Written by Jason Aaron
Art by David Marquez, Ed McGuinness, Frazer Irving, Adam Kubert and Andrea Sorrentino
Colors by Justin Posnor, Erick Arciniega, Frazer Irving, Matthew Wilson and Giada Marchisio
Letters by Cory Petit
The response to the new independent Avengers prompts the formation of new superhero teams and a new mission for others.
The Russian government has decided to bring back their super soldier program in a new way to deal with the ongoing threat of Namor and his undersea Defenders. This new team, led by Crimson Dynamo, includes a new Red Widow who seems to have her own agenda and reports to forces unknown.
At the same time, Steve Rogers has a meeting with Thunderbolt Ross. The General and the government of the US are not happy with the fact that the Avengers are not working for the US and are allied with Wakanda. Ross proceeds to make a veiled threat to Captain America and he does get the response he was expecting.
When an Avengers alert goes, the team converges on the site of a former undersea biosphere that has been raised from the depths by Namor himself with the intentions of expelling all air-breathers from the ocean. The Avengers intervene and after pointing out the number of unrepentant killers working with Namor, a fight naturally follows. A fight that only gets more complicated when The Winter Guard interferes with orders to take Namor into custody. With their team working against each other and the Avengers, the fight becomes a mess for everyone involved and Namor takes a bold step to end the conflict.
In the aftermath, Ross enlists a familiar face to create a new US based team, Robbie Reyes has an uncomfortable but ultimately interesting run in with a drunk Odin, Loki is freed from the Celestials by another familiar face with an even more ominous vision of what’s coming and Wasp heads to Transylvania on a recruiting mission.
This issue of Avengers is setting up a whole new status quo for both the Avengers and the Earth’s heroes. It’s going to be interesting to see how Aaron crafts a world in the midst of a superhero arms race and how those teams will interact and clash with each other. This is a big issue in scope and story and Aaron does a really good job of keeping the story moving with style, humor, intensity and reverence. I continue to look forward to what happens with this core group of Avengers, but I also want to see how some new seeds that are being planted play into the core groups dynamic. Kudos to Aaron for keeping the story broad, but focused at the same time.
The different artists made this story work as well. The changes in tone between different parts of the story were expertly handled with the change in artistic styles. My favorite transition was the transition from the Loki arc to Janet’s part of the story. There is a lot to unpack in this issue and it is definitely worth the read.