Similar to ‘Thunderbolts’, I haven’t picked up an issue of ‘Avengers Assemble’ in a long time. Back then, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley were working on the book and it featured the team of Avengers from the popular Joss Whedon movie. But since then, the incomparable Kelly Sue DeConnick has taken over writing duties and the team roster has changed a bit. Now, as part of the latest Marvel crossover, ‘Infinity’, her team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes joins the Galactic Council in their war against the Builders.
Spinning out of the events of Jonathan Hickman’s ‘Avengers’ #18, this issue of DeConnick’s ‘Avengers Assemble’ shows the events of the Battle of the Corridor, but fro the point of view of Jessica Drew AKA Spider-Woman. Here, the team joins alien races such as the Kree, Skrulls, the Brood, and more as they prepare to mobilize and attack the Builder armada. Hoping to take their foes by surprise, the Avengers and their comrades target the command vessel and appear to have split the enemy forces. However, they launch a surprise attack that pushes the alliance to retreat, potentially leaving some certain super-powered soldiers behind.
Now this is a well done tie-in. With so much going on in the main books, we readers might miss a few things here and there. But with tie-ins like this one, it almost offers an alternate camera angle of the action taking place in the fight.
Unlike the most recent issue of ‘Avengers’, which presents the story from Captain America and Captain Marvel’s points of view, ‘Avengers Assemble’ focuses on Spider-Woman and her role in the battle. I like how she and Hulk step up to take care of business when they have to. Also, the animosity between Jess and the Skrulls is an interesting aspect to explore. That’s been a pretty long-gestating rivalry, but to see mortal enemies get along for the sake of eliminating the threat of the Builders is very interesting.
And real quick, Manifold’s whole “Are we there yet?” sort of act is hysterical. Hickman writes Eden fairly seriously, but Kelly Sue is having fun with him. I definitely want to see more aspects of his character in future issues.
Finally, this book adds a layer on top of the recent developments in ‘Infinity’. It puts a personal twist to the events and supplements the readers’ perceptions of the characters that are affected. Being able to put a face on the feelings that you’re experiencing after reading these books helps to make the story richer.
Of course, you don’t absolutely need to be reading ‘Avengers Assemble’ to understand what’s going on in ‘Infinity’. However, by picking it up along with the main books, you have a more complete picture of what’s going on in the Marvel Universe right now. I for one will definitely be adding this series back to my pull list to check out what else it offers to enhance Hickman’s already awesome tale.
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #18
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Barry Kitson, Gary Erskine, Nolan Woodward, & Jay David Ramos
Cover by Jorge Molina