A.I.M. vs S.H.I.E.L.D vs W.H.I.S.P.E.R vs Acronyms
Al Ewing (W), Paco Medina (P), Juan Vlasco (I), Jesus Aburtov (CA)
Cover by Julian Totino Tedesco
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So, we’re back with the New Avengers. If I’m being honest, a part of the reason for this is that this was one of the only comics that I was able to get my hands on this week. That’s fine though. This has been a good series, and an Al Ewing book is always worth talking about.
This issue continues with the assault on Avenger Base Two by the Maker (Ultimate Reed Richards) and his New Revengers. The A.I being known as O.M.N.I.T.R.O.N.I.C.U.S has pinned down Robert da Costa in his control room, but former New Mutants ally Warlock has come to Da Costa’s rescue. The Maker himself and Skar Weapon of Mars have badly wounded P.O.D and Dr. Toni Ho is left to fend them off with a new Rescue suit (Rescue being an identity that Pepper Pots used at one point with a suit of Stark armor) that she has designed with Stark tech. The nuclear warhead launched by S.H.I.E.L.D Agent John Garrett on its way to the location of what he believes is Avengers Base Two by Songbird in interrogation. Meanwhile, Songbird, Cannonball, Power Man, and Dr. Max Brashear (the son of Blue Marvel) battle an army of Dum Dum Dugan L.M.D’s controlled by the mad Garrett. The All-New New Avengers, consisting of Hulkling, Wiccan, and Squirrel Girl come to aid their allies. The battle of the White Tigers, Ava and Angela Del Toro, comes to its conclusion.
If you’re noticing that this plot synopsis is pretty much the same as my review of New Avengers #14, you’re not the only one. While this issue did tie up some of those plot points, this climactic battle has been going on for a few issues now, and it’s starting to overstay its welcome.
That being said, this book is very good at using all of its characters amply. Ewing is a master of giving all of his cast some screen time. This is something he’s exhibited in Captain America and the Mighty Avengers and continues to show in this book and the Ultimates. Toni Ho protecting P.O.D, Ava’s battle with Angela, and Bobby da Costa teaming up with Warlock all provide good pivotal character moments for these team members.
I really enjoy Paco Medina’s artwork. A lot of modern comic book art has clear manga influence, and Medina is among the best at fusing Japanese manga art stylings with Western cartooning. This, mixed with Aburtov’s very vivid color art, result in a very gorgeous comic book. That being said, Medina draws women very, very skinny. Now, this is a fairly common thing in comic books, but there are a couple of frames where Songbird and the White Tigers look almost sickly. When Songbird first shows up in this issue, I honestly thought there was supposed to be something wrong with her.
I don’t talk about covers often, but I have really enjoyed the Tedesco covers to the Civil War II “tie-in” issues of this comic. They look really, really good, and I actually like covers that connect on the sides.
The pacing is…alright. That’s sort of the dilemma with having a climax that lasts multiple issues. There’s no rise and fall, and, in the case of this comic, you have little dips in the action that don’t really work to the book’s benefit. I know that’s sort of a staple of modern comic book stories, especially with Marvel and their constant soft reboots and crossovers that force writers to work with weird timetables, but it still harms the reading experience.
This comic is still a pretty fun read. The action is exciting and creative, the dialogue is very funny, and Al Ewing has always made the narrative inserts hilarious too. I’m not sure I can recommend to you it if you haven’t been following the story, but, if you’re looking for a quick and exciting read with a wild cast of characters, you could still have a good time reading this issue.
Final Score: 7/10