With Siege coming later today, we thought we’d provide you with a simple, new-reader-friendly recap of “Avengers Disassembled,” “House of M,” “Civil War,” “Secret Invasion” and “Dark Reign,” leading into the events that will change everything, again! It’s like Marvel’s recent “Road to Siege,” only shorter and electronic.
Newsarama Note: This is a tongue-in-cheek recap. Not everything is to-the-letter here. Don’t waste all your time nitpicking, because we’ll just be sitting here laughing at you. That is all.
SIEGE: EVERYTHING (and then some) THAT LED UP TO IT
The Avengers were Earth’s mightiest super-team. They included a frozen super-solider from WWII, a Norse God, and a super-intelligent billionaire with a suit of high-tech armor. Also, Ant-Man.Then mutant member the Scarlet Witch had a breakdown because she realized she used to have kids who were actually demonic constructs used as a bad guy’s hand puppets, so her reality-warping powers went haywire and everything blew up. This may or may not have been due to her exposure to the wonky Chaos Magic of the DCU in “Avengers/JLA” but that’s another can of worms.
All the Avengers’ biggest foes attacked at once, and Thor and the other Asgardian Gods got destroyed in Ragnarok, and the She-Hulk went crackers and ripped up the android Vision after he puked up a bunch of Ultrons, and Ant-Man (well, one of them) died and the archer Hawkeye got exploded.
It was all downhill from there.
A short time later, Spider-Man’s old foe Electro broke a bunch of bad guys out of the supervillian penitentiary the Raft, including a few who were supposed to be dead. That was weird. The Sentry got in on the “ripping-people-in-half” action, but still can’t pull of the bikini like She-Hulk can.
A new team of Avengers formed to recapture them, including new members Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, and Wolverine, who is on like seven other teams and is apparently skilled at managing his time. Their new book sold well.
Sometime before this, a secret group of Marvel bigwigs called themselves the Illuminati and met up every once in a while for tea, king making, and backroom dealings.
The Avengers soon added to their ranks the Sentry, who is like Superman or maybe more like Captain Marvel (the Shazam kind, not the Kree kind), only completely damn nuts and with a yellow costume. He also has an evil alternate self called the Void, who is also crazy.
There was also a team of Young Avengers, including Ant-Man’s daughter and a new Vision who was stuck in a suit of Iron Man armor created and worn by a young Kang the Conqueror. It’s complicated.The Scarlet Witch came back in a big event called “House of M,” where she created an alternate reality where everyone was supposed to be happy, but wasn’t, and then it got shattered and she made it so there weren’t as many mutants. Also, Hawkeye was unexploded, then died again, then came back again.
Spider-Woman turned out to be a spy for the evil organization Hydra, then wasn’t.
Then, the New Warriors, a team with a reality show, got exploded while trying to battle the villain Nitro in Stamford, Connecticut (hometown of Jeph Loeb! Name drop!). Among them was Microbe, whose real identity was Zachary Smith, Jr. Mark Millar will pay dearly for this.
Everyone was mad at the New Warriors for getting exploded and getting 600 other people exploded. Just a few months earlier, and they might have gotten Jim from The Office.Speedball from the New Warriors survived, but started wearing spikes and leather and screaming how he got his powers from being in pain. This is also what happens when your college girlfriend dumps you.
Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four and Henry Pym, who used to be Ant-Man and Giant-Man and Goliath and Yellowjacket, had the idea to require superheroes to register with the government or get sent to a Negative Zone prison.
They also had the idea to start a big 50-state Initiative where young heroes could get trained by government-sponsored superheroes, and defend their coverage area.
A lot of heroes didn’t like this and went underground to fight back. Spider-Man helped Iron Man by revealing his true identity to the world and wearing an ugly costume with legs coming out the back.
Iron Man made a clone of Thor to fight the resistance, which made everyone mad at him. The clone killed Goliath (not Henry Pym), who used to be called “Black Goliath,” because he was black and it was the 1970s.
After a lot of fighting, Captain America, who led the resistance, realized how destructive this fighting was and surrendered.
Then he got shot and died, only he was really unstuck in time or something, and was replaced by his former sidekick Bucky, who used to be dead but now has a metal arm.
So now there were two major teams of Avengers, the original recipe ones and the ones who were loyal to the government. There were also lots of little teams in the Initiative. That’s a whole lot of avengin’.During this whole Civil War, the government revised the Thunderbolts program to allow former supervillains to track down unregistered heroes.
They were led by Spider-Man’s foe Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin, who used to be dead but now isn’t, and also killed Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy and apparently impregnated her in a story THAT MUST NEVER BE REFERRED TO AGAIN, EVER.
Spider-Man had it pretty rough being a government fugitive, but then he made a deal with Mephisto, Lord of the Underworld, where no one knew his identity anymore and his Aunt May was okay and his dead friend Harry Osborn wasn’t dead and he didn’t have an ugly costume, in exchange for nullifying his marriage to Mary Jane Watson like it never happened.
He and Mary Jane stayed friends, though, and he totally got to hook up with the Black Cat again. As far as deals with Satan go, that’s pretty sweet.
So Iron Man was in charge of the government agency S.H.I.E.L.D., and making sure everything ran smoothly, and Norman Osborn was in charge of dealing with unregistered heroes, and Hawkeye was not dead but now a ninja called “Ronin,” who used to be a girl in a man suit.
Some other things happened during this time, including:
-The Hood, a character created by Brian K. Vaughan, recruited a bunch of B-list supervillains to be his running crew.
-Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner found out he had an evil shorty runnin’ around, and was forced to blow up Atlantis and send his people living undercover among surface-dwellers, while re-locating others to Doctor Doom’s country of Latveria.
-Thor and the Asgardians came back to life, but now Asgard was floating over Oklahoma. Also, the God of Evil Loki was briefly a hot chick, then wasn’t.
-Dr. Strange was deposed as Sorcerer Supreme and replaced by Brother Voodoo, whose name also came from the fact that he was black, and it was the 1970s.
-The Hulk attacked after getting shot into space and becoming a gladiator, a daddy a couple times over, and king of the world, but that’s another long story.
Then it turned out alien shape-shifting Skrulls had infiltrated the ranks of superheroes and the government.
Spider-Woman and a number of other heroes were part of the Secret Invasion…including Henry Pym, one of the major people behind the Initiative. In fact, the Initiative was designed to put “A Skrull in Every State.”
Ooops.After a big invasion with a lot of Skrulls, veteran Avenger the Wasp got killed, the real Henry Pym and Spider-Woman were returned, Hawkeye /Ronin was reunited with his supposedly “dead” wife Mockingbird, and the Skrull Queen was stopped on camera by…Norman Osborn.
So now everyone thought Iron Man was a jerk for starting an Initiative that nearly got us conquered by Skrulls, and Norman Osborn was put in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D., and changed it into H.A.M.M.E.R., an organization so damn evil that no one even knows what the acronym stands for, plus has even more periods to make it even harder to type. Damn that evil Osborn.
Adding insult to injury, Osborn started his own “Official” team of Avengers.
This included himself as the “Iron Patriot,” his psychologically-manipulative crony Moonstone as a Ms. Marvel who liked to sleep around, Daredevil’s foe Bullseye as Hawkeye, the God of War Ares as… the God of War Ares, Venom as Spider-Man, crazy alien Noh-Varr as Captain Marvel, the Sentry as his usual crazy self, and Wolverine’s long-lost evil bisexual son Daken as Wolverine.
So now there were the New Avengers, and the Mighty Avengers, and the Young Avengers, and the Dark Avengers, and the Dark Young Avengers, and Avengers: The Initiative, and possibly the Avenger-Avengers, which hasn’t happened yet but it could.
Henry Pym felt sad about his wife the Wasp dying, so he took on her identity and started hanging out with a naked-looking android programmed with her memories. We’re not going to comment on that.
Osborn’s Dark Reign made things tough for a lot of people, especially Iron Man, who had to go on the run and erase all his memories to prevent Osborn from getting the identities of his fellow superheroes and his Iron Man technology. So now Donald Blake (Thor’s once-again-human-form) and Maria Hill (who was a government stooge who then hated the government and might be in love with Tony) are watching over coma-Tony-Stark, a new action figure coming soon, complete with medical monitoring machines.
To help facilitate things, Osborn started a Cabal with the Hood, Namor, Emma Frost from the X-Men, Doctor Doom and Loki. It was like the Illuminati, but evil, and with some of the same people on it. Wait…He had a “secret weapon” to keep them in line, which might be Mephisto, or Marvelman (it’s complicated) or Nate Grey the X-Man (ditto) or Godzilla or Rush Limbaugh or something.
But things have gotten rough for Norman, what with him looking like a jerk for beating up a helpless Iron Man on camera, Hawkeye/Ronin trying to assassinate him, impregnating his undead son Harry’s crazy girlfriend Menace (don’t ask), various members of the Cabal quitting or plotting against him, threatening to kill a civilian (Peter Parker) also on camera after Peter revealed to the world that he did tests on people and killed them (on camera… he needs some kind of camera scrambler), and him being completely bat-s-word-crazy. Also, Loki likes messing with his head, because he can.
Loki recently had the idea that Norman could consolidate his reign by seizing control of Asgard. All he has to do is make the Asgardians look bad.
So Osborn’s got something set up that will dwarf the Stamford massacre (which you’ve probably seen in the back of various Marvel comics, or here at Newsarama a couple times. If not, here it is again. Click it. DO IT!). And even the return of Captain America might not be able to stop what’s coming…
Superheroes are good at protecting people, except when they aren’t.
Norse Gods are gullible, and also tricksy.
Government programs are full of evil and possibly shape-shifting aliens. Especially UNICEF.
Never trust a white guy with cornrows.
Deals with Satan are bad, except if you word them very, very carefully; then they make you more relatable to young readers.
If you’re disciplined and manage your time carefully, you can belong to multiple super-teams, bond with your estranged long-lost evil bisexual son, investigate your mysterious past and wander the world aimlessly, encountering adventure at every turn. It might help to have a personal assistant.
Government intervention into people’s privacy in the name of national security only serves to fuel paranoia and the infiltration of more insidious influences…wait a minute. Is this some sort of allegory?
Look for the Road to Blackest Night, about 6 months late, coming soon. Just cause we can.Also Look for DAMN DIRTY GODS, an all-new recap column by Troy Brownfield and Lucas Siegel in the vein of DAMN DIRTY SKRULLS and DAMN DIRTY ZOMBIES Zack Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a regular contributor to Newsarama Related Stories Marvel Double SIEGE #1 Preview (SIEGE/SIEGE EMBEDDED) Best Shots Advance Review: SIEGE #1