Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ed McGuinness
Inks by Mark Morales
Colors by David Curiel
A million years ago, Odin and his first team of Avengers prepare for their upcoming battle by discussing strategy and in Odin’s case, getting drunk. This leads to an intimate moment between Odin and Phoenix that shouldn’t work, but does in the context of her being a force of nature and he being rash and young. The rest of them are measured in their response and Agamotto is more ominous in both his predictions of what might happen if they fail and if they succeed. It’s a great aside that rolls into the story well.
In the present we get Tony Stark, Thor Odinson and Steve Rogers together having a drink and talking about the circumstances that brought them to this point. It’s a little bittersweet moment, especially with Odinson lamenting about Mjolnir and his unworthiness to carry it. Steve and Tony get into it over bringing back the team and their back and forth seems natural given their history and that makes it even cooler when Thor decides to break the stalemate. The conversation is interrupted by an alert about something in Earth orbit.
At the same time, two miles beneath South Africa, Doctor Strange and Black Panther are investigating the deaths of a group of archaeologists and how magic used by Agamotto was keeping something hidden at the site. We get a call back to Strange’s fight with the Empirikul as an explanation as to why the spells are gone. At this point the story really starts to kick into gear with others heroes joining in the plot including Carol Danvers, Jennifer Walters, Ghost Rider and others.
The events that follow include hundreds of Celestials coming through portals in space and a threat that is even greater than they are. Both the story and art in this issue grabbed me. I’ve always loved McGuinness’ style and he is given reign to create some beautifully detailed panels. The plot works on pretty much every level with this separate group of potential Avengers finding out more aspects of the mystery that seems to be drawing them together.
If this were the first comic I ever picked up, it would definitely make me interested and reading what happens next.