Rising Tension: New Avengers #13

This issue is slightly more connected to the main Civil War II miniseries than the previous one, with a certain event being the impetus for its plot and another one explaining the absence of one of the book's characters. The former is luckily summarized on the opening pages, but the latter will take some more explaining, which I'll get to in the article proper. What this means is yet again, you don't really need to read Civil War II to understand what is happening in this comic. Thankfully.


SHIELD Director Maria Hill grills Agent John Garrett over his inability to find Avengers Idea Mechanics's (A.I.M.'s) secondary base, which leads them to using a computer virus to take over Alpha Flight satellites... and Dum Dum Dugan's LMD body, along with its hundreds of spares connected to it wirelessly. Meanwhile Roberto Da Costa contacts Wiccan's team of New Avengers to ask them for a favor. At this moment it is revealed that Maker, a.k.a. Ultimate Reed Richards (he comes in slices) has been watching everyone in AIM via self-replicating nanocams.


Let's first talk the connection to Civil War II #3. In this comic, after Ulysses the Clairvoyant Inhuman predicted the next global threat will come from Bruce Banner turning into a Hulk, the Avengers confronted him and discovered that he has been subjecting himself to gamma radiation to stop himself from hulking out. During the confrontation he started getting really angry, which generally preceded him hulking out and then he was shot dead by Clint. With a super special arrow capable of killing the Hulk that Banner once gave him just in case. Which he beforehand presumably pulled out of his ass. Long story short, Clint is now arrested and on trial for murder of Bruce Banner.

Oh, and apparently Bendis doesn't know/care about the current Hulk situation, because he has Banner say that the reason he hasn't hulked out for over a year is thanks to his experiments... except it's thanks to Amadeus Cho curing him. Marvel's favorite writer, folks.

The connection this issue makes to this event comes from Roberto and Sam talking about it, with Bobby blaming himself for not standing by Clint after he did that for him during their assault on a SHIELD helicarrier. Sam points out that they couldn't get past SHIELD watchdogs tailing Clint and besides, the man made his choice. Their discussion is interrupted by a call from Songbird.

That's when the other connection to Civil War II comes in: Ulysses gained the ability to show other people what he sees and feels. Karnak, the non-powered member of the Inhuman royal family and star of an ongoing and irregular Warren Ellis comic, was shown as one of them. Karnak has a knack for details, primarily used for spotting flaws in all things - and a working relationship with Coulson. He saw something and shared it with SHIELD, which in the end got to Agent Garrett. That detail is a vision of Roberto Da Costa's funeral with Songbird--officially a SHIELD Agent and unofficially Roberto's triple agent--giving a tearful eulogy.

He confronts her about it and swarms her with all of the Dum Dum Dugan LMD copies he got a hold of. After putting up a good fight, Melissa gets defeated, only able to contact Roberto long enough to let him know that she's been captured. She also tries to tell him about that vision, but gets knocked out and imprisoned. Her powers get deactivated and she herself is connected to a lie detector. And if she doesn't tell Garrett the current location of Roberto Da Costa, he's going to shoot her in the head.

Luckily, Bobby is on the case! He sends two people best skilled for a stealth mission: Victor "Power Man" Alvarez and Max Brashear, both on board of A.I.M.'s new vehicle, Stealth Zero. Which looks, um...

Wait till you see the engine of that thing.

Man, A.I.M. is becoming a real Mickey Mouse operation.

Meanwhile, we have a beautiful scene between Toni Ho and Pod. Since she came to A.I.M., Toni has been trying to free Aikku Jokinen, Pod's user, from that hunk of metal. And in this issue, she finally discovers that Aikku could have left any time she wanted, but this would mean the reset of Pod, and consequently the death of Pod's consciousness. Aikku was trapped; she was protecting her new friend, who won't survive without her.

And that's when Maker and his New Revengers attack. Maker has been keeping tabs on A.I.M., and now they're vulnerable enough for attack. His first move is to take down Pod with Skar, a planetary orbit defense system from a universe where Mars is the dominant planet.

This the comic's final story arc before its relaunch as U.S. Avengers in October (as we recently found out thanks to a leak), and the issue makes it sound like quite an explosive finale. A.I.M. is fighting on two fronts--SHIELD and Maker's New Revengers--and Clint is out of the picture and the tension is rising. We'll find out more in two weeks in New Avengers #14.

Before that, I'll see you next week for Ultimates #9.

Dominik Zine is a nerdy lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.