Avengers red zone

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When the Red Skull infiltrates the United States government, he authorizes a biological weapon to be released from the peaks of Mount Rushmore, and it is up the Avengers to contain it! Under the direction of creators Geoff Johns and Olivier Coipel, the Avengers face a threat unlike any they've ever faced, then they take on the Red Skull himself! Collecting AVENGERS (1998) #65-70. Rated T ...$24.99 ISBN: 978-0-7851-4466-3 Trim size: standard

When the Red Skull infiltrates the United States government, he authorizes a biological weapon to be released from the peaks of Mount Rushmore, and it is up the Avengers to contain it! Under the direction of creators Geoff Johns and Olivier Coipel, the Avengers face a threat unlike any they've ever faced, then they take on the Red Skull himself! Collecting AVENGERS (1998) #65-70. Rated T ...$24.99 ISBN: 978-0-7851-4466-3 Trim size: standard

Sours: https://www.marvel.com/comics/collection/29110/avengers_red_zone_hardcover

Avengers: 5 Reasons Red Zone is the Most Underrated Story (& 5 Why It’s Under Siege)

For close to sixty years, the Avengers have faced a variety of world-threatening challenges and villains. These conflicts created many great comic book stories. From the "Korvac Saga," "Ultron Unlimited" to "No Surrender," there are many good stories that involved the Avengers taking on powerful foes to save the world and even the universe.

RELATED: The 10 Best Avengers Stories Of The Decade, Ranked

Despite the large scale of the most well-known Avengers' storylines, some of the best Avengers' stories are the ones on a smaller scale or a bit untraditional. Two good examples of this style of under-rated Avengers' stories would be Roger Stern's "Under Siege" and Geoff Johns' "Red Zone." This article will provide a case for why either story is the most under-rated Avengers story.

10 Red Zone: It's More Relevant Today

"Red Zone" is a story that deals both with dangerous diseases straining the US Government's resources. These plot elements become much more relevant today than were when the story was originally published in 2003.

"Red Zone's" parallels to today are a little weaken a little by the fact they are twisted in some fantastical direction with a flesh-eating bioweapon being the cause of the crisis and the US Government being subverted by a disguised Red Skull. Despite those twists, the story did remain oddly premonitory and this story does a great job of approaching politics for a comic book.

9 Under Siege: It Sets Up The Thunderbolt

One of "Under Siege's" strong points is that storyline played a key role in shaping the Avengers and related titles for years to come. The story's biggest legacy would be that the Thunderbolts were heavily shaped by this story.

RELATED: The 10 Strongest Members of The Thunderbolts, Ranked

Beyond the fact that Thunderbolt's initial line-up overlapped a good deal with the Masters of Evil lineup in this story, it set up several of the interpersonal dynamics within the Thunderbolt. Most noticeable this storyline displayed the power struggle between Baron Zemo and Moonstone that would set up many storylines in the Thunderbolt comics.

8 Red Zone: It's Not A Traditional Superhero Story

One Distinct Aspect of "Red Zone" is the fact that its tone is closer to a disaster movie for its first half and a political thriller for its second half. This tone makes the story stand out from other notable Avengers' storyline.

"Red Zone" similarities to a disaster movie is that it primarily involves the Avengers working to stop the spread of a bioweapon released from a lab hidden in Mount Rushmore. The second half is a more political thriller that focuses on several heroes seeking to prevent a disguised Red Skull from using the crisis to seize control over the United States.

7 Under Siege: Gives Some B And C-list Villians The Spotlight

One of "Under Siege" strong points is that it gives a bunch of less-known villains a time to shine. The Masters of Evil lineup in "Under Siege" is composed mostly of lesser-known villains teaming up to take down the Avengers at a moment of weakness. The storyline gives focus on how powerful a group of supervillains can be when they can team with one another and coordinate their attacks.

Of the villains given the spotlight in this story, the one most improved by it would be Blackout. This story finds Blackout serving as Zemo's key to defeating Captain Marvel, who is Monica Rambeau at the time. Zemo, however, brainwashed Blackout due to his paranoia, making him a poor team player. This would, however, backfire on Zemo as Blackout broke free from his brainwashing and turned the tide against Zemo.

6 Red Zone: The Black Panther Vs. Red Skull Fight

One high point of "Red Zone" is the climactic fight between the Red Skull and Black Panther. This occurs in the story's final issue as Iron Man and Black Panther break into the Red Skull's office to free a captured  Captain America and Falcon. While Iron Man goes ahead to free Captian America, Black Panther decides to deal with Red Skull himself.

RELATED: 5 Villains We Want To See In Black Panther 2 (& 5 We Don't)

This fight is good for many reasons as it is both a fun and very satisfying fight to read. This satisfaction comes from simply the fact that "Red Zone" remembers that Red Skull is a racist, and these views would be his downfall, as he does not believe Black Panther was a threat.

5 Under Siege: Allows Some Obscure Heroes To Save The Day

While "Under Siege" give a good deal of the spotlight to some obscure villains, some obscure heroes to play a significant role in allowing the Avengers to overcome the Masters of Evil. The Scott Lang incarnation of Ant-Man and Doctor Druid both particularly played a key role in the Avengers' victory.

Ant-Man's role in the story was both helping Wasp to protect an unconscious Hercules and later helped her sneak into the Avenger's mansion. Doctor Druid's role was helping to break Blackout from Baron Zemo's mind control allowing Captain Marvel to break free from the Darkforce and take out Zemo's most powerful asset.

4 Red Zone: Some Great Character Moments

Geoff John's as a comic book writer is well regarded for his runs on team comics like Teen Titans and JSA, and his skills at writing a team book shine in "Red Zone." What he does to make "Red Zone" an exceptional story is that he allows each member of the team some time to shine on there own.

RELATED: The 20 Greatest DC Comics By Geoff Johns

There are many examples of this throughout "Red Zone." From Vision's lamentation over the crisis to Warbird's military past being utilized to organize relief for South Dakota. These little character moments give each member of the Avenger some time to shine.    

3 Under Siege: Story's Structure

What makes "Under Siege" a great Avenger story is how it is structured into two parts. The first half of the story focuses on the Masters of Evil's efforts to divide and conquer the Avengers. The second half of the story is how the Avengers rebound with their team in tatters and overcome the control of the Master of the Evil.

Why the story's structure makes the story great is that it made it one of the few comic book stories at the time that focuses on how the villains operate their plan and make it reasonable for the reader to understand how the villains gain the upper hand. This focus on the villains' plan and competition also made it a lot more satisfying when the Avengers finally prevail at the end.

2 Red Zone: Does A Great Job On Examining Captain America's Patriotism

While there are many good character moments and arcs in "Red Zone," the highlight would be Captain America's. This arc does a wonderful job of portraying how Captain American is more loyal to the American dream than its Government.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Why Baron Zemo Is Captain America’s Deadliest Villain (& 5 Why It Will Always Be Red Skull)

This arc features Captain America being shocked by the reveal that the bioweapons were not some terrorists', but a product of the U.S. Government. These major reveals leads to Captian America deciding to deal with the US official behind the weapon's development before he even found out that this individual was the Red Skull. The story then ends with Captain American promising to oppose the US government if they continue to develop bioweapons.

1 Under Siege: The Final Fight

The climax of "Under Siege" is a particular highlight in that it empathize how the story's conflict is a result of Captain America's and Baron Zemo's feud. The fight is good for many reasons such as it takes place on the mansion's rooftop and Zemo's initially using Cap's shield at its start.

The highlight of the fight is how it focuses on these two men's feud as the emotional center on the fight. This can be seen by the story focusing on Baron Zemo refusing to give up as he feels it would dishonor his family. It also shows Captain America being furious at Zemo for endangering his teammates to get at him.

NEXT: 5 DC Heroes (& 5 Villains) Who Could Take Out The Avengers By Themselves

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About The Author
Matthew England (91 Articles Published)

With a Master's in History, Matthew England is here to bring his background in both academic writing and nerd culture to CBR. Born in 1995, Matthew England has long been interested in Science Fiction and Superheroes that started with his introduction to the Star Wars and the X-men at a young age. He tends to go in deep with whatever series or franchise, he is currently consuming. Currently, he is seeking to begin his freelance writing career and binging Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

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Review by Ian Keogh

Red Zone is the signature piece of Geoff Johns’ Avengers run, a sinister intrusion of real world politics into superhero activities, beginning with Mount Rushmore and the surrounding area being enveloped by a red cloud that transmits a form of flesh eating virus. The stage was set with a corrupt Senator in Standoff, and to all intents it’s a terrorist attack on American soil, the story originally serialised in 2003, so Johns well aware of the parallels he was drawing. It’s an interesting problem as the Avengers can’t punch away a cloud, and Johns further pits them against the authorities, thrashing around in their ignorance, their only power lying in clinging to power and protecting secrets.

The needs of the story require an artistic approach differing from the usual Avengers technique of flying in and punching out, and Olivier Coipel supplies that, presenting lovingly detailed military hardware, people in panic and the hovering threat of the cloud. For much of the story the Avengers wear protective suits, so Coipel’s artistic statement is a spooky looking metallic skeleton effect when the Vision phases through solid matter. Colourist Chris Sotomayor has a larger role than usual on a superhero title, ensuring that red shadows spread over large sections of the pages. Deadlines appear to take their toll, and Coipel’s work on the final chapter has a rushed quality evident in the basic layouts, some strange Scarlet Witch drawings and lack of detail. His is art is otherwise phenomenal.

For four chapters Red Zone is a taut story with a problem that appears beyond the abilities of the Avengers to solve. There are well considered character moments, as Johns treats the Vision’s humanity with some grace, the Falcon and Black Panther have pleasing roles, and the human cost is never forgotten. However, because this is an Avengers story there has to be a super villain, and while it’s a compelling choice, the appearance of a super villain instantly eradicates the heart of the matter, which is that the US government has been developing an appalling weapon. The implications of that would have made for a far more interesting conclusion than the one on offer, which descends into standard fare. With hindsight, it might be felt that a President Bush cameo was also uncalled for.

Still, the tension of powerless Avengers over the first four chapters is excellent, and despite its failings, at the time Red Zone was a better long Avengers story than any for about a year either side of its publication. It’s available as a 2003 paperback and a 2010 hardcover, and now found in both The Avengers: The Complete Collection by Geoff Johns 2, and in the massive oversized (and expensive) Avengers: The Vibranium Collection. Johns’ Avengers continuity continues with Search for She-Hulk.

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