Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Avengers Assemble… in Perth?!

This week I sat down in a comfy chair and settled in to read my usual weekly stack of comics. As always I start with the Marvel books. I’ve been a Marvel reader for 20-odd years so they get priority. Anyone who’s seen my wrist knows I’m a huge Avengers fan, of course. The best Avengers book currently running? Easy. Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers. It’s a high concept, science fiction odyssey spanning the world and the universe. I love the scope, the gravitas of it all. His Avengers is always one of the first things I devour.

Now as I read issue #14 this week and appreciated Caselli’s gorgeous art I got a great surprise. The Avengers were headed to Australia. Now that is exciting enough but not only were they coming to my country, they were coming to my city!

That’s right! Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have landed in sleepy old Perth!

Of course this isn’t entirely out of the blue. Hickman had laid some groundwork for this over the previous 14 issues. Way back in #1, new villain Ex Nihilo set up shop on Mars and launched projectiles, his Origin Bombs, towards Earth. The two cities name-dropped as being hit were Regina, Canada and Perth, Australia. That there was pretty darn exciting for me on its own. Iron Man mentioning my city on page? Fantastic.

Over in issue 2, Captain America, the only Avenger to escape Mars does some recruiting. Among the rescue team? An Australian aboriginal mutant named Manifold. The character was created by Hickman in his superb Secret Warrior book a few years back. 

He’s a mutant teleporter, able to “bend reality and fold and twist space tome”. As impressive as it sounds he’s basically been the team’s transportation throughout the series. Of course there’s precedence for this. For a time the X-Men were based in the Australian outback and had a similar teleporting aboriginal mutant by the name of Gateway.

Moving along to issue #4 and Perth gets a brief mention. As the team are setting up quarantine on an Origin Impact site in Kobe, Japan they mention the status of the Regina and Perth sites. While other countries are happy for the Avengers to handle the situation Canada prefers their own super team Omega Flight take care of their site and our government? 

Well, turns out they don’t entirely trust SHIELD or the Avengers as they have discovered SHIELD has a secret “Project Perseus” covert facility on our soil. Interesting.

All is quiet on the Perth front until issue 9. Ex Nihilo pops up again, discussing his plans with his underlings. Turns out the Origin Bombs sent to our planet served an interesting purpose. The sites were being changed and evolved. He sought out to change our world and make it sentinent. Each bomb carried a specific trait that all evolving species possessed. Self awareness in Split (Croatia), self sustinence in the Savage Land, self repair in Chhatarpur (India), reproduction in Kobe (Japan), evolution in Regina (Canada) and communication here in Perth. This reveal was met with a nice big panel of each city. 

The shot of Perth is very recognizable as St. George’s Terrace in the CBD. Brilliant! Sure, it’s covered in weird alien spores and growth but it’s still the street I walk down every other day. Although I'm not sure of the merits of us being a communication hub. Has Ex Nihilo ever tried to get 3G data in the CBD before?

Fast forward to this week’s issue 14. A strange signal is being broadcast from Earth and causing all kinds of havoc. We get a nice couple of pages showing the goings on here. The highlight being a nice shot of our skyline. It’s recognizable too with the Bankwest tower and Amcom tower both on display. Very nice.

After much chaos, Banner pinpoints it’s origin to be Perth. Well, duh, we’re the communication centre of all this. Then again do the Avengers know that yet? The readers sure do. The team assembles and heads to Manifold for transport. Seems he’s not overjoyed at heading home and spouts off a couple of truly hilarious lines. Hickman sure did his homework with that remark on the price of our beer.

The team lands in our CBD and is expectedly ambushed. That’s right, a super hero smack down on our streets! Cap, Thor, Spidey, Wolverine and Hawkeye on our home turf! Hopefully it’s after 6pm and the city is devoid of all life and potential collateral damage.

With the cliffhanger ending I say we may see a little more Perth in the next issue and perhaps in the future. Hopefully not getting leveled. I wont have anywhere to buy my comics if that happens.

All in all it is terrific to see our city finally existing in the Marvel Universe. Things are happening! We have a role in this ongoing story thats going to continue for some years. We may be overrun by horrible alien growth, but the Avengers will save us? Right?..


  1. Love the dig at Perth beer prices!

  2. Yet I've found our scotch prices are pretty good, if know of a certain bar, on a side street off a side street.

  3. so what happened in the following ish?