This issue takes place between New Avengers 16 and 17 ( obviously). It kind of draws a bridge between the two issues since they really don't make sense if you read them one after the other.
It starts with an insane Norman Osborn, sitting in prison, talking, or rather being talked to by his alter ego - Green Goblin. Back at the Avenger's Mansion the New Avengers are busy having a meal, chatting and having fun. Victoria Hand spoils the party though by bringing some bad news of Osborn being transferred. Apparently Captain America wants their team to escort him out.
It all starts off well with The Thing and Luke Cage escorting Osborn out. As expected, a rogue team comes to aid Osborn, setting him free. Fortunately, the Avengers had planned for this as the Osborn that was freed was none other than Dr Strange!
Back at the cell, the real Norman Osborn is being escorted by Wolverine and Jessica Jones.
As they walk out however, Osborn gives word to the guards, who then blast the flesh off of Wolverine's head. Norman Osborn essentially escapes scot-free, and proceeds to meet his army of followers.
In this issue, we actually get to see a fair bit of Spider-Man, who is still clearly, not impressed with Victoria Hand. The "Awesomeness" of Norman Osborn is well portrayed in this comic. He is to some extent a type of Batman or Captain Jack Sparrow who has everything planned and under control.
No doubt, the Avengers had planned for something like that to happen, thus Dr. Strange pretending to be Osborn. Honestly, I thought he got away a little too easily, considering there was a whole team of Avengers escorting him out. The scene where Wolverine gets his head blown up was definitely unexpected. Finally, I have reason to fear for the life of Jessica Jones baby in the near future. In this issue, Norman tells Jessica that he is going to kill her baby. If he can outsmart a whole team of Avengers, there's nothing stopping him from killing a little baby. This could get really interesting..
Setup: Behold the Watcher
Two guys in space suits infiltrate the Watcher’s domain and attempt to extract his memories / visions, which brings us to…
Story 1: Nova HarbingerThe superhero know as Nova tries to warn Terrax that his planet is about to be destroyed but, Terrax refuses to believe and instead fights Nova, until it’s too late and the Phoenix annihilates the planet, thus disentigrating Terrax. All that remains is his war staff and a small plant life suddenly emerges from the ground.
Story 2: Age of Apocolypse: the Myth of Man
A man is telling his son about how he helped rid their world of humans making it safe for mutants. The boy asks about the last human called the red prophet but his dad tells him that he defeated him on his own using his seismic powers. Surprisingly the prophet comes back to finish the job. The father and the prophet do battle again and only this time, the father doesn’t come out alive. The prophet goes to a rendezous point where the rest of his team is waiting. They briefly discuss their mission: to bring back humans from near extinction, they call them selves the “X-Terminated”.
Story 3: Scarlet Spider: the Scarlet Thread
Charlotte, North Carolina. Just four days after “Spider-Island”. A man wearing a blue hoodie sets foot for his destination. He plans to board a train and travel to mexico to escape his reputation, and to start a new. That is until he hears a bank robbery in progress and decides, to leave it be.
Story 4: Coldmoon and Dragonfire: Yin and Yang
Story 5: Doctor Strange: The Shaman of Greenwhich Village
Another day in the life of Dr Strange, as he encounters a man who is suffering from mental delusions thus he proceeds to enter his mind. What he finds is a very bizarre experience that leaves him unconscious and bleeding from the nose.
Story 6: The Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Robotic looking aliens are floating above the city, whilst down below, two man scramble. One guy goes after a brief case while the other screams to the sky “we already paid. “
Nearby Spider-Man and Hawkeye bust out of the front door of a building and Hawkeye proceeds to shoot one of the robotic like entities. However, the beings shoot what may best be described as light energy of mass proportion, down at the city causing extreme devastation. Hawkeye and Spidey make a run for it as Hawk’s arrow/s explodes sending one of the robo aliens crashing down, presumably dead.
Thoughts: Whewwww, what an exhausting read. Between the outer space sci fi babble and characters and places I’ve never seen or heard of I couldn’t help but feel a little dizzy, switch from one strange tale to the next. So what should you take away from all this? New titles, new characters and new stories are coming up.
This is basically 1 big ad for the Defenders, Uncanny X-force Prelude to Age of Apocalypse, Avengers # 19, and of corse Scarlet Spider# 1.
Also on the horizon, a new team called Yin and Yang will appear somewhere, also a new Nova, and something is going to try and kill the Watcher. Did you get all that?Do any of these featuers have anything in common? No not really. Some of the same characters appear but that’s to be expected. So if you were looking for any crossover events you won’t find them here. As for the stories themselves they are just the tip of the ice berg of whats to come so I can’t really judge them too harshly.