When we last left this incarnation of the Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow were engaged in battle with Taurus in Latveria and the Hulk ran into Aquarius in the desert. Both villains belong to the crime collective known as The Zodiac, who is empowered by a mysterious, unknown source.
This issue opens up with two Zodiac members speaking to the unknown source. This introduction to the book gives a bit of insight into what the purpose and agenda of the Zodiac is. I almost sympathize with their motives, but after I got to the title page, I remembered that they’re the bad guys. The back story that Bendis weaved in this intro is very engaging and makes me want to keep reading so that I can eventually know even more about the evil organization.
After the fight in Latveria with Taurus, the team heads back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier because Iron Man and Thor got beat up pretty bad. They also brought back with them the item that Taurus was after. Throughout the book, Bendis pulls a Tarantino and has a box with a glowing light that apparently contains something very epic. It was a cute running gag, but I felt like when we finally found out what was in the box, it was anticlimactic. Not in terms of what it was, however. I’m talking about how it looked. I’m not going to spoil what it is, but it looked underwhelming. For something that powerful, I’d expect it be bigger or look more high tech. It’s true that sometimes big things come in small packages, but I think that Mark Bagley could’ve designed something a little more ornate for this super powerful weapon.
A lot of great moments come from the Hulk in this issue. When Tony is knocked out on a table in the Hellicarrier, and Hulk is the first one that he sees, the exchange between the two of them is great. Hulk and Thor have some nice moments as well.
Judging by the last page of the book, we’re about to see a heated battle. There’s something that Bagley has done quite nicely in this series so far: the action. We’ve gotten some great looking action scenes so far, and I’m looking forward to seeing the whole Avengers team take on the Zodiac.
This was a good second issue. Like I said in my ‘Avengers Assemble’ 1 review, this Avengers team came together very organically. In this issue, Cap explains why it needs to be only them and the explanation for not bringing in more Avengers is extremely valid. At least, for now. Some seeds were planted for some great things to be uncovered in the future, especially with the Zodiac. It’s always interesting when the villains are acting in a way that could be seen as good. But then, they go and attack the Avengers and we remember that they’re still villains.
I’d say I’m ready to read more. Damn this waiting game for the next issue!
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #2
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art by MARK BAGLEY, DANNY MIKI, and PAUL MOUNTS