Previously, a strange cloud has appeared by Mount Rushmore and killed anyone within it. The Avengers are sent to investigate and are attacked by a powerful, out-of-control, mindless She-Hulk. Capt. America discovers the villain behind the attack is Dell Rusk, the Secretary of Defense and he goes to confront him. Meanwhile Falcon and Henry Gyrich discover that Dell Rusk is really the Red Skull. They and Capt. America are defeated by the Red Skull who uses his Red Zone gas on Capt. America, who lies dying on the floor. Falcon hangs on a wall defeated, and Henry Gyrich lies on the floor having been beaten by the Red Skull. Meanwhile, Black Panther and Iron Man have been attempting to find a cure to the Red Zone.
At the start of the issue, in an impressive display of power the Scarlet Witch and Warbird halt the Red Zone cloud, while Black Panther and Iron Man go to confront the Red Skull. Upon discovery, the Red Skull reveals that he has planted false information stating that Wakanda is responsible for the Red Zone and will set up a war between the United States and Wakanda. The Black Panther, pissed off at the Red Skull’s ruse, attacks and fights an impressive battle with the Red Skull while Iron Man attempts to resuscitate Captain America. The fight between the Black Panther and Red Skull is ruthless as Black Panther knocks Black Panther through a window and deactivates Iron Man’s armor. At this point, Black Panther climbs back through the window and is the last Avenger standing. He declares that he will break the Red Skull’s jaw. With assistance from Falcon who awakens and summons numerous birds to distract Red Skull, Black Panther is able to defeat the Red Skull and literally breaks his jaw. When Capt. America awakens, he reveals the cure to the Red Zone cloud is in the Red Skull’s blood, which Black Panther retrieves. The Avengers have again proven victorious and have saved the world. President Bush meets with the Avengers promises any bio-weapons labs will be destroyed. The Black Panther and Iron Man make amends and decide to work together for the betterment of the world.
The Good: This review will primarily focus on Black Panther and Falcon.
The Black Panther demonstrates why he is a strong character. After being insulted by the Red Skull, he simply states, “I’m going to break your jaw.” And he does so.
This entire storyline dealt with political intrigue and a powerful biotoxin, but it is settled with a simple street fight. The Black Panther demonstrates that he is intelligent enough to hold his own with the likes of Iron Man, but will fight like hell for victory.
The fight scene between Black Panther and Red Skull is brutal with blood dripping from both men. They exchange philosophical differences while pounding on each other. And it is VERY COOL, that at the end, it was Black Panther who defeats the enemy!
Falcon admittedly did not do much this issue, but the image of his eyes opening and glowing as he summons the numerous birds is COOL! It is also nice to see a resolution between Falcon and Henry Gyrich. There is a strong animosity between the two characters as it was Gyrich who forced Falcon to join the Avengers as part of a racial quota. It was nice to see the two resolve their issues and come to trust each other. They were both integral to the defeat of the Red Skull.
Geoff Johns shows that he is a capable writer, able to integrate all the Avengers into this concluding issue and I would love to see him take a shot at writing a Black Panther and/or Falcon solo series. He has a great understanding of the character and excelled with the Red Zone storyline.
Olivier Coipel is a GREAT ARTIST and shows beautiful images from the pentagram and Scarlet Witch halting the Red Zone cloud to the fight between Black Panther and Red Skull. This issue and the overall storyline show beautiful images!
There was nothing bad in this issue or the storyline
No ugly….I wish I could review the whole storyline. It is a great arc showing political intrigue and a natural disaster halted by the Avengers.
I’m giving this issue a 5/5. A strong showing for Black Panther and a must-read for fans of Black Panther as an Avenger. Review by Joe