Avengers (3rd series) #49

Issue Date: 
February 2002
Story Title: 
There Are No Words…

Kurt Busiek (writer), Kieron Dwyer (penciler), Rick Remender (inker), Tom Smith (colorist), Richard Starkings (letterer), Mark Sumerak & Jeff Youngquist (assistant editors), Tom Breevort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The Wasp monitors the current squads of Avengers, after losing contact with Captain America’s squad. She sees the army of Sentinels making their way back to Earth, and calls Thor and Firebird away from France to Washington DC, where a projection of Kang has arrived, with the Sentinels in tow. The Air Force engages the Sentinels, while a massive burst of power strikes down from Damocles Base - and manages to destroy part of the Master’s protective ring-wall that surrounds Washington DC. Kang is pleased with himself - but Thor, Firebird and the Wasp arrive, and engage the Sentinels. The President is escorted from the White House, while civilians are in a panic, trapped by most of the ring-wall still. Wonder Man arrives to aid his teammates, but even that is not enough - as Kang obliterates part of Washington DC. A Sentinel head lands on the President’s escape plane. Thor, the Wasp and Firebird land at the White House, and Thor opens a portal to the home of the Deviants, where the President is sent for safe keeping. Thor then orders Firebird and the Wasp to go through the portal too. Thor and Wonder Man attempt to engage Kang - but he releases a nuclear weapon over Washington DC, killing everyone. Thor and Wonder Man emerge alive, but Thor is distraught. Later, the Wasp and government officials meet with Kang, and the Wasp is forced to sign an article of surrender….

Full Summary: 

Avengers Mansion, New York. Janet van Dyne a.k.a. the Wasp sits in the communications room, checking on the status of several squads of Avengers. Holographic images of Captain America, the Scarlet Witch, Photon and Jack of Hearts list them as being in Earth’s orbit, but with contact lost. While Thor and Firebird are in France on a special mission, and Wonder Man is in Los Angeles. Janet looks at another monitor and sees a radar with several red icons lit up, and she looks concerned.

Meanwhile, in France, Thor and Bonita “Firebird” Juarez have been aiding a large army of world-wide troops in holding back Kang’s invading army. They have managed to take some rest, while the troops around them take time out also. Thor looks away from everyone, frowning, his eyes are cold. Firebird looks at Thor, concerned, when suddenly, her communicator lights up, and the holo-monitor shows the concerned face of the Wasp. The Wasp communicates information with the two powerful Avengers, and moments later, Thor spins his mighty hammer, and he and Firebird enter the portal, leaving the soldiers in awe.

In Washington DC, surrounded by the Master’s defensive ring-wall, jets take to the sky - where a massive Kang marches towards Washington DC, with an army of Sentinels under his command. He points downwards, and the Sentinels unleash their massive firepower. But the force field dome prevents their energies from destroying the city. The ray-like weapons surrounding the ring-wall begin to fire at the Sentinels, blasting through some of them, while the Sentinels continue to attack the fighter jets. Kang just smirks, before looking skyward, where Damocles Base, Kang’s sword-shaped base, is pointed at Earth.

Inside Damocles Base, the Scarlet Centurion gazes down at Earth, where Kang motions a finger at the Master’s ring-wall - and a massive blast of energy is fired from Damocles Base - striking one side of the ring-wall. Kang smiles when he sees that his power has destroyed part of the ring-wall. Another shot is fired, and more of the ring-wall is struck down. Kang smiles again, before walking across the sky, with the Sentinels flanking him. Suddenly, a portal opens - and Thor, Firebird and the Wasp emerge. Kang turns and looks at them, unimpressed - before Thor tosses his hammer through one of the Sentinels’ heads.

Inside the White House, the President watches one of the ring-walls explode, before his minders and security guards enter his office, escorting him out, they make their way to a chopper, ready to leave for safety.

Back up in the air, the Wasp blasts one of the Sentinels with her wasp’s sting, while Thor flies through the chest of another. Firebird uses her power to engulf another Sentinel in flame, before flying to Thor.

On the ground below, frantic and frightened passengers in vehicles have come to a stop. Some sit in the cars and gaze to the sky, while others leave their cars and make a run for it.

The Wasp flies towards another Sentinel - and then right into its mouth! Janet makes her way to the Sentinel’s core - fires her wasp’s sting around, then quickly darts back out to safety, as the Sentinel’s head explodes behind her.

Down below, some civilians have driven their cars right to the ring-wall, and people have begun to climb the wall in an attempt to escape.

Suddenly, Thor is struck in the back by an energy blast fired by one of the Sentinels. Another Sentinel turns its attention to Firebird, but the swift Bonita manages to dodge the giant robots’ attack - and to her relief, Simon “Wonder Man” Williams suddenly slams through the Sentinel’s head in an ionic flury. Firebird smiles at her fellow former West Coast Avenger, who waves to she and Thor, before he smashes through yet another Sentinel’s head. Janet sees Simon and gives him the “thumbs up” while he unleashes her wasp’s sting again.

Kang observes the remaining jet fighters dodge Sentinel attacks, while Thor strikes another Sentinel down with a blast of lightning. Suddenly, Kang raises his hands into the air - and brings them down, blasting energy which literally rips through the city, destroying skyscrapers and buildings in an eye blink - to the horror of Firebird and Thor. The mighty Thunder God reacts instantly, tearing across the sky, he attempts to attack Kang- but instead passes through the super-villain’s phased body, while Kang just grins and unleashes another blast of energy to the city below.

Thor begins to spin his mighty hammer in a rage, but the Wasp urgently flies over to him, and flutters about in his face to get his attention. He looks at her, before looking downwards.

Outside the White House, the chopper that the President was to escape on has been flattened by a Sentinel head which dropped out of the sky during battle. The President is safe, pushed to the ground by his guards, who look at the Sentinel head in horror.

The Wasp looks at Thor again, who gazes back, before the pair fly downwards to the President. Thor spins his mighty hammer, opening a portal to Lemuria, home of the Deviants. Warlord Kro stands waiting, and the President looks shocked at the suggestion he should go into the portal. Thor puts a hand on the President’s shoulder, and the President enters the portal. Firebird drops down beside her teammates, and Thor looks away from her. The Wasp shrugs her shoulders, while Thor looks at Jan, before pointing to the portal. The Wasp waves her hands about, but a determined Thor grits his teeth and points at the portal. Moments later, Firebird and the Wasp enter the portal, while Wonder Man drops down beside Thor, and the portal closes.

Thor and Wonder Man take to the sky once more - and come face-to-face with the giant Kang. The super-villain just smirks as a massive green energy manifests in his hands - it grows larger and larger - before Kang drops it to the city below. Sheer horror falls over Thor and Wonder Man as they realize what the green energy is - and they speed downwards to intercept it - too late - as the nuclear weapon detonates, covering the city in radiation. Civilians in their cars and in office blocks do not stand a chance.

When the green mist clears, Thor and Wonder Man get to their feet, weak from the blast. Thor gazes around in horror at the sheer destruction and the number of skeletons that now litter his surroundings. Rain begins to pour, as Thor stumbles out into the skeleton-strewn streets, cars overturned, buildings broken and toppled. He picks up a skull - then the Thunder God drops to his knees, throws his head back and cries.

Later, Washington DC has been decimated. A platform hovers over the burning city. Kang stands, pleased with himself, while the Scarlet Centurion and several of his warriors stand at his side. Several feet away stands a forlorn Wasp, alongside General McGinty and several other officials. Kang smiles at them. They ignore him, so Kang shakes his head.

General McGinty steps forward to where a piece of paper and a pen rest on a small podium, Kang raises a hand, signalling for McGinty to stop. Kang then points at the Wasp. Janet looks stern, and the General steps aside as the Wasp walks over to the podium. Kang picks up the pen and hands it to the Wasp - who begins to sign her name on an Article of Surrender….

Characters Involved: 

Firebird, Thor, Wasp, Wonder Man (all Avengers)

Scarlet Centurion II / Marcus

General McGinty
Government officials
The President of the United States
President’s Security Team
Kro and other Deviants

Story Notes: 

Part 9 of the “Kang Dynasty”.

This issue is one of Marvel’s ‘Nuff Said issues where several Marvel Comics titles released around this time had no words throughout the story. It contains several pages of planning notes by writer Kurt Busiek at the back of the comic.

Captain America, the Scarlet Witch, Photon and Jack of Hearts were attacked by Kang in Avengers (1st series) #48.

The Deviants allied themselves with the Avengers in Avengers (3rd series) #45.

During the “Kang Dynasty”, many inactive and reserve members of the Avengers were assigned active status to deal with the numerous threats posed by Kang and his armies.

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