AVENGERS #41-55/#456-463, Annual 2001 (2001-2002)

Yeah, that’s a LOT of issues. A whole lot. Over a year

ms marvel and marcus

This panel about sums up Kurt Busiek’s last storyline on Avengers.  It’s about…Everything. He brings in Kang. 

avengers #50

He brings in Marcus from issue #200, the storyline everyone wanted to forget, where the Avengers basically ignored Carol Danvers after she was raped…And tells us Marcus is Kang’s son.  He brought the Sentinels on board, too.  And he blew up the United Nations and the District of Columbia…And was published during the events of September 11.

There were alternate futures and alternate Avengers and all that kind of stuff. And just about everyone who ever was an Avenger, except Black Panther.  It’s a huge, epic story–one intended to end his run with a bang.

Let’s take a brief look at it. It starts with Kang’s new base.

the return of kang

Which was wizard. It was called Damocles (as in “sword of”), and it shoots a blast that blows up the U.N.

But Kang did it without killing anyone (they were in a forcefield), and he then proceeds to show the United Nations’ voting members–along with The Avengers–a whole bunch of possible futures. All bad, naturally.

And the only way to prevent them? Stand aside and let Kang conquer Earth.

He then calls upon the villains of Earth to start taking over nations–and ceding them to Kang. This brings out all kinds of villains, like Master of the World, Attuma and The Deviants.

Along the way, Busiek resolves the “fake Hank Pym” plotline and the one featuring attacks by a cult called Triune Understanding. Dropping in other stories across the span of an epic reminds me of the Korvac Saga, which did the same thing.

The story is also interrupted by the ‘Nuff Said issue of Avengers, #464.

Kang manages to conquer Earth while some of the Avengers are off in space, and when the team returns they immediately attack one of the prisons holding superheroes. Kang threatens to kill an entire city for every hour that the freed Avengers fail to surrender, but Wasp manages to rally some of Kang’s former allies to now betray him.

The big finale has Captain America going mano-a-mano with Kang.


Kang and Marcus are captured, after Marcus betrays Kang.

And Kang kills his son.

The final issue of the story is a wrap up. Duane Freeman, the latest handler/agent assigned to the team, dies during the conflict.

Busiek himself gets one more issue, #56, to say goodbye before Geoff Johns takes over.

Leave a Comment