Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ed McGuinness and Francesco Manna
Colors by Jason Keith
Letters by Cory Petit
The Rundown: A dark entity is gathering all of the Avengers recent foes together to stop Earth’s Mightiest Heroes once and for all.
Namor laments the recent attacks on his kingdom from the surface world including Roxxon and decides to drown his sorrows at a local bar. When the bartender makes a suggestion about where he should direct his anger, the King of Atlantis is intrigued. At the same time, the Vampire nation continues to build its ranks as Baroness Blood suggests the real threat to the nation is the Blade and the Avengers. From the Winter Guard to the Squadron Supreme leader Phil Coulson a dark voice suggests that the enemies of the Avengers should unit to end them while the Avengers themselves contemplate how they will protect the new Starbrand.
The Story: Jason Aaron takes this issue to build on the threats that have been looming for the Avengers for months and it’s handled in a way that is compelling as a reader. The story is dark and intriguing with characters that are significant threats on their own contemplating how they can be more effective by working together and the mastermind behind the scenes manipulating them is perfectly placed to cause chaos for the Avengers. I was impressed with how the story was laid out and even though there were no surprises about who the villain is and what he is doing, it was still entertaining to see his manipulation and machinations at work. I look forward to seeing how this plays out particularly with Tony and his recent revelations.
The Art: McGuinness and Manna continue to deliver amazing visuals throughout this issue. This issue is character focused so there are no huge battles and that gives the artists the ability to really focus on making these characters look their best panel after panel.