal" thing that they had written nearly two hundred years earlier.  Into this environment, the Avengers would face the Sons of the Serpent, a hate-mongering group that specialized in removing foreigners from the United States.  They were a little to the side of the main Civil Rights tenents until they attacked one of Marvel's first African American super-heroes.

Bill Foster didn't start his Marvel career as a super-hero.  In fact, it would be another nine years until he made the leap into the hero game (in Luke Cage #24), meaning that the Falcon actually gets the title as first African-America super-hero even though Bill Foster appeared first.  His first appearance, right here, hardly spotlights the guy but it does give him a very important part.

We'll get to Bill's appearance in time but first we have to show the Avengers returning to Avengers Mansion after last issue's adventure in South America.  What we see here is a lot different than the team's dynamic during the Kooky Quartet years.  With the return of Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne as the Goliath and Wasp respectively, everyone seems to be getting along a whole lot better.  Even Cap and Hawkeye are friendly.  It's about time.  The bickering involved with early Avengers issues was more than annoying and made the team seem like it was trying way too hard to immitate the Fantastic Four's complaining members.  The problem was that the Avengers weren't a family and the complaining was way over the top.

Anyway, it's done now.  The latest Avengers team might not ALWAYS get along but they can at least stand to be in the same room as everyone else.  When the team accidentally activates its own alarms, Captain America and Hawkeye work together seemlessly to shut it down before someone gets hurt.  And then they compliment each other.  The times, they are a-changin.'

Steve asks Hank if the senior Avenger wants leadership of the team but Goliath is feeling extra mopey today.  That's because Hank Pym's body is stuck at the ten foot point and they just ended a mission in South America that proved fruitless in turning him back to normal.  Pym is in such a down mood that the only thing Steve can think to do is attack him.  Jan wonders what Captain America is doing but Hawkeye knows what's going on and tells her to let it play out.

After duking it out for a while, Hank is filled with a new zest and determination.  The blues are far from him and he races out to fix up his lab and solve his size changing problem.  He and the Wasp figure out that this was exactly what Cap was trying to do and Jan gives Steve a kiss on the cheek for helping her boyfriend out.

But now it's time to talk about Serpents.  People looking at the Fear Itself storyline might have heard the word "Serpent" thrown out as the name of the event's big bad.  The presumed god of fear, he's already got a pedigree to live up to.  In Avengers #32, we are introduced to the Sons of the Serpent who are fear mongering terrorists in their own right.  Their big beef is against Americans that weren't actually born in the United States but the members are here not just for this cause but for the right to bully around others.  We witness one instance of such bullying as a group of Sons attack an unarmed man for the misfortune of being born elsewhere.  We aren't the only witnesses but we're just as effective at stopping the followers of the Serpent as any other people looking down at the attack from their apartments.  Hell, no one even calls the police.

When the group is done, they return to their base where the Supreme Serpent is recruiting more bullies to his cause to rid the United States of all foreigners.  At the back of the crowd is a familiar face: Natasha Romanoff.  The Black Widow.  No, she's not thinking about joining this hate group.  She's thinking about stopping them.

Hank Pym has wasted no time assembling his lab.  The problem is that Jan isn't doing a great job at assisting him.  She's always right in the way when he's swinging an elbow around.  No, Mr. Pym needs an assistant who knows their way around the lab.  Jan feels rejected because, well, that's kind of what just happened.  She storms off.

Meanwhile, the Black Widow is in her crime-fighting gear, swinging across the city.  Her destination is Avengers Mansion.  It appears that she isn't attacked by Mansion defenses.  In fact, we might as well assume that those systems are off for the rest of this story because everyone is breaking into the Mansion after this.  Natasha swings right over to Clint's room and tries to convince the Avenger that she's a good girl now.  Since the Black Widow was the big reason for Hawkeye committing treason, he finds it hard to believe that the Soviet spy has turned over a new leaf.  Still, she's the hottest woman to ever pay him any attention and he REALLY wants to trust her.

So they probably do it.  We don't watch because this is a Comics Code Authority approved story.  Instead, the comic moves back to Hank Pym.  Goliath has pretty much failed at finding a bio-chemist who he feels comfortable working with.  As a last resort, he calls up Tony Stark and admits he needs the more popular and successful Avenger's help.  Tony knows just the guy to send over.

And that's how Hank Pym met Bill Foster.  The great thing about most Marvel comics is that they don't even talk about skin color.  Robbie Robertson is the editor of the Daily Bugle and his skin color doesn't come up.  Gabriel Jones was a member of the Howling Commandos and the printers "corrected" his skin color because it was literally a non-issue to the story.  The same happens here.  Hank answers the door and doesn't scream out anything like "OMG, you're BLACK!  How can a black man be a wiz at bio-chem?" and then have Bill Foster explain his whole back story to prove how smart he is.  Instead, Hank just invites Bill in and they get right to work.  Non-issue.

Bill Foster proves he knows his stuff not through telling us his back story but by proving himself capable.  He's so good at bio-chemistry that Hank doesn't even have to finish explaining his plans.  Bill just picks up on the scientific theories they're testing and away they go.  The two work very well together.  Sure, they aren't going to solve Hank's problem TODAY but with Bill there, it seems the problem will be resolved itself, given time.

Jan shows up after they've gotten some work done and basically reconciles with her boyfriend.  She sits on the other end of the lab, hoping that these two bio-chemists will be able to solve Hank's size changing problem.

There's more science going on across the ocean in Europe.  Wanda and Pietro Maximoff have been having some problems with their powers and after resting in Europe for a while, the siblings grow impatient and seek out a doctor to check them over.  The doctor knows exactly who he's dealing with and after examining them both, declares that their powers will be returning to full strength shortly.  It's enough to cause the mutant speedster to race around the room.

So it's nice to know that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch will be back eventually.  For now, we return to New York.  Bill Foster is returning to Hank Pym's lab where he finds out just how unwelcome he is in this neighborhood.  The Sons of the Serpent may be focusing on foreigners but that doesn't stop them from bullying Bill for being in the wrong place and the wrong time.  Foster fights the villains as best he can but there are more of them than he can handle.  After Bill is beaten unconscious, the Sons of the Serpent leave a serpent stick calling card to ward off any other unwelcomes and depart.

Hank Pym shows up too late to help his friend and can only watch as the bigots fly away in their airship.  Goliath helps Bill back on his feet and swears that he'll make the Sons of the Serpent pay.

Who could help the Avenger out with this?  The rest of the team.  There's a little argument over whether this is something the Avengers want to get involved in what with free speech and all but the Sons of the Serpent are more than speakers.  They are definitely the type that practices what they preach.  The Serpents are big bullies and need to be taken down.

To aid in that effort, Captain America heads on down to SHIELD headquarters.  I believe this is the first time that Steve uses the barber shop entrance to enter SHIELD HQ.  It certainly LOOKS like his first time.  Since he's dressed up as Steve Rogers, Nick Fury and his men demand to know how he got Cap's I.D. card.  Rogers shows them by tearing open his shirt, revealing the star emblem of Captain America.  Oh.  That's how.

When Fury finds out why Steve is here, he's more than happy to help.  SHIELD was going to focus on taking down the Sons of the Serpent but like all good comics, they got distracted by some other stuff.  Nick lets Cap check through the data they've compiled but there's not much to go on.  SHIELD doesn't know who the Supreme Serpent is or where the villains have their base.  Steve looks through the info and heads back to Avengers Mansion.

On the streets in front of the United Nations, protesters line up to decry General Chen.  This General has apparently been involved in either the Korean War or the Vietnam War... or both.  Either way, he's no friend of the United States and has sent his armies against the freedom loving country.  Chen is here to speak against the US to the United Nations.  His police escort doesn't like him, of course, but they do their best to defend the General.

When a bolt of energy drops out of the sky, destroying an empty taxi cab nearby, Chen uses it as an opportunity to voice his objections to the American system of not immediately incarcerating subversive elements within the country.  Clearly, this was the work of the Sons of the Serpent who are just allowed to do whatever they like.

While there is no proof connecting the Sons to this event, rumors quickly spread about them being responsible.  The Avengers hold a press conference saying that while the Sons of the Serpent may or may not be responsible, bigotry and racism isn't cool.

<--IMAGE-->

The press still reads this for what it really is.  The Avengers are calling the Sons of the Serpent out and most likely, the super-heroes are going to get bit.  In fact, the Supreme Serpent is more than happy to go to war with the Avengers.  He orders his men to kidnap any of the Avengers.

Captain America will do.  Steve is heading to the Avengers' air vehicle to patrol the skies when he's hit by a tractor beam that draws him straight up into the sky.  Hawkeye is nearby when it happens but is unable to prevent it.

At least Cap finds the Sons of the Serpent's headquarters within a cloud bank.  Steve does his best to escape, but the machines and the manpower of the Sons wear him out eventually.  Rogers still fights until he can't do any more.

Hawkeye has called in Goliath and the Wasp and informed them of what just went down.  When Hank and Jan arrive, Pym again swears that he'll fight these bigots with his last breath.  Still, there's no need going out and looking for the bad guys.  They send their own calling card: a serpent staff his the roof.

Inside the staff is a recorded message telling the team that if they want Captain America to live, they must halt their war against the hate group and even more, they've gotta join up.  The staff explodes like a good messenger.  This leaves the Avengers with two bad choices.

Goliath has already crafted a plan.  When the Attorney General's office calls them up and asks for assistance taking down the Sons of the Serpent through legal means, Hank gives Clint Barton his lines to feed the caller.  The Avengers don't think there's any reason to go after the Sons.  Heck, they bad guys might just be RIGHT.

The Attorney General finds this all disheartening and the news quickly hits the television that the Avengers aren't going after the Sons of the Serpent anymore.


The Avengers #33
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Don Heck

In this story:

• The Supreme Serpent gloats over his victory.  Mwahahaha!

• Two Serpents break into Avengers Mansion.  Hank prevents Hawkeye from shooting them.  The bad guys leave another staff with another message.

• General Chen meets with United Nations special committee and tells them his plans for speaking out against the United States.

• Bill Foster tells off the Avengers for giving up the fight against the Sons of the Serpent.

• Captain America is seduced by the Dark Side of the Force.

• Hank and Jan prepare to declare their loyalty to the Sons of the Serpent but stall for time...

• ...because Hawkeye is busy breaking into the bad guys' headquarters!

• When Hank gets up on stage and speaks, he speaks AGAINST the Sons of the Serpent, rallying some of the crowd against the hate group.

• Captain America shows up and rallies the weak willed crowd right back against Goliath.

• The Supreme Serpent, his lieutenant, and Captain America escape the town hall and return to their airship with Goliath and the Wasp right behind them.

• Aboard the ship, Hawkeye has distracted the Sons long enough for the Black Widow to free the REAL Steve Rogers (Natasha was apparently hidden aboard the Avenger's airship.

• The Supreme Serpent is captured and revealed to be... General Chen!

• So... does that mean we shouldn't trust foreigners?

The Sons of the Serpent have won!  Won!  Not only have they captured Captain America, they've forced the Avengers to stand down and eventually join them!  With the legitimacy that the Avengers will give them, the Sons' membership will soar!

The Supreme Serpent gloats in front of his star-spangled prisoner and then leaves Cap alone to attempt an escape.  Unfortunately, this is all planned.  When Steve pulls too hard on his shackles, they emit an electric charge, stunning the Avenger.

Back at Avengers Mansion, Hawkeye can't believe that the Avengers have just given up and that Goliath might actually making the Avengers join the Sons of the Serpent.  Remember when I told you that the Mansion's security must be off?  Here's more proof.  Two Sons of the Serpent have entered the Mansion without energy blasts subduing them.  Hawkeye is just about ready to do the work himself when Goliath holds Clint back.  These bad guys are here to see him and they'll leave peacefully.

Being the hothead that he is, Barton chews Pym out for all of this.  The two even come to blows before Hank explains that the two Serpents were loaded with explosives.  If they were attacked, the two would blow up.  Hank would probably have survived but Jan and Clint would have died.

An explosion lets the team know that the Serpents left a calling card before leaving.  It's another serpent staff.  It tells the Avengers about a meeting of the Sons of the Serpent that the super-hero team HAS to attend.  After giving them the address, the device explodes.

At the United Nations building, General Chen is meeting with members of a special committee.  He tells them that the decadent lifestyle of the United States is unsustainable and that the freedom they give their citizens causes groups like the Sons of the Serpent to form.  He'll be talking to the general assembly about all of this in even greater detail.

Remember Bill Foster?  Oh, yeah.  Bill's the reason that the Avengers even noticed the Sons of the Serpent.  He's also ticked that the team gave up the goat on the hate group without so much as a fight.  Bill chides them all on their lack of persistence and then storms out, disillusioned.  Hank doesn't explain his actual plan to Bill because it's better that the bio-chemist stays out of harm's way.  That's the last we see of Bill Foster for this story arc.  Good first appearance!

At the headquarters of the Sons of the Serpent, the Supreme Serpent is getting a nice surprise.  Captain America has accepted their philosophy.

<--IMAGE-->

So everything is prepared for the Avengers officially joining the Sons of the Serpent.  The hate group rents out an auditorium.  A huge crowd gathers.  These are all people that hate foreigners.  Some are just here to see WHY the Avengers would ever support a group like the Sons of the Serpent.  Still, we'll see that this group is EASILY swayed by a good speech or a dynamic speaker.

Goliath and the Wasp have arrived for the event but Hawkeye is absent.  Hank tells the Surpreme Serpent that the bowman will show up soon enough but he's already altered the terms of the deal by not arriving with the rest of the team.

The reason for Hawkeye's absence is made clear almost immediately.  Clint Barton is breaking into the Serpents' main headquarters in the clouds, using an Avengers sky vehicle.  Goliath figured it as the more likely base for the hate group and sent in Hawkeye when most of the bigwigs would be absent.  The archer breaks into the base only to find it still pretty well guarded.  It's a good thing no one has the sense to use a radio or the whole jig would be up by now.

In the auditorium, the Supreme Serpent is tired of waiting for Hawkeye and demands Goliath hit the stage and declare his loyalty to the Sons of the Serpent.  This isn't something Hank is willing to do but he's out of stalling time.  Goliath hits the stage.  Everything goes alright at first when he's just saying pleasantries.  Some of those in the crowd, thinking that Hank is really going to join this group, are all ready to sign up themselves.

When Hank actually starts telling it like it is, decrying the Sons of the Serpent for the hate group that they are, the crowd is confused.  Um... are we supposed to hate people or not?  Some are happy to see the Avengers' true colors shine through.  The Sons of the Serpent try to get Goliath off the stage, violently.  Others are disappointed that they won't be able to bully minority groups.

To add to the confusion, Captain America shows up in the audience and declares Goliath a traitor.  There are enough small minds out there that only see the red, white, and blue costume and decide that's enough.  They obey Captain America's orders to attack Hank Pym.

Hank uses the stage curtain to great effect, forcing everyone away without causing permanent harm.  Jan swoops in to stun the Sons of the Serpent that are firing at her boyfriend.  The Supreme Serpent see that victory isn't going to happen here and makes his escape with his second-in-command and Captain America.  They aren't going to escape the Avengers that easily.  Goliath and the Wasp grab onto the bottom of the villains' floating platform and ride it back to Serpent headquarters.

The battle continues when they arrive.  As Goliath deals with the underlings, Jan flies right in to face the Supreme Serpeant.  Unfortunately, she's out of stingers!  Wasp flies off to reload.  When she returns, the big bad has already made his escape from this camber and sealed the exit.

So what happened to Hawkeye?  That requires a bit of backing up.  It turns out Clint Barton didn't fly into the Sons of the Serpent's main headquarters without back-up.  The Black Widow was hidden in his airship.  When he started fighting the guards, Natasha snuck out and used the distraction to rescue the real Captain America.  Yep, the guy fighting for the Serpents isn't a brainwashed Steve Rogers.  It's just a fake.  It turns out they couldn't get the real deal to believe their message.

Steve leaps into the fight to take on his duplicate.  The fight isn't as interesting as you'd think because the fake doesn't know how to fight as Cap.

Hawkeye closes in on the villainous leader.  He gets taken captive pretty quickly just so we get another hostage situation.  Black Widow and the Wasp end up disarming the Supreme Serpent and taking him out of the action.

The Sons of the Serpent airship slowly descends out of the cloud cover and into New York City.  When the Avengers exit the craft, they've unmasked the Supreme Serpent, revealing him to be...

General Chen!

Man, you just can't trust those foreigners...

The Avengers talk about how freedom to say your piece might have its disadvantages but it's also a national strength.

Hey!  We've already reached the ever lovin' end!  Who was this one about again?

Oh, Bill Foster.  Well, let me tell you a little about the guy.  He and Hank Pym stuck at it and finally cured Goliath of his ten foot height problem.  Bill went back to working for Stark Industries but kept on working on improving Pym's growth formula.  Eventually, he took the formula himself and put on a costume (with the name Black Goliath) but only to use as a way to bring him and his ex-wife back together.  It might have been an inauspicious beginning, but he eventually went into super-heroing for the right reasons.  Foster was never an A-list super-hero but he stuck around in the background, making notable appearances in other people's books.  I think my first encounter with Black Goliath was Marvel Two-in-One #24 (1977-- but I read it YEARS after that).  He made an impression.

Bill Foster eventually realized how racist calling himself "Black Goliath" was and settled into just calling himself "Goliath."  This happened just in time for the Super-Human Civil War to break out.  Goliath found himself on the side of Captain America and on the opposite side of his good friend Hank Pym (who was actually a Skrull).  In a battle involving the cloned cyborg Thor (Clor-- or Ragnarok), Goliath was killed by a bolt of lightning.  Tony Stark paid for the space to bury the still giant body.  This death caused people on both sides to reconsider their stance or at least how devoted they were to their causes.

And that is that!  I hope you enjoyed this exciting Super Reads article and we'll see you real soon.

Until then:  Excelsior!

Written or Contributed by: SuperginraiX
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About the Author - SuperginraiX


SuperginraiX is the biggest sap on The Outhousers' payroll (wait, we get paid?). He reads every issue of every crappy Marvel crossover so you don't have to. Whats worse is that he pays for his books, thus condoning Marvel's behavior. If The Outhouse cared for his well being at all, they'd try and get him into some sort of rehab center. But, alas, none of us even know how to say his name. For a good time, ask Super why Captian America jumped off the Helicarrier in Fear Itself. Super lives in the frozen wastland that is Minnesota with 15% of the state's population living under his roof: a wife he makes wear an Optimus Prime mask, two gremlins, and his mother-in-law.

 


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