Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Avengers: The Initiative #20

Overall- I've liked the Initiative for a good long time now. As a matter of fact, I've repeatedly stated here, as well as on other sites that Avengers: The Initiative is the BEST Avengers comic on the market today. To me, Dan Slott, who has been the writer of this series since it's inception, is sort of the anti-Brian Bendis. Where as Bendis has shown that he could give a s### about the history of the Marvel Universe, Dan embraces Marvel's rich history, and as a(nearly)lifelong Marvel fan, I truly appreciate Dan's attention to small details pertaining to the Marvel Universe. With that said, let's look at this issue of the Initiative.

Alot happened in this comic, so I'm just going to hit on the important points. Hank Pym, who is back from his abduction by the Skrulls, spends this whole issue talking to the Wasp, which under normal circumstances is no problem, except for the small fact that the Wasp DIED at the end of the godawful Secret Invasion storyline. Hank and Janet talk about the stuff Hank missed out on while he was being held by the Skrulls, but Hank keeps dodging the question of when exactly he was abducted. Wasp finally comes right out with it and asks Hank if it was him who struck her back when they were still married, or if it was the Skrull impostor. Wasp tells Hank that if it was the Skrull, then they could get back together like nothing had happened. Hank admits that it was indeed him who struck Wasp, and Wasp begins to leave. Hank asks "Wasp" if that is what the real Wasp would have done, and "Wasp" transforms into Jocasta, who shares the brainwaves of Wasp thanks to Ultron. Jocasta tells Hank that's exactly what Wasp would have done and Hank thanks Jocasta for the role-playing, before leaving Camp Hammond for good.

Besides that, we find out that Gauntlet is now the ranking officer at Camp Hammond, and he has decided to send the Shadow Initiative after Hardball, who has gone rogue and joined up with Hydra. Gauntlet adds Taskmaster and Komodo to the Shadow Initiative and during the briefing about Hardball, Taskmaster stares at Mutant Zero the entire time, deducting who she was by watching the way she moved. Taskmaster attacks Mutant Zero after the briefing, to confirm his suspicions, and unmasks her! After waiting since just about the beginning of this series, we discover that Mutant Zero is actually... Typhoid Mary?!? Holy letdown Batman!

Along with that, we discover Tigra is pregnant with the baby of Skrull Pym(SOMEBODY should have been using protection... Just saying...). Tigra decides she wants to terminate the pregnancy, since she thought she was with Hank, not a Skrull impersonating him. The comic ends with the clone of Thor(you remember, the one who killed Black Goliath during the Civil War), reactivating in one of the labs at Camp Hammond as a final goodbye from the deceased Skrull Pym.

Normally, I love this comic book, but that damned Secret Invasion has really hurt this comic alot. This series is in a transition period, and hopefully, it will continue on, even though I have a feeling that in a few issues this great series will be canceled. Out of all of the original recruits, I liked Trauma and Hardball the most, so seeing Hardball now on the side of Hydra is a pretty big letdown, because let's face it, Hydra sucks. I mean they really suck. Those guys NEVER even come close to winning a battle, so I hate to see Hardball stuck with that pack of losers.

Besides that, the other letdown was HUGE. The revelation that Typhoid Mary was Mutant Zero nearly had me shouting obscenities at this comic book. I really wanted Mutant Zero to be Jean Grey, or since that was a bit of a long shot, I was hoping for at least the Scarlet Witch. No, instead of either of them, we get some third rate, loser villain. As a whole, like I said, this was a transition comic book, so it really didn't have one coherent story, it had a bunch of small pieces to future stories. As such, I can't really score this comic higher than a 6 out of 10. Maybe if Mutant Zero would have been someone better than Typhoid Mary, I could have scored this higher, but that was not to be.

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