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Super Reads Siege 17

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We are almost at the end of our Siege journey!

Today, we check out Siege: Secret Warriors #1, The New Avengers #64, Thunderbolts #143, The Mighty Avengers #36, Thor #609, Invincible Iron Man #25, and Blast to the Past for The Amazing Spider-Man #119. Enjoy and spread the word!

Spoilers Ahead!


Check it out! We're so close to the end of Siege it HURTS! Ow!

If this is your first time reading Super Reads, it's been around for a while, now! We've covered everything from Secret Invasion through Dark Reign as well as War of Kings. If you're interested in reading all that backstory (and who wouldn't be?), check in the "Features" link at the top of the page, look for the "Super Reads" button and click away for DAYS of reading enjoyment. If that's too many clicks for you, just hit HERE and get there in one shot.

One last Siege One-Shot. Here we go.

ssw1.jpgSiege: Secret Warriors #1
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Allesandro Vitti


In this issue Phobos deals with the death of his father, Ares, thinking back on his past with his father and finding out just what Ares would have him do. This requires access to the White House. Four hours before that, Nick Fury prank phone calls Norman Osborn while Captain America listens in. Back in the now, Alexander kills Secret Servicemen. Fury and Captain America chat on the battlefield of Asgard. President Obama escapes while Phobos keeps on killing. When all is said and done, the god of fear leaves the President a note saying to do better.

Alexander Aaron has just discovered that his father, Ares, has died in Asgard. The good news is that Ares turned on Norman Osborn after learning that he was being lied to by the Director. That means Ares died a hero and it's something Phobos can hold on to. The bad news is his dad is dead. No matter how you cut it, that hurts. Ares and Phobos might not have always agreed with each other but they definitely loved each other.

We cut back in time to when Ares and Phobos were living on the land after Ares' first mini-series. Alex asks his father if they'll always be together and Ares answers that they... kind of will. Phobos asks for an explanation for that and gets one. Sure, gods can die. The god of war has died before and he will again. It's different though because gods also return to life. Ares will come back to life. By that logic, so will Hercules but we probably already knew that.

The difficult bit of this for Alexander is that he will be responsible for asking the hard question. Despite the fact that Ares will eventually return to the land of the living, his death can just be let go. Alex will be left to ask why his father was killed.

And then he has to deal with the answer in a way befitting the god of war.

Alex walks into Nick Fury's private chamber, enters Fury's secret password into the computer and gets access to the White House. Phobos has already answered the query of why his father is dead. Now, he has to deal with that answer in a way that brings honor to his father.

And now we cut to four hours earlier for some reason. Captain America and his Avengers haven't left New York yet. They're still getting things prepped. While they do that, Nick has had Daisy patch in communications to Norman Osborn. Fury is about to reach out and touch someone. Steve Rogers asks what Nick is doing and Fury just hands him a second pair of glasses so the sentinel of liberty can listen in on this special prank call.

The war in Asgard is just starting and victory seems assured for the Dark Avengers and their allies. It's during this time that Iron Patriot gets Nick's call. Osborn answers without checking his caller ID so he has a very surprised look on his face when he realizes this message is coming from the former Director of SHIELD. Nick tells Norman that this is pretty much it. Asgard was stepping over one too many lines and now its all over. Norman's intelligence places Nick right in the middle of a war with Hydra so Osborn doesn't think that Fury will be coming to intervene. Be that as it may, Iron Patriot dares Nick Fury to come to Asgard and try taking him down.

So, that was a worthwhile phone call, right? Sure, why not. Nick hangs up. Cap says now they really have to go and take this all away from Osborn. You can't turn down a dare, after all.

Back in the present, Phobos has just broken into the White House using Nick Fury's secret entrances. He encounters two Secret Servicemen who think they just found a lost kid... even though that sword on Alex's back and the SHIELD-like uniform belies that theory to a certain degree. Alex asks to be led to the President for a talk but this isn't the best time. Norman Osborn has just committed treason and no-one knows what's going on. Seeing that he won't be going to President Obama peacefully, the god of fear decides to hack and slash his way in. These two poor Secret Service Agents will be the first to fall. They won't be the last.

At about the same time in Asgard, Cap and his Avengers have shown up and are in the middle of pushing back Osborn's troops. Nick Fury and Cap are nearly fighting side-by-side. While Steve works out some issues against the U-Foes, Nick takes his 15 minute break and gets a bit liquored up. Nick asks if Steve would like to attend a reunion of the surviving Howlin' Commandos. Cap is happy to be asked and accepts. The two finish up the U-Foes and move on to bigger and better targets.

In the White House, Phobos keeps on killing.
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The Secret Service has come to the conclusion that it just isn't possible to take Alex down. They'll have to move the President to a secure location.

The greatest comic character of 2009, President Barrack Obama, is in a room surrounded by the Secret Service and his top military men. This is a day where he should really be focusing on what his Director of Homeland Security is doing in Oklahoma but, instead, he has to deal with an angry god of fear. His Secret Service Agents are doing their job and laying their lives down for the President while this one kid slices them down like they aren't even trying.

The latest round of Secret Servicemen are more heavily armed but they still don't want to have to shoot a kid so they give Alexander a chance to surrender. Phobos grabs two guns from fallen Secret Service Agents and charges in. Bullets fly everywhere.

The Secret Warrior reaches the helicopter right after it has taken off. He points his gun up at the departing chopper and says "bang." Secret Service surrounds him. They ask him again to turn himself in. It's not going to happen. The battle restarts.

When all is said and done, Phobos is able to return to the Oval Office. All of the Secret Servicemen have been defeated. Most are probably dead or dying. Alex sits down at Obama's desk and writes the President a letter.

President Obama wasn't the guy that put Norman Osborn in charge. That was one of the last acts to happen under President Bush. What the current Pres did was keep this loose cannon in charge of Homeland Security. That has turned out to be a poor decision that has led to the death of the god of war. Phobos congratulates Barrack Obama for escaping him and tells him not to waste his good fortune on making similar mistakes in the future. Basically: Do Better.


na64.jpgThe New Avengers #64
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike McKone


Last issue, Cap and his team hit the streets of Asgard, fighting off against Dark Avengers and members of the Initiative. Luke was blasted by Iron Patriot and ended up smashing into a building, where he got a good look at an Asgardian family complete with kid. This led to a flashback where he talked to his wife about their future. The Syndicate showed up because that's what they do in every frickin' issue. Ronin and Mockingbird fought various bad guys, and flashbacked to a battle with Lady Octopus. The Sentry smashed through Asgard and maybe Mockingbird was killed. Maybe. Probably not.

In the last issue of New Avengers, Norman talks to the Hood about Parker's new powers and they set the Syndicate against the New Avengers. During the Siege of Asgard, Madame Masque nearly kills Steve Rogers before the city comes tumbling down. Clint Barton and Parker Robbins search for their significant others in the ruins. Both Whitney and Bobbi turn up alive. The Sentry attacks everyone. Loki steals the Hood's Norn Stones to charge up the heroes. Masque and the Hood make their escape. Parker whines about losing everything and gets smacked in the face by his girlfriend. The Avengers are coming for them but it looks like Madame Masque has a plan for that.


Dr. Doom attacked Avengers Tower during Siege: The Cabal. It is after the events of that issue that we joing Norman Osborn just as the Hood teleports in. They make small talk about Doom's attack and Norman asks to see Parker's new power source. Ozzy wants to see just what Loki offered the Hood. The leader of the Syndicate give the Director of HAMMER a look at the Norn Stones.

Osborn tries to lift them up but can't. Parker explains that the stones pick their master. It's a mystical bond between man and his precious rocks. What do the Norn Stones do? Anything the Hood wants them to do. Robbins doesn't seem to convinced that they'll stick around. He keeps saying that they've worked "so far" and that they've stayed with him "so far." It sounds like he's expecting them to leave him. He'd be right to.

Norman asks Parker if he's in on this invasion of Asgard. The Hood has several reasons to agree to this plan. The first is that his power was given to him by Loki so there is a debt to be paid. The second, and most important to Ozzy, is that Robbins sees how loyal Norman is. Just recently, the Hood's gang went through it's rebellious phase. Osborn could have taken complete advantage of the situation but Norman backed the Hood in the end. Loyalty is a good thing to have. It breeds more loyalty.

Now, the problem is the Syndicate. Sure, most of them will be for this siege thing but they're going to want something big in return. Oh, does Norman have the perfect prize. Osborn wants to replace the Avengers Initiative with the Thunderbolts Program and he wants Parker Robbins in charge. The Syndicate will be his generals. Corruption will quickly follow. With this comes special forces immunity. They all finally get those get-out-of-jail-free cards they've all wanted. Power? Immunity? Who wouldn't want that?

The answer is everyone. The Hood's Syndicate is hanging together by a thread and we're going to see how strong that thread is very soon. Parker makes his pitch and says this is it. If they want in, they're in. If they don't, they walk and there's no coming back.

The Mandrill opts out. Hood explains that "out" means all the way out. He takes away Mandrill's extra power charge and announces that the money flow ends with it. The Hood and Madame Masque point their guns and tell Mandrill to leave. The primate villain acts like he's coming down from a bad trip and begs to have his powers upgraded again. Looks like he's in. Hood charges him back up.

Now, they just have to wait for their part in the master plan.

That happened over in Siege #3 when they were called in as back-up by the Iron Patriot. The Syndicate teleports in and starts taking care of business. Hood shoots Nick Fury and prevents the super-spy from taking down Norman Osborn. Madame Masque heads for higher ground and waits for Steve Rogers to line up in her sights.

Right before she can fire and possibly kill Captain America, Sentry smashes all the way through the city. Asgard falls.

Last issue, the fall of Asgard caused Clint Barton to be separated from his ex-wife, Bobbi Barton. This issue, the Hood finds himself in a similar position. He can't find Madame Masque. Both men search the wreckage and rubble. Clint is the first to find the hand hanging limply from a pile of fallen rocks.

Out from under the rocks bursts Mockingbird. Whitney Frost shows up from above. Looks like both sets of lovers lived through this part of the fight. Clint asks if Bobbi is ok and gets the answer you're supposed to get when you ask that question: she's pretty far from ok. Whitney asks Parker what happened but the Hood doesn't really know. He just knows something bad just went down. While Ronin and Mockingbird start looking for survivors, the Hood and Madame Masque try to make a quick getaway.

They all meet at an intersection of destruction but neither couple pays much attention to the other. They're all to busy watching as the Void attacks anyone close to him, hero and villain alike.

From this point on, there are spoilers from Siege #4 which hasn't been released at the time of the release of this issue. I know you should expect spoilers already since I have the big tag at the top of the page, but this is your final warning. If you haven't read Siege #4 yet and want to experience the awesome of that book before reading spoilers for other books, turn away now. For the rest, keep on reading.

Before Parker and Whitney can escape, the Hood finds that his power source has just left him. The Norn Stones have found a new master. That master is Loki.

We all might wonder what Loki's motivations are at this point. If you've read Siege: Loki #1, you get the impression that this is all part of his carefully laid mission of mayhem. If you read Siege #4, you get a different impression all together. This is a Loki filled with something like regret, like maybe he pushed this too far. He uses the Norn Stones in a way similar to the way Parker was using them. He boosts up the power of some super-humans. It's just that Loki charges up the heroes instead of the villains.
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That leaves all of the Syndicate back at their normal power levels. They aren't happy about it. Before the Griffin and one of the Blood Brothers can break into full complaint mode about their present condition, Madame Masque shoots them both. She and Parker still have to get the hell out of here.

Right outside of Asgard, they kill two soldiers and steal their humvee. They. Are. Out. Of. Here.

The fallout of Siege is in full effect. That image of Norman Osborn wearing Green Goblin facepaint under his Iron Patriot mask circulates all over the news. The President has chosen a side and it's Captain America's. Parker and Whitney spend the post-battle hiding out in a very nice room. If this is a hotel room, it's nicer than the ones I've crashed at. Well, either way, Madame Masque believes they should be trying to get out of the country ASAP. The Hood doesn't think it'll matter. They'll catch him. With his Syndicate captured, he knows they'll rat him out. Someone will point the finger in his direction. Captain America will get him. It's all over.

Madame Masque swats him across the face. Is Parker going to just give up or is he going to fight this? Yes, the good Avengers will track them down. Yes, Parker has no powers anymore. That's why they have to be prepared. They have to hit the Avengers with something they'd never expect.

We get a closeup of Whitney's mask. She's got a plan. It'll be revealed in New Avengers: Finale very soon.


tb143.jpgThunderbolts #143
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Miguel Sepulveda


In the last issue, the Mighty Avengers continued their attack on the T-Bolts. Paladin hurled the Spear of Destiny through Vision's intangible form and destroyed an Asgardian tower in the process. The fight continued as both teams tried to recover the Spear. USAgent realized that Norman has populated his teams with psychopaths and withdrew his support. Paladin and Ant-Man decided that Norman shouldn't get his hands on the Spear of Odin but the Avengers didn't know that and hyjinks ensued. Asgard fell. Scourge got a hold of the Spear and cut off USAgent's left arm and leg.

In this issue, Scourge gets the Spear of Odin and contacts Norman Osborn. Paladin shoots Scourge in the face. Ghost helps Amadeus Cho contact Quicksilver. Ant-Man helps Paladin escape from Grizzly. Mister X gets his hands on the Spear. After trouncing several Avengers, X is taken out by Pietro. The Mighty Avengers rally and take out the remaining bad-guy Thunderbolts, but Paladin and Ant-Man escape. As the Mighty Avengers charge into the final battle against the Sentry, Paladin decides to keep the Spear so that no-one super bad can use it. Ant-Man heads down to Louisiana to give Cody Twain his brother's Headsman gear. Off the shore from the Raft, Luke Cage talks to his wife about his new job as head of the Thunderbolts Program.


The Iron Patriot is just about to lose his armor courtesy of Tony Stark. Before it starts scattering into bits and pieces around him, Ozzy gets one call out to the Thunderbolts to see what their status is on getting him the Spear of Odin. Looks like Norman needs a super weapon to get back in the game. Scourge recieves the call and answers that the Spear is in his hands and it'll soon be delivered right to Norman Osborn's position.

Scourge orders his men to distract the Mighty Avengers while he makes his way to the big battle. Paladin decides on a different strategy. He shoots his stun gun right in Scourge's face.

The Thunderbolt known as the Ghost is in Asgard but he isn't following Osborn's orders. In fact, Ghost is working against them. The Mighty Avengers were summoned to this fight by the intangible one. While this is a power Ghost shares with the Vision, it looks like the villain has a better handle on the ability. He is holding Vish at bay by phasing through the Avenger. Ghost tells Amadeus Cho that it was him who brought this mission to the Avengers' attention and demands to know where Hercules and Quicksilver are. Amadeus doesn't tell Ghost about Herc's death but he lets the Thunderbolt know that the Prince of Power won't be making it this battle. Quicksilver couldn't be reached, possibly because the mutant speedster is on the other side of the world.

Easily fixed. Ghost gives Cho's Gameboy a super-charge and its signal is now able to reach Transia. This is where Quicksilver is hanging out and watching gypsy kids play for some reason. Pietro gets a call from Cho and races to Oklahoma to answer the cry.

Paladin has been shooting Scourge in the head this entire time. This is therapy for the mercenary. You see, Paladin might like to get paid for his work but he doesn't like working for the bad guys. This is a gun for hire with a heart of gold. Norman's pushed him too far. Scourge eventually drops the Spear of Odin and falls out of reach but Paladin's also ran out of power for his stun gun. It leaves him defenseless for Grizzly's attack.

Not all of the Thunderbolts have suddenly become good guys. Grizzly is one of them. He's chosen his side and is disgusted to Paladin waffling on a commitment. The strongman grabs the Spear of Odin and starts choking Paladin with it.

Ant-Man jumps in and insists on Paladin's immediate release. Since O'Grady hasn't shown much courage in the past (at all), it's not much of a threat. Grizzly tells Ant-Man to shrink away and hide like he usually does. O'Grady takes him up on that. Shrinking to ant size, Ant-Man flies right into Grizzly's ear and kicks in the villain's eardrum.

All this is why the Spear of Odin ends up in Mister X's hands.
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This is the last time we'll ever get to watch the arrogant bastard that is Mister X get his arrogant butt kicked. It's also the last time we'll get to watch him act all superior before losing everything. Vision attacks the combat master but the synthezoid's mind is too similar to a human's. Mister X reads Vision's thoughts and counters. The blow from the Spear of Odin knocks back all of the remaining Avengers.

Fortunately, Quicksilver arrives to save the day. This is pretty much the perfect fight. Two self-obsessed mutants in a fight over the Spear of Odin. While Mister X can read Pietro's mind, he doesn't have the speed to stop the Avenger. Quicksilver just pours it on, breaking bones and striking faces with his iron pipe. Maybe we'll be able to see Mister X get owned in the future. Somewhere. For now, though, this is the last beatdown of everyone's least favorite T-Bolt.

There's not much left to do but mop up. Stature, Vision, and Quicksilver move in to take down Grizzly and the Ghost. Yes. The Ghost. Amadeus tells Vish too late that Ghost was helping them but Vision isn't too bothered. Ghost might not have been on Osborn's side but he wasn't on theirs either. In the recent past, Ghost made a play on Tony Stark's life so the conflicting villain goes down with the team he betrayed.

The Mighty Avengers still haven't recovered the Spear of Odin. They think that Scourge might have it, though they also know that Paladin was attacking the man. No-one thinks one of the Thunderbolts could actually be a good guy at this point but they think the best plan is to get USAgent some medical attention and then re-enter the battle, keeping an eye out for Scourge just to make sure Osborn doesn't get the Spear from one of his subordinates.

As the Avengers dash into the final battle, Ant-Man and Paladin appear from behind some rubble. O'Grady wonders if giving these good guys the Spear would have been a smart play but Paladin doesn't think it would have. After all, Osborn might still come back from this and then they'd have to face the former Green Goblin's wrath. Paladin thinks the best idea is to take the Spear and run. Then keep running. Maybe run some more. Anything to keep it out of the hands of men like Mandarin. Ant-Man thinks that's awful heroic for a man like Paladin.

That's not info that Paladin would like public. People don't pay if they think you'd do it for free.

Before the two part, Ant-Man asks Paladin what his real name is. The merc turns around and says that he knew that the whole time. It's "Paladin."

Now it's just Dark Reign/Siege aftermath. The events of Siege #4 go down. Maybe we'll even see the Mighty Avengers in those pages. I wouldn't hold my breath. Stature and Vision will likely show but that's about it. The bad guy T-Bolts are captured. Paladin finds himself on the run with one of the more powerful weapons in the universe.

And Ant-Man? O'Grady ends up in Loiusiana at the home of Cody Twain. That would be the brother of Cleavon Twain, the late Headsman. Eric decides it's time to tell Cleavon's brother what the Headsman was up to. Cody is impressed. Ant-Man gives Twain the gear from Headsman with directions to use them in honor of his brother. The legacy of the Headsman may rise again.

Ant-Man leaves with a dream to be a better hero. Possibly an ACTUAL hero.

Now that Norman Osborn's dream of the Thunderbolts is done, it's time to build a new team. What better place to start that the super-human maximum storage facility, the Raft. The new legacy will be built right here. And the man heading the whole gig? Luke Cage.

Cage is talking to his wife from an aircraft carrier some distance away from the prison. Cage doesn't want his wife or daughter showing up at the Raft, after all. Jessica asks her husband if leading the T-Bolts is really what the former Power Man wants to do. Cage answers that anything that gets super-powered criminals to change their ways is a good thing.


ma36.jpgThe Mighty Avengers #36
Writer: Dan Slott
Penciler: Khoi Pham


Last issue, not much actual Siegin' occurred. Ace and Black Jacquie showed up to fire the Mighty Avengers and found only Jarvis, Hank Pym, and Jocasta in residence. Hank gave Jocasta flesh limbs. Ultron got a body. Hank caught up on current events and turned down Steve's offer to join the Siege. Jarvis headed off to hand over a suitcase to a man in red, white, and blue. Ultron took over the Infinite Mansion. Amadeus Cho gathered Mighty Avengers to fight the Thunderbolts. Hank escaped Ultron using ants. Wasp disconnected the Mansion from the real world and we learned that the Infinite Mansion was located around Janet Van Dyne's body.

In the final issue of Mighty Avengers, Jocasta deals with the fact that they've been living on Jan's body. Ultron and his many brides break through the door and get ready to attack. We play scenes from Thunderbolts. Ultron takes over Janet's mind. Pym picks a fight with his robot kid. Jocasta regains control of the Infinite Mansion and her extra bodies go dead. Hank Pym marries Ultron and Jocasta. Wasp fakes Ultron out with a fake Avengers Assemble. Ultron and Jo head through a doorway to a desolate section of space. Jarvis returns. So does Jocasta, using one of her other bodies. Hank joins his former team of Avengers for the end of Siege.


The Infinite Mansion is built on the body of Janet Van Dyne. At the end of Secret Invasion, Jan was growing larger and larger to a critical state where she would have killed everyone. To stop this, Thor sent her to another dimension which happens to be Underspace. Hank Pym found his ex-wife and built the Infinite Mansion around her body. It acts as a barrier to keep Janet from reaching critical mass and also reinforces her brainwave patterns. Since those patterns are the same ones floating around in Jocasta's mind, you can see why Jo was essential to this plan..

You can also understand why she would be pissed off. All of this is information Hank failed to share with his robot girlfriend. When you learn that this entire project was to save the life of your lover's ex-wife who is also sort of YOU... well, you might reach out and slap Hank Pym for that. Fortunately, Hank saw fit to replace her cybernetic arms with fleshy approximations, or the wondrous Wasp may have just lost his head..

Hank swears that what's going on is "not what [she] thinks it is" but we have to wonder what it is then. Does he just mean that he's saving his ex just to save her instead of the possibility of romance, or is this a deeper meaning kind of thing? We won't have time for Mr. Pym to explain himself further. Ultron and his Brides have just broken through the door to his lab. The fight is inevitable..

Let's cut to the rest of the Mighty Avengers. We just read Thunderbolts so we know what they've been up to. We get some images of Stature fighting Ant-Man, Scourge slicing off USAgent's left limbs, Ghost's exchange with Amadeus Cho, and Quicksilver's response to Amadeus' call for help.

Running on top of the Infinite Mansion, Hank Pym and his companions don't seem to be waiting around for Ultron to attack them. Instead, Hank has a plan to call in some reinforcements using something he's named a Pym-Wave Generator. Jocasta should be able to reactivate the doors to the Mansion using the Dimensional Inducer that Hank placed inside her (for safe keeping) last issue..

It sounds like a good plan, even though most of Hank's allies are caught up in the Siege at the moment. Also: Ultron and Brides burst through the roof to surprise these humans. Ultron has some gloating to do. He's overwritten Janet Van Dyne's memories and made her loyal to him.

Ultron now has everything except the Dimensional Inducer. Hank means to keep that from his robot son even if that means killing Jocasta to do it. Ultron laughs and tells Wasp that he might have already sent some of his many Jocasta Brides out through the doors before Hank had them shut down. Hank calls BS on that theory.

Ultron didn't dismiss any of his brides because Ultron is scared of Hank Pym. However illogical that may seem, it's totally true. You can tell by the way Ultron stuttered out his rebuttal. Ultron is afraid of his daddy. This fight is about to get personal. Hank starts growing to super-size and snatches up the cybernetic villain on his way. Pym uses his toolbot gun to shoot Ultron repeatedly.

This freaks out Ultron and he orders all of his Brides to attack Wasp. That leaves the others free to move. Hank keeps Ultron and his army of Brides busy while the others start up the plan.
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Jocasta, Ace, and Blackjack head back inside the Infinite Mansion. Their mission is to activate the Mansion Kill-Switch. This sounds pretty final but Jocasta assures us and her travelling buddies that she might be going through some issues with Hank but she still wouldn't deprive the earth of its... Scientist Supreme. Oh, they're going to keep that, aren't they? While Jo does her thing, Ace picks up a discarded Ant-Man helmet for another part of the upcoming plan..

Outside, Hank does a great job keeping Ultron distracted. The villain claims Hank's size makes him an easy target but Ultron is only able to shoot Wasp in the goggles. Pym shrinks back down to ant size when he knows the plan has been completed and wings his way back to the Mansion.

Ultron shoots wildly at the departing hero. Hank is smug enough that he explains exactly what he was doing. His toolbot gun's shots were preventing Ultron's transmission frequencies while Jocasta performed the reboot of the Infinite Mansion (the Mansion's "Kill-Switch"). Now, Ultron's Brides are back to being inanimate when Jo isn't inside. Ultron is left all alone against Hank, Jocasta, Blackjack, and Ace. Since it usually takes scores of Avengers to defeat the robot, this could still be trouble.

Janet Van Dyne's memory has been rebooted as well. Jocasta is in the driver's seat. She invites Ultron back into the Mansion for a special, one time only offer.

Ultron returns inside. Jocasta bodies are scattered everywhere. Hank and Jo are waiting for him but only Jocasta knows what's going to happen next. It seems that this time Pym is left out of the loop.

So what's the magical proposal? If Ultron stops attacking, Jocasta will agree to be his wife. Hank isn't happy about it but Jo explains that this is a matter of state. Jocasta is Avengers royalty and will sacrifice her life for the protection of the Avengers. She also calls Hank stupid, because it's always a good time. Ultron agrees.

Hank might be against this but he seems to have the ceremony all worked out in his head. Since he's the creator of robot life (or something-- it depends who you ask), Wasp performs the ceremony. Jocasta and Ultron share their programming code and stuff which means the Ultron knows that Jocasta no longer has the Dimension Inducer. It's been put back in it's proper place.

That means the doors are active again. Ultron muses about reneging on his part of the bargain, killing Hank and his human friends, and using these doors to conquer the world.

Then other worlds.

Now for the other part of the plan. Remember when Hank described a plan to contact their allies through something called the Pym-Wave Generator? They apparently did that. Ultron doubts this and calls it completely impossible. Hank smiles and says he's the Scientist Supreme. He does impossible as much as possible.

With the words, Avengers Assemble, doors start opening and Avengers start filing in. There are some non-current uniforms in the bunch and I think those are Sentry's feet on the top of the panel. It's still enough to rattle Ultron.

Pym demands that Ultron exit through a special door that will take the villain to a place where he won't be able to threaten anyone. This wasn't part of the original bargain but Pym has a roomful of Avengers to back him up. Ultron heads through the door. Jocasta follows.

Pym protests but Jocasta claims this was part of the deal. He shouldn't fret. She'll be around.

When the two are gone, Hank tells Ace to deactivate the image inducers. The Avengers weren't real. They were ants. This trick probably shouldn't have worked twice on Ultron. Maybe our big bad robot wasn't paying enough attention. Maybe it didn't get tricked. This could just be the set up for another attack.

Just then, a door opens and everyone freaks. It turns out to be Jarvis, returning from Siege #2. All he wanted to do was drop off Tony's Iron Man briefcase and return but he found himself locked out.

Jarvis isn't the only one returning. Jocasta snaps into another body and explains that she can multitask between her time with Ultron and her time here. She probably can't be used to maintain Janet Van Dyne, though. That would stretch her too thin. Hank tries apologizing for not explaining this out in the beginning but Jo tells him that the best way to make it up to her is to start acting like an Avenger.

Which means someones got to get himself to Asgard.

In Asgard, Loki is losing his life to the Sentry. Yeah! I know! Spoilers upon spoilers! You just wish they could have released Siege #4 before this week of books came out.

The Mighty Avengers look on with astonishment. They also notice that Hank Pym was sort of right. Loki just did the right thing or something... after doing a lot of the wrong things. The moment Loki bought them could turn this all around.

Wasp shows up. It's time for the Mighty Avengers to enter the battle for one last time. Hank tells them that as Avengers they handle anything. The team charges into battle alongside Iron Man and Spider-Man with Hank shouting "Avengers Assemble!".

Sure, this wasn't my favorite Avengers title but it sure was a different run. You can check up on Quicksilver and Hank over in Avengers Academy. Stature and Vision will most likely show up in Avengers: Children's Crusade. Amadeus Cho? Look no further than the Prince of Power mini-series. USAgent, I believe, shows up in Thunderbolts. So if you love these characters, now you know where to catch them.


t609.jpgThor #609
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artists: Billy Tan & Rich Elson


In the last issue, the Siege of Asgard continued. Heimdall saw that the Hood wielded the Norn Stones and knew that it was all Loki's fault. He and Balder went to search for the god of mischief, leaving Tyr in charge. Tyr remembered the prophesy saying the god of war would die in this battle and chickened out, retreating to check on the infirmary. Ragnarok fought Volstagg in Broxton. Kelda informed Bill's parents of his death, then left to face some HAMMER troops. Tyr realized that the god of war that died during the Siege was Ares and sees that he been acting the coward. He raced back to the frontlines. Balder and Heimdall had trouble finding Loki. Volstagg had left Broxton to fight Ragnarok at the base of Asgard. Tyr was shot by the Hood and his Norn Stones. As Asgard fell, Ragnarok got caught beneath the city.

In this Siege finalé, Kelda gets shot by Agents of HAMMER. Volstagg survives the destruction of Asgard and runs back to Broxton for fun and excitement. Thunderball is knocked out by Tyr. Loki explains stuff to King Balder. Bill Jr's dad protects Kelda while his mom gives her a motivating speech on love. Kelda fights back. Volstagg mops up, bringing the defeated HAMMER Agents to the local authorities. Loki continues to explain his part in the Seige. Balder lights up the sky to gather the forces of Asgard and returns a magic bullet back where it came from. Loki is exiled as the Asgardians return to the fight.


Kelda was in Broxton to bring news of the death of her lover, Bill Jr., to his parents. They were overcome by emotions and asked her to leave. Then HAMMER Agents showed up and made things all the more complicated. Kelda is ready to turn herself in to the HAMMER Agents without a fight, until she feels the city of Asgard fall. She immediately understands that these men and their leaders are in some way responsible and lets them know how angry this makes her.

HAMMER Agents, being Agents of Norman Osborn, don't waste any time firing a few good rounds into the Asgardian. As Kelda drops to the ground, one Agent expresses his surprise that Asgard has actually fallen. He never expected that this fight might actually be a win. One of the others had less doubt. They just took down an Asgardian right here. The other HAMMER troops are doing the same in the godly city.

Last issue, we left Asgard toppling down on top of Ragnarok, the clone of Thor, while his opponent, Volstagg, watched. Turns out V didn't get to a safe distance. When Asgard fell to earth, it spread debris everywhere. Since Volstagg was right at the base of the eternal city, he finds himself completely buried in rock, sand, and assorted bits of the city. The Asgardian digs himself out and finds that he's pretty much intact. That's good because he still has work to do.

Let's move into the city itself for more action. Remember Thunderball's appearance in Siege: Young Avengers? You know, where he tried to prevent his fellow Wrecking Crew members from looting the city because he respected it too much? Yeah, this version of Thunderball comes at it from the opposite direction. This guy has nothing but contempt for the Asgardians and isn't even sure they exist. That his powers come from Asgard and he's currently super-powered thanks to another Asgardian artifact doesn't effect that belief. This version of Thunderball seems a lot more like the one that appeared in the Lionheart of Avalon story and THAT character turned out to be another guy in disguise (Mordred, if I'm remembering correctly).

It doesn't really matter. This is all set up to show us that Tyr, the god of battles, is alive and doing fine. The Asgardian shows up, drives a spear through the links in Thunderball's wrecking ball chain, and causes the ball itself to smash right into the villain. Tyr is back, baby. If you want more on what happened after the Hood shot him, check out New Mutants #11 (walked through in Super Reads 13). In that issue, Tyr's spirit has left his body but isn't dead yet, just close to it. After a motivating speech from Danielle Moonstar, Tyr decides he's needed and returns to his body.

The other living Asgardians in the area are surprised to see the god of battles still in the land of the living but Tyr explains the battle still rages and that's enough to keep him going. The problem is the Asgardians are too spread out in this conflict. They need to fight as one force and for that they need their king.

That would be Balder, son of Odin, brother of Thor, step-brother of Loki. Balder and Heindall have been searching for Loki to find what hand the god of mischief had to play in this conflict. They hadn't any luck finding Loki before Asgard fell apart.
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It seems that Asgard falling to pieces has finally drawn Loki out of hiding. If you need to know where he's been, he was hanging out in the clouds above the city, making deals with Mephisto and Hela while watching the trouble he caused go down below. Loki took a green portal through to the city and declares that they've all been deceived. Balder knows that and blames Loki, punching the god of lies in the head.

Loki isn't discouraged. His mission is now mayhem and every word from his lips spreads it further. Even when he tells bits of the truth. Loki explains that Thor had slain Bor, his long missing grandfather; but that Bor had been the victim of magical suggestion and was a threat at the time. Balder knows exactly who set Bor against the god of thunder and wonders why Loki would offer up more evidence to his bad reputation. Loki's explanation is that Balder clearly wanted the power given him. If he hadn't, he was king and could have pardoned Thor at any time. That would have meant Thor returning to the throne, though, so Balder must have wanted to sit there. To avoid a power struggle, noble Loki kept his mouth shut.

He reveals this information now because Asgard has already fallen and it's all Balder's fault. It's time to pardon Thor and return him to the throne. If Balder keeps it, then he's guilty of knowing the truth and doing nothing about it.

Back in Broxton, Bill Jr.'s parents might not like what happened to their son but they're not about to watch his Asgardian girlfriend get shot in front of their house. As the father stands in the way of the HAMMER Agents, the mother kneels over Kelda and tells her to get out of here before she's killed. Kelda thinks that maybe she should just die and get it over with. She's still overcome with grief at the death of Bill Jr. and just wants all the pain and guilt to end. After all, if she hadn't loved him, he never would have died. Bill's mom tells Kelda that loving someone isn't a crime. It's not her fault. What these HAMMER Agents are doing? Now THAT is criminal.

Kelda decides that running away isn't the answer. She uses her powers to heal her wounds. The HAMMER Agents have had enough of a distraction from Bill Sr. and push the man out of the way so that they can fire at the Asgardian again. Kelda fires first, using her icy lightning in a wide attack against her opponents.

Some of the HAMMER Agents escape her attack and make a run for it. These guys wind up facing Volstagg. The first one takes a fist to the face and drops. The second one thinks about it for a moment before laying down his weapon and surrendering. V brings his prisoners to the local police, intent on handing them over as well as himself. The cops take the HAMMER Agents but don't think the time is right for Volstagg to surrender. Not yet. First, the giant needs to take down more of the real bad guys. Volstagg sees the sense in this and returns to the fight, determined to see justice done.

In Asgard, the talk with Loki isn't over with. It's time for Heimdall have his say. Loki might twist the truth into something unrecognizable but Heimdall always sees clearly. After all, Loki trapped Heimdall far below the city so that Osborn and his people would be able to attack Asgard without a warning rising through the city. Oh, that's true, of course— but the kicker is that the Sentry attacked Heimdall's watchtower first thing. If Loki were truly in league with Norman Osborn, why wouldn't his moves be in concert with the Director of HAMMER? Why would Sentry have needed to attack the Watchtower? No, Loki's actions saved Heimdall's life.

Balder wonders why Loki would cause all this trouble. Loki's answer is simple: he's the GOD OF MISCHIEF. He can't escape it any more that Tyr can escape being the god of battles or Heimdall can escape being Asgard's sentinel. These roles are buried within them and are impossible to separate. Loki caused mischief because that was his way but he never expected this. Now, Siege: Loki contradicts the last part. In fact, in that book, it seems that this is exactly what Loki wanted. What part of god of lies are you missing? You probably aren't supposed to get a straight answer from Loki. Ever.

Tyr and a company of Asgardians find Balder and tell the king that the battle is lost unless they can gather their warriors together. That's something Balder can do. He climbs to the top of an overturned building and begins glowing brightly. This definitely gets the attention of the Asgardians but it also attracts some bad guys. The Hood sees Balder lighting up the sky and can't help shooting a magic bullet at the clear target.

King Balder seems to dance with the bullet. He catches it with his sword, spins it around, and returns it to sender. The Hood and his Syndicate are sent scurrying for cover. Balder uses the time to send a challenge down to the Hood all about his stolen Asgardian powers. Attacking Asgard was a bad move.

As the Asgardians begin to gather, Loki tries his best to salvage his position as royal advisor. It's too late for that. Balder grabs the god of mischief by the neck and tosses him aside. Loki is officially banished. If an Asgardian comes upon him in the world, they are to kill him on sight.

Balder addresses his soldiers. The Asgardians are warriors. It's time to show their attacker what that means.

Loki raises his head from the ground. Ah, banishment. It seems all of Asgard's favored sons are getting kicked out of the city these days. That's fine. He'll still save them all.


iim25.jpgThe Invincible Iron Man #25
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Salvador Larroca


In this issue, Justine and Sasha Hammer show off their new armored soldier, Detroit Steel, and get a negative response from the US Military. Tony Stark learns about what happened to his company. Jim Rhodes and Maria Hill discuss their futures. Stark starts up a new company and hires Pepper Potts on as his CEO. General Babbage chews the Hammer Girls out for wasting his time. All of this is going exactly according to plan. Tony talks to Reed Richards and discusses plans for his new armored suit. Stark tells the military that he's not making weapons anymore. Justine Hammer buys up all of HAMMER's equipment. Thor offers Stark a fortune and is turned down. Tony explains his company's new strategy and probably pisses off a roomful of some of the world's most powerful people. Pepper leaves Stark to find his own ride home and Tony forms his Iron Man suit around him to take to the skies. In Pakistan, Justine Hammer gets a call from General Babbage while she's trading weapons with the enemies of the United States.

Alright! We're beginning the Heroic Age just a little early! Look at that banner! Isn't it... well, it's actually pretty bad but what are you gonna do?

Just like every other book out this week, there are major spoilers for the end of Siege. Nothing you couldn't see coming a mile away but they're still spoilers even when they're obvious.

We begin this issue with a demo reel of the latest in asymetrical war making. If you don't like the word "asymetrical," you'll be annoyed by this part of the book because they use it a LOT. All they're trying to get at is that the terrorists of the world don't have to spend a lot of money to take a huge chunk out of the profits of the businesses and governments of an industialized nation. It's a lesson we all learned the hard way on September 11, 2001. That attack and loss of life cost us more than ever went into it. So how do you defend against something like that? How do you stop the terrorists from striking random targets for high yield damage?

The answer is Detroit Steel. This garishly painted red, white, and blue monstrosity is the latest mech weapon to be offered up to the United States government and businesses. It's made in the USA. It's cutting edge (or bleeding edge since cutting edge just isn't sharp enough anymore). Detroit Steel is the answer to all your concerns and it's only available through Hammer Industries.

Hammer Industries has an old pedigree in the Marvel Universe. Justin Hammer was an old business rival of Tony Stark. He also employed a large number of super-villains to do his dirty work. There was a lot of dirty work to be done. After a long and fruitful career of being an evil businessman, Justin Hammer was frozen in a block of ice and lost in space. You have to love comic books. Justin was survived by his daughter, Justine Hammer, and his granddaughter, Sasha Hammer. They both make their appearance here as the new heads of HI but this is far from their first appearance.

You probably know Justine better as the Crimson Cowl. She is a former leader of the Masters of Evil and had hooked up with the Hood's Syndicate during the Dark Reign. It looks like she got out before the end of that criminal organization and landed on her feet just fine.

Her daughter, Sasha, has had less appearances but if you've been reading this book from it's beginning in 2008, you may recognize her as Ezekiel Stane's girlfriend. She is all about experimenting on people to make them more cyborg than ever before. Now, she's been able to make the pilots of the Detroit Steel armors fully integrated into the mechs.

The last important member of Hammer Industries that we need to introduce is Lieutenant Doug Johnson III for the United States Air Force. He is the pilot of Detroit Steel Mark One. His body has been augmented to make him a better pilot for the suit. He's also the man who will train future pilots of this new machine of war.

All this is great but the military men and business leaders who have attended this meeting don't really need to buy into the Detroit Steel armors. After all, Tony Stark is back. They have no worries.

If you could see Tony Stark, you might have a couple. Stark is back. He helps out with ending Norman Osborn's dark reign in the pages of Siege. Now, he's back to hanging out in Broxton, Oklahoma and catching up on everything he doesn't remember anymore.
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See, the thing about Tony's return is that he used a back up to his memories that wasn't current. In fact, they HD memory back up was only made once, back when he initially upgraded to the Extremis Armor. That means Tony doesn't remember House of M. Or Civil War. Or World War Hulk. Or the Initiative. Or the Secret Invasion. Or the Dark Reign. He certainly has no memory of World's Most Wanted or sleeping with Pepper Potts.

So Tony has been reading up on what he's missed while simultaneously working out details on his next armored suit. He asks Pepper what his resources are looking like these days. That means he hasn't actually finished his reading. He doesn't know that Stark Industries is gone.

Tony and Pepper aren't the only cast members hanging out in Broxton. In the hospital, Jim Rhodes is still recovering from being shot in the stomach during Stark Disassembled. Visiting him today is Maria Hill. They start talking about what Stark remembers and what he doesn't but they move on to talk about their own futures. Maria Hill has been asked to work on one of the Avengers teams by Steve Rogers. She's excited because it's a chance to move the world back into the realm of the good guys. Rhodey doesn't give any details about his future plans but mentions that he went from being the pilot of War Machine to getting shot in the belly in a high school basement. Life as usual.

Tony gets a cliff notes version of how Ezekiel Stane mortally wounded his company using bits and pieces of Stark Tech and powering up suicide bombers that hit each and every one of his plants worldwide. After that and the Secret Invasion, trust in Stark was at an all-time low. The company was on the fast track to death. Stark went into hiding and left Pepper Potts in charge of Stark Industies. Her job was to shut the whole thing down.

The two make a joke about demanding Stark step down from his nonexistant company. With that final business out of the way, Stark asks Pepper to run his new business. She accepts. Now, Tony just needs to finish up some Iron Man plans at the Baxter Building. He asks Pep to figure out what to do with the new venture in the meantime.

All of those big wheelers and dealers have taken off from the Hammer Industries demo except for General Babbage. This guy has history with Justine's father and chews her out for trying to get into a man's game. Babbage is a male chauvinist and doesn't even try to pretend that women's lib happened. As far as he's concerned, these ladies should just get back to looking pretty and leave defending the free world to people like him and Tony Stark.

The two Hammer women head to their limo where they meet Lt. Johnson. He wants to know how things went. Justine answers truthfully. It went bad. REAL bad. She and Sasha start laughing over the entire thing. Doug doesn't get the joke and gets very upset. After all, his body was surgically altered to run the Detroit Steel and if this doesn't work out it'll all have been for nothing. The Hammer ladies calm him down. They were expecting this reaction from these people. As far as they're concerned, things are heading in the right direction. They just have to wait for Tony Stark to do what Tony Stark has already done several times before.

The first thing Tony's going to do is make himself a new armored suit but that's not what Justine was talking about. For that, Tony's going to use the resources of Reed Richards. These two were on the same side during the Civil War even if Tony doesn't remember so there's less of a burnt bridge when dealing with Mister Fantastic. Tony goes into details of how his Extremis suit worked which makes comparisons to the Extremis being the operating system that worked the Iron Man application. Tony Stark's body is the hardware in this scenario. When the Skrulls took the Extremis OS away, Tony couldn't use that armor effectively any longer.

Tony wiped out his brain and that meant ALL of his brain. The problem was that he only made a back up copy the one time when he first installed the Extremis. Reed asks Tony why no back ups since and Stark explains that he thought he was above back ups. He never thought he could screw up this badly and he never actually thought he'd need a back up memory to be reinstalled. Kids, always remember to save and make back ups.

Tony Stark has a lot of character flaws and one of those is thinking he's better than everyone else. It prevented him from making back ups. It stopped him from asking for help. It made it really hard for him to say that he was sorry. The two men stare awkwardly at each other before Reed says it's all over now and it's time to look forward. That means making a new Iron Man, right? Sure it does.

Tony explains how things work now. With his mind wiped, Tony can't even breath on his own. All the automatic responses are out of here. That means he needs the combination of the Repulsor Battery housed in his chest to keep his body moving. More than that, the Repulsor is feeding his brain tons of energy which makes him a lot smarter than he was before. Reed asks about the new suit, wondering if it'll be like Extremis. Tony says it won't be. This is something completely new.

Pepper is busy looking for work for her new company which doesn't even have a name yet. Her first idea is to go military so she's invited the usual suspects for a meeting to discuss their future together. She doesn't lie about the new company's current situation. They're broke. They need money. The good news is: Tony's back!

Suddenly, something flies by the window at sonic boom speed. This disrupts the flow of this get together. Soon after, Tony walks into the meeting room. Pepper wasn't expecting Stark to return from New York this quickly but they both smile when he says "I flew." He did, indeed.

Pep's probably not as thrilled with what Mr. Stark tells this room of Generals. Tony tells them that he's not going to be building weapons or anything else that these people want him to do. War Machine will still be available for the military but, otherwise, Stark is out of the military contracts game.

And this should surprise NO-ONE. Stark has been out of the military game since the seventies. While Stark has gotten back in once or twice since then (notably during his Secretary of State and SHIELD Director days), his solutions have tended toward the non-lethal, heavily controlled weapons. When Tony says he doesn't want back in the weapons game, these guys should have expected it. We should have expected it.

At the same time, these Generals were gathered up by Mrs. Potts and probably thought Stark had changed his mind. When they learn he didn't, maybe they're justified in their reactions. I mean, these are busy people, after all. General Babbage demands to know what side Stark is on. Of course, Tony answers that he's on his own side.

The General leaves early but tells Tony that Pepper told them how broke he is. Poor people don't get to choose a side. When Stark wants to get paid, he's to give them a call. I'm betting they won't pay top dollar anymore.

Tony is very surprised that Pepper told this room of Generals that he was broke.

HAMMER is dismantled! Obvious spoilers! Now, the government has to figure out what to do with all that HAMMER gear. The only answer is to auction off this decommissioned military hardware to the highest bidder. That bidder will be Justine Hammer. She pays an extra million to get the periods in "H.A.M.M.E.R." removed.

Tony isn't just rebuilding his armor and trying to get his new business started. He's also helping in the clean up of Broxton after the Siege. While he's doing that, he gets an unexpected visit from the god of thunder.
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Tony did a lot of wrong to Thor but most of this is forgiven now. Stark put on an outdated armored suit and went to bat for the Asgardians. As far as Thor is concerned, that makes Stark a friend again. Still, he questions Tony on his past. Tony answers that even though he doesn't remember it, he doesn't apologize for it. He knows he was doing it because he thought it was the right thing to do. He'd do it all again but he hopes he'd do it better. This is exactly what Thor wants to hear.

Tony might be a new man but he's the same guy. Sure, he might help make an evil clone of you but his heart's in the right place and he's definitely still got his resolve. Thor offers Tony whatever riches he needs from the Asgardian treasury but Stark declines. This is the chance for Tony to build something from nothing and it's a challenge he's ready to face.

And, for the record, it IS the first time he's done that. You can mention Circuits Maximus and Stark Solutions all you want but in both cases, Tony didn't build from square one. In Circuits Maximus, Tony was brought in after the company had formed. With Stark Solutions, Stark had lost his previous company to Fujikawa but still had his fortune. Right now, Tony is playing with no money at all and no-one's offering to hire him on as a partner.

Tony's next meeting goes over just about as well as his meeting with the military. This time, he meets with representatives of industry leaders and tells them all about his new company. This time, Stark has a plan and a name for his new company. Stark Resilient. With this new company comes a new agenda: offer the world safe, non-weaponizable Repulsor Tech. This is a non-fossil fuel energy source that Tony thinks should power the future. All that sounds well and good but when Tony tells the audience that they'll be extinct if they don't sign up with his new plans... well, that could be taken as a threat.

We don't know if he gains any friends in this meeting but odds are good that the end went badly. The proof is that Pepper Potts is so angry at Stark's behavior that she refuses to let him on their helicopter. That's fine for us because it gives us a chance to see Tony's new armored suit for the first time.

And this is quite the interesting suit. With Extremis, the undersuit came right out of Tony's skin and the armored bits formed around it from Tony's attaché case. This time, the entire suit knits itself around Tony Stark like the entire thing is stored inside him. That may account for the more organic nature of the Iron Man suit. Besides those overly large eyes, the new look is growing on me. I can't wait to see it in action.

In Pakistan, Justine and Sasha Hammer continue their whirlwind business dealings. Justine has just gotten a text about Tony's less-than-stellar performance in front of industry leaders. Sasha wonders how long it will take for this information to get back to the military and for them to figure out that Tony won't be working for them. It's nearly instantaneous.

General Babbage gives the Hammer girls a call. It looks like he's ready to buy some of that Detroit Steel. Justine will be happy to give him some time as soon as she's done with her current business. The camera pulls back and it looks like the former Crimson Cowl is selling arms to terrorists.

It's like criminal intent is a genetic trait in that family.


asm119.jpgThe Amazing Spider-Man #119
Writers: Gerry Conway & John Romita Sr.
Artist: John Romita Sr.


In this issue, Peter visits his dear old Aunt May in Doc Ock's heavily-guarded home. He's there to deliver a letter but once he visits with May, he decides to look it over first before giving it to her. He opens it up back at his apartment and discovers that it's a note from Montreal, Quebec. He leaves his apartment just in time to witness his roommate collapsing at the entrance. Norman Osborn shouts for Peter to keep back and rushes his son to his home. Peter learns that the Hulk is in Canada and gets J Jonah Jameson to finance a trip up north. Parker follows up on the note his Aunt should have received by now but it doesn't lead anywhere this issue. General Ross is also up in Canada leading a press conference dedicated to the dangers of the Hulk. Peter joins the press corps and follows the Canadian military as they track down the Hulk. This leads to the Hulk versus Spider-Man and the military for pretty much the rest of the issue.

Spider-Man's Aunt May is engaged to marry Doctor Octopus. Since Doc Ock got arrested, May's been staying at Octavius' well-guarded home surrounded by the Doc's "business associates." This makes visiting his aunt difficult but not impossible.

Naturally, Peter avoids the doors all together and vaults over the house's gate dressed in his Spider-Man costume. Once on the ground, Peter switches to his civilian identity and finds where May is staying. He stays nearly an hour, talking to his aunt and making sure she's ok.

What he doesn't do is give her the letter he's been carrying. This was his whole reason for coming but he decides instead to hold onto the letter and figure out what it's about before giving it to Aunt May.

Opening other people's mail is a federal offense. Don't do it! Don't be like Spider-Man even when he's acting as cool as to open people's letters!

Peter returns to New York by stealing a ride on top of a bus (also a crime-- Spidey's racking them up this issue!). When he gets back to his apartment, he opens up the letter and finds that it's from a Jean-Pierre Rimbaud, a lawyer from Montreal. It seems Mr. Rimbaud wants to talk to May Parker but there are no details as to why. Peter decides to think on this before going any further.

Parker takes a walk out of his building and sees his roommate on the street outside bidding good-bye to his father. Harry is lurching over in pain. Peter grabs his roommate before he falls over but this puts him in the path of Norman Osborn. Norman is freaking out at his son's confusing predicament and also seems to want Peter to stay as far away as possible. Norman loads his kid into his car and has the driver take them away. They'll get Harry medical treatment eventually but I think they drive to Norman's home first.

Peter wonders what's going on with Harry, but is more concerned with Norman Osborn's reaction. It sounded suspiciously like someone was reverting to their Green Goblin persona. It's another worry to add onto the list of worries going through Peter's brain constantly.

Instead of facing the possible threat of the Goblin, Peter decides a trip to the great white north is in order. Now, he's just got to find how to manage that. Seeing a sign showing Hulk in Canada gives Peter a great idea. He heads up to the Daily Bugle and convinces J Jonah Jameson that he could get great pictures of the Green Goliath if the Bugle would just fund for his trip up north. JJJ relents but demands some good pictures.

Canada's a big place. You might be aware. It's a good thing that the Hulk is somewhere NEAR Montreal or this plan would be a bust. Peter takes a flight in and makes his first stop Rimbaud's office.

It turns out that Jean-Pierre Rimbaud isn't in at the moment. In fact, he's out of town on other business. Peter tells his secretary the reason he's here and she agrees to check Rimbaud's files for any mention of May Parker. They make plans to meet later for dinner. This would almost be a date except Peter's too distracted to realize.

Now, Peter just has to deal with getting some good pictures of the Hulk in Canada. He uses his press pass to attend a press conference all about the Hulk. Leading the conference is Brigadier General Thadeus "Thunderbolt" Ross. If you're wondering why an American General is in Canada, he's up north in an advisory capacity to the Canadian Military. He tells the press that the Hulk shouldn't be dealt with lightly. The Hulk needs to be destroyed on sight.

Good ol' Thunderbolt.

The meeting is adjourned when the Hulk is spotted and General Ross has to go and advise that military. Peter tries to join the Press Correspondants but he's not on the list to go off with the military. Still, he needs those pictures. When the soldier's back is turned, Peter lunges for the Press truck. The reporters inside see his drive and help him inside.

This train of military vehicles drives in to the last known location of the Hulk. By this time, Hulk has changed locations. He comes up behind the military caravan. Peter gets that old tingle of Spider-Sense but his warnings fall on a lot of deaf ears. Since the press truck is the last in the line, it's the first terrorized by the Hulk.

Also: Hulk hates the media. They never catch his good side.

The Jolly Green Giant throws the press truck off the road. Everyone inside is ok but someone's going to have to defend them until the military can turn around and help. Looks like Peter's going to have to go into action as a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Talk about out of your element! Spidey's used to having buildings in the background and pavement beneath his feet. Out in horrible nature is probably disconcerting but Spidey doesn't let it throw him off his game. In fact, his first kick actually knocks Hulk down. I blame the slippery snow for that. Peter sets up his camera and awaits round two. It probably won't go as well for him.

Luckily, the Canadian Military shows up to provide a better distraction.
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We all know how effective military force is when it sets it's sights on the Hulk. The Canadian Military might be an effective fighting machine but it proves just as useless to dealing with the challenge of the Hulk as their American counterparts.

Hulk uses a big chunk of earth to block the artillery heading his way and then launches that makeshift shield right at his enemies. They might all have been smashed except they've got a friendly wall-crawler helping them out. Spidey webs up the rocky projectile and sends it soaring right back at the Green One. Naturally, Hulk smashes it before it can reach him.

Hulk doesn't wait around for more shells to fire at him. Instead, he leaps away, heading straight for the Maskattawan Dam. Peter overhears the soldiers talking about Hulk's destination and grabs his camera. Looks like he's in this fight for the long haul.

The Hulk is just angry at this point. The Dam proves to be something nice to hit. Unfortunately, hitting something like that is going to cause it to break and flood whatever villages lie below it. Spider-Man can't allow that. Peter swings past the Hulk who tries taunting him into a fight.

Spidey has other goals, though. He heads into the control room and turns the pressure release valve. This slowly releases water and prevents the dam from cracking further. It also drives the Hulk into a fury. The monster smashes against the dam again, this time causing the control room to crumble and fall into the river below. Spider-Man falls with it.

As Hulk continues his tantrum, Peter hits the water. Pieces of the damn follow after him, threatening to trap him below the surface.

Since we're not going to cover the next issue, I'll let you in on some things. Peter doesn't die. The Hulk doesn't get captured. Jean-Pierre Rimbaud dies before he can reveal anything to Peter. Harry Osborn's pain was caused by some LSD trip gone wrong. It's all leading to the "final" appearance of the Green Goblin!

Be here for the next exciting chapter soon! It's also the 100th Super Reads! Expect the number change!

Until then: Who Do YOU Trust?
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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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