"Avengers Disassembled", referred to in some participating series as "Disassembled", is a crossover event between several Marvel Comics series. The general idea is that the major heroes (the Avengers, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four) are assaulted, not just physically, but emotionally.
The series centers on the Avengers, and this stems into the individual crises affecting Thor, Captain America and Iron Man. The "Disassembled" stories of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four do not tie in and are stand-alone storylines that only share the "Disassembled" title.
The active members of the Avengers team during the events of "Chaos" (the Avengers portion of "Avengers Disassembled") were Ant-Man II, Captain America, Captain Britain III (Kelsey Leigh), Falcon, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk, Vision, Wasp and Yellowjacket.
The story begins when the Avengers Mansion's sensors warn the residing Avengers of an intruder, quickly identified as the reanimated corpse of Jack of Hearts, who had previously died saving the life of Ant-Man's daughter Cassie. Jack inexplicably detonates, killing Ant-Man (Scott Lang) in a blast that destroys half of the mansion. The Vision crashes a Quinjet onto the site, only to attack the survivors of the explosion, carrying a small army of Ultron robots which attack the survivors. During this attack, She-Hulk goes into a frenzy, resulting in her tearing the Vision in two. She-Hulk's running amok puts the Wasp, Captain America, and Captain Britain in the hospital, although the three recovered by the crossover's epilogue. Finally, a wounded Hawkeye sacrifices his life to save his friends by destroying an invading Kree warship.
In the end, it is revealed that the Scarlet Witch was behind these seemingly random attacks. She had been driven insane by the loss of her children years earlier; the children who actually had been magical constructs the Witch had subconsciously created from the essence of the demon Mephisto. The attackers (including the Ultrons and the Kree) were creations of the Scarlet Witch. She was defeated by Doctor Strange, who explained the events that had just occurred, and was whisked away by her father, Magneto.
As a result of these events, Yellowjacket and the Wasp reconciled, and retired to give their relationship a real go. Captain Britain returned home to England. She-Hulk left the group, distraught with the guilt of what she did to the Vision.
The Avengers parted ways and formally disbanded in the story's epilogue, Avengers Finale.
- In the wake of "Avengers Disassembled", two new Avengers series were created. The New Avengers title replaced the Avengers title (with a new #1 in December 2004) which ended with issue #503 and Avengers Finale (November 2004). This new title continued with the creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Finch. The other title, which premiered February 2005, is Young Avengers, which featured teenage heroes, each of whom is modeled on a founding member of the Avengers. This series is written by Allan Heinberg, a writer for The OC, with art by Jim Cheung. Scott Lang's daughter, Cassie, has become a member of this team under the codename Stature, seeking to carry on in her father's footsteps. A younger version of the Vision has also been created, using Iron Lad's armor as his new body.
The Scarlet Witch's storyline continued in the pages of Excalibur Vol 3, where Magneto and Professor X tried helping her, to no avail. This in turn led into the House of M miniseries and crossover, also written by Bendis.
- The event is now considered by Marvel editors as the first part of a trilogy of summer events, with House of M as the second part. The third part, Civil War, involves all of the teams and individuals from the first two events, as well as teams that spun out of them (Young Avengers and X-Factor, to name two). As well as this, the New Avengers arc which ties into Civil War is being called 'New Avengers Disassembled'.*Alongside Grant Morrison's Planet X, this is the first part of what could be loosely considered a trilogy, part two being House of M and Decimation and part three being Civil War.
- The "Disassembled" trade paperbacks display the Avengers "A" symbol on the spines, completed when all of the "Avengers Disassembled" books are displayed in order: Avengers, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man.
- In the opening sequence of Avengers #500, Kelsey Leigh is not in her Captain Britain costume, though her identity is secret from all but the Scarlet Witch. Presumably, she must have revealed her identity to her teammates prior to the start of the issue. When she does change into costume, it takes no time at all: in one panel she's as Kelsey, in the very next, only a second or so later, she is Captain Britain.
- Hawkeye's failure to stand by Iron Man is unusual, although his actions may have been influenced by the Scarlet Witch.
- In Avengers (vol. 3) #81, when Captain Britain (Kelsey Leigh) takes off her mask, her face is no longer scarred, presumably due to Kelsey's transformation into Captain Britain. In Avengers #500 and Avengers Finale, Kelsey's scar has returned. From further appearances of Kelsey in New Excalibur pages is now stated that even as Captain Britain/Lionheart she remains disfigured, like in Avengers Finale.
- Dr. Strange's comment that there is no such thing as "Chaos Magic" is a surprise, as Strange himself used it as his primary source of power for a time, and has seen Chaos Magic used on several other occasions. This comment also seems to fly against various important storylines involving the Witch from much of Kurt Busiek's and Geoff Johns' runs as writers on Avengers (vol. 3), including when she uses her magics against the In-Betweener in the "New World Order" storyline and to stop a bio-plague in the "Red Zone" storyline.
- Dr. Strange seems surprised to hear that Wanda's children never existed, which is baffling as he and Scarlet Witch have met numerous times since and the subject would surely have come up, in particular as Strange assisted in the delivery of her children.
- It has been shown, especially immediately after the event in Avengers West Coast, that Wanda does indeed remember her children having existed and the events surrounding their disappearing; her memory was removed by Agatha Harkness, but was later restored, as revealed in a subsequent Avengers West Coast Annual.
- Some fans consider Hawkeye's behavior in his death to be quite baffling. They claim that choosing to kill himself rather than simply get rid of his burning quiver packed with explosives is incredibly foolish and short-sighted. The Pulse #10 does seem to address this as the House of M Hawkeye, remembering what happened, comments "I thought I was going out a hero in a blaze of glory. Turns out I was just a spaz being yanked on someone else's chain."
- Pages referring to the "Avengers Disassembled" event
- Images showing "Avengers Disassembled"
- Event Gallery: Avengers Disassembled
Links and References
- Avengers #500-503 (main story)
- Avengers Finale (epilogue)
- Captain America #29-32 (aftermath)
- Captain America and the Falcon #5-7 (prologue)
- Fantastic Four #517-519 (aftermath)
- Iron Man #84-85 (prologue) and #86-89 (aftermath)
- Spectacular Spider-Man #15-20 (prologue)
- Excalibur #8 (parallel story)
- Thor #80-81 (prologue) and #82-85 (parallel story)
- Although not bannered as a part of the crossover, the events of Stormbreaker: The Saga of Beta Ray Bill are a direct sequel to the story in Thor.