New Avengers (2nd series) #20

Issue Date: 
March 2012
Story Title: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Mike Deodato (artist), Rain Beredo (color artist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters and production), Mike Deodato and Rain Beredo (cover artists), John Denning (assistant editor), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor), Tom Brevoort (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Luke Cage’s team of Avengers confronts Norman Osborn, who has created a new “Avengers” team of his own. Luke, furious that Osborn threatened his family, charges in head first but Osborn surprises him by revealing he has somehow acquired super strength. Skaar takes out Wolverine whilst Iron Fist manages to best Gorgon. Dr. Strange gets poisoned by the Toxie Doxie and Superia then brings down the Avengers’ ship. Strange recovers a little and realizes that they are not going to win this battle. He magically creates a fake tidal wave to hide their escape and teleports the team to a nearby rooftop. Unfortunately, the Thor clone Ragnorok appears from above to challenge them once more.

Full Summary: 

(Avengers Mansion)
Protestors remain outside the mansion, whilst inside Jessica Cage sits with her baby daughter. She is lost in her thoughts as Squirrel Girl appears and says she’s okay to leave. She will take care of her baby. Jessica says it’s fine but then asks her to do her one last favor. Then, she’s off the hook. “Ma’am?” she asks.

The Avengers’ ship hovers over Norman Osborn. Luke Cage shouts down to him that he’s under arrest. Osborn calls him a silly man. He doesn’t have the authority. He’s not a police officer or a sanctioned Avenger. He’s an ex-con! Steve Rogers’ charity case. He has no authority over him or anyone else. Luke leaps from the ship and cries, “Avengers. Whup his ass!” Spidey asks if that’s the catchphrase now.

They all exit the ship and confront Osborn’s team of Dark Avengers. Osborn just stands there and lets his charges do his dirty work. Cage tells him he threatened his kid. He threatened his family. Does he think that wouldn’t get back to him? He strikes with his right fist, but Norman simply holds his hand up and stops it dead. Cage is shocked and Spidey quips that he knows his Osborns pretty well and he doesn’t do that. Osborn tells him he’ll never be able to thank him for all that he’s given him. He then throws Luke away with ease.

Daredevil asks how he did that. Wolverine calls Mockingbird and asks her, if she can hear him, to go get Cage. They can’t win this without him. As he speaks he is punched by Skaar which wrecks his face. Gorgon leaps over and damns him. He wanted the mutant. Skaar asks who gives a @#$# what he wants. Gorgon stands over Wolverine with his claw extended and tells him that he is so desperate to wipe him from the face of the Earth that he’ll even take his life in this terrible state. Fortunately, Spider-Man webs up his arms and licks him in the face, asking where they get their knockoff costumes. He’s having a hell of a time getting hold of them.

Osborn asks Ms. Marvel (Superia) to drown the Avengers’ ship. Superia replies that she’s got her hands full with Daredevil, which she wouldn’t really think she would. Iron Fist focuses his force and slams Skaar, which sends him flying. Spider-Man faces Ai Apaec and sighs. First Spider Island and now this guy. He asks Ai if he has a spider-sense. “What is spid…” he replies just before being crushed by Skaar, who flies into him. “Ain’t I a stinker?” says Spidey.

People watch the fight from afar, each recording every motion on their phones. One asks what they’re fighting about and wonders whether Norman Osborn’s a bad guy. The others don’t seem any clearer on this subject.

Meanwhile, Dr. Strange faces June Covington. He tells her that he can’t imagine what Osborn’s compulsion to dress his friends like true heroes could be. Can she explain it to him? He wraps her in mystical bands of Cyttorak and she tells him that she likes this funky magic of his. She loves a man that takes charge. She would have loved to keep him around. She emits a green gas from her mouth and asks him to taste her poison. It’s her kiss of death; her gift to him. Strange reels as he inhales the toxin and Covington begins to strangle him. She wishes this was a more serene environment so she could sit back and watch his skin bubble and flail from his body.

She is blindsided by one of Daredevil’s Billy clubs which smacks her in the cheek. He asks Spider-Man to get Strange to safety, and his senses then pick up on three arrows headed his way. He quickly moves aside and two of the arrows his Gorgon in the torso. The third bounces harmlessly off one of Skaar’s fingers. “Damn you Barton,” growls Gorgon. Barton just knows he’s gonna hear about that.

Spidey roundhouse kicks Covington and tells her he always liked the way the Scarlet Witch looked. She’s got him there. But, he adds as he webs up her face, she’s going to have to do something about her breath if she wants to go out with him. He asks Dr. Strange if he’s okay. What did she do to him? Strange struggles to reply that he’s paralyzed so Spidey informs him that he’ll get him to higher ground. Strange asks him not to leave the fight, but Spidey replies that he can’t leave him there. He turns and looks upwards and sees their ship coming down, courtesy of Superia. “Incoming,” he calls. Everyone falls back, including Osborn’s team as the ship crashes to Earth. It’s carnage as the ship grinds to a halt amongst some buildings. Mockingbird, fortunately, is safe but Superia smiles. “Next?” she says as she brushes the dust off her gloves.

Iron Fist and Daredevil both try and help civilians but they are met in Iron Fist’s case with a slap to the face from a woman whose clothes are ripped to shreds. A guy tells them it’s their fault. There was no fight here until they showed up. Why do they always do this? Spidey reckons they’d be used to being blamed for stuff like this by now. Strange feels that they were somehow set up here. Victoria Hand sent them to the wrong location which gave Osborn a head start. Spidey reckons Osborn knew this would make Cage go ballistic. Speaking of Cage, he sees Superia flying towards the two men and punches her into the ground.

Luke Cage confronts Skaar and tells him that all he wants is Osborn. If he’s got to go through him then he will. Skaar replies that he does, and he won’t! As he charges Skaar, everyone looks up to the skies and witness a weird happening. Millions of gallons of water circles them. It then sweeps towards the groups and divides the two teams. Superia asks if they should do something, but Osborn tells her they should wait. His instincts are correct as they water disappears just as quickly as it appeared. Barton asks what the hell just happened. “Doctor Strange,” replies Osborn. They’ve been tricked. Strange has given the Avengers the opportunity to retreat. Superia reckons this is fantastic. It’s a win. Osborn says it isn’t…not just yet. He smiles. “Nice trick Doctor Strange. You like tricks. I’ve got one for you.”

The Avengers appear on a rooftop elsewhere and Luke thanks Strange for saving them back there. Strange replies that he needs a minute. That was all he has in him for the moment. They lay him down to recover from the Toxie Doxie’s toxins and Cage admits that they were outmanned and out-powered. Daredevil replies that they were set up to fail. Mockingbird is surprised, but Strange agrees. Daredevil then looks round. “Guys… we’re not done.” They see Ragnarok descend to the rooftop with his hammer raised. “Oh, great,” sighs Spider-Man. “They have a Thor!”

Characters Involved: 

Luke Cage, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist, Mockingbird, Ms. Marvel, Power Woman, Spider-Man, Wolverine (all Avengers)
Squirrel Girl and Danielle Cage

Norman Osborn

Ai Apaec (The Decapitator), Barney Barton (Trickshot), June Covingham
(The Toxie Doxie), Gorgon (Wolverine), Ragnarok (Thor), Skaar, Dr. Deidre Wentworth (Superia) - all Dark Avengers

Innocent victims


Story Notes: 

Spider Island was a storyline that ran through the Spider-Man titles in 2011.

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