Script Brian Michael Bendis
Art Billy Tan, Matt Banning and Justice Ponsor & Chris Bachalo, Tim Townsend and Antonio Fabela
Lettering RS & Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne
Cover Art Billy Tan, Matt Banning and Paul Mounts
Cover Dated May 2009
I only own this issue for the Magik appearance on the cover. I will eventually review issues 53 and 54 of this series but Jessica Jones only appears in this issue.
This issue is broken down into two stories, the Doctor Strange portion and the New Avengers section. So that is how the two art teams break down, which is pretty smart. Tan gets the New Avengers and Bachalo gets Doctor Strange.
Here is a quick recap of what has been going on. Secret Invasion happened, Norman Osborn killed the Skrull Queen and became Director of SHIELD, which he renamed to HAMMER – for reasons. Due to the World War Hulk, Doctor Strange tapped into some dark magic and became overpowered and had to leave for a time.
The Hood’s Penthouse. The Hood has summoned Dormammu, so that he can have even more power.
Avengers Tower. Mockingbird watches as her boyfriend, Ronin – secretly Hawkeye (to the world at large) as he goes on television to review Norman Osborn for the villain that he is. The news media is skeptical.
Dover, New Jersey. Wiccan, of Young Avengers fame (and possible son of Scarlet Witch) uses his magic to prevent a car crash. Doctor Strange interviews Wiccan – as he is waiting for the Eye of Agamotto to reveal who the new Sorcerer Supreme will be.
It is a real shame that Bendis didn’t make the cut to be the Sorcerer Supreme, though Bendis would sort of correct this in the Uncanny X-Men Annual 1 2014.
There is a house ad for Exiles 1, the third attempt at the series, this time with Jeff Parker and Salvador Espin, it was pretty good for the six issues it lasted.
Doctor Strange is approached by the suped up Hood.
Th second issue of War of Kings is coming out.
Avengers Hideout. The Bronx, really it is Bucky Cap’s safe house. These are my favorite pages of the issue, with one being very fun.
Ronin wants to conduct their meetings in the classic Avengers fashion. There will be a leader and a deputy leader, even a handbook. Cage is surprised to learn that he has been the acting leader. No one wants the leadership role.
Secret Warriors 3 is coming out. Blair Butler of G4 TV’s Fresh Ink Online states “Hickman is the next Warren Ellis, the next Alan Moore.” Which seems pretty bold back in 2009.
Spider-Man offers that Bucky Cap has the military experience but he counters that he doesn’t have the Avengers experience. Jessica offers up that her friend, Carol, has military training. Carol turns it down. Since no one else wants it, Ronin will lead. Ronin makes Carol the deputy leader.
Ronin has an issue, and it is with Spider-Man.
Thor 601 by Straczynski and Djurdjevic start the concept of Asgard in Oklahoma.
Look at that first image above, notice how all of the Avengers are maskless? Except for the one, not at the table. That is an issue for Ronin. Wolverine vouches for Spider-Man but since he couldn’t tell Skrulls from the genuine article, so he can be tricked. Of the Skrull big reveals, only one of importance is that Mockingbird is back in the world of the living.
That panel of Danielle Cage (named after Luke’s best friend, Iron Fist – which I love!) eating sloppily with her hands? So true to life!
Ronin wants no secrets, so he wants Spider-Man to unmask. Spider-Man is cautious as he doesn’t want to risk his family’s safety. This is Post-Civil War, where he had unmasked in front of the world – but it is also Post-One More Day, where he made a deal with the Devil (Mephisto) and rewrote time and his identity back into the hands of a few.
Peter Parker unmasks and introduces himself. Jessica Jones recognizes him, immediately. They went to high school together. All of this was revealed in the awesome two part origin story of Jessica’s over in Alias 22 & 23.
Poor Jessica, she was even more invisible than Peter was! Peter had, at least, bullies in Flash and the popular kids, razzing him on a daily basis. Jessica was just in the background, so even Peter didn’t see her.
Jessica reveals she had a massive crush on Peter, which shocks Peter AND Luke Cage!
I love this page so much! Jessica knows she has to give Peter some additional information. She repeats her origin (briefly) about how she was doused by radiation and was in a coma forever. Apparently students at Midtown High School called her, Coma Girl, as they were pretty clever. She is not happy with the nickname.
Luke’s running commentary is a delight. He can’t believe she had a crush on Peter, who is pretty much the opposite of, in every way.
Jessica, in full flirtation mode (look at that classic hair pull!) she claims it was a billion years ago but she sure does want to keep talking to Peter. I like how the rest of the team is merely watching in silence. I imagine this is more along the lines of two friends from high school, catching up after years apart. Then she says she use to love Peter and Cage starts losing his mind.
Apparently they spoke to each other in ninth and tenth grade, but he barely noticed her. Cage wants to know if it was a crush or love, which at sixteen, I’m not sure if there is a difference.
Peter wishes she was up front with her feelings, as he was just stuck at home with his test tubes and eating flapjacks. Which I adore that, as a Spider-fan, that it is a term that I just know and recognize but Mockingbird and Ronin have no clue that Peter is talking about pancakes.
So I believe you are suppose to read the top row, then the right panel and then move to the middle row. Those panels do seem out of place, as she just leaves and they were talking. I guess she is thinking about how life would have been different. Now that would have been a decent What If, right there!
Wolverine is very pleased that reunion happened, as it was fun to watch.
Peter reveals that his best friend’s father is Norman Osborn, they have a history. He leaves out that his blonde girlfriend cheated on him with his best friend’s father and flew to Paris and birthed his twin babies and then Norman threw her off a bridge and Peter broke her neck with his web. I suppose I would have left that part out too.
There is a hug crash and we get Luke saying, Sweet Christmas, which I totally say too!
Issue ends with Doctor Strange beaten and weakly asking for help.
I read every issue of Alias and the short lived sequel series, Pulse, and I became a huge Jessica Jones fan. It was a sad day when I started selling those issues. Such a great original series.