In recent times, the Brian Michael Bendis penned Avengers titles are my last minute impulse buy on a Wednesday afternoon. I grab my priority Marvel titles and if I have a few dollars leftover I flip through an Earth’s Mightiest Heroes comic and check out the high-profile artist working with the talky writer.
Within a few pages I immediately put Avengers #18 on the stack. Daniel Acuña brings a fresh and softly glorious aura to this title primarily helmed by John Romita Jr. JRJR provides a certain bold feeling to the action packed adventures, but for a slow down, recovery issue like this Acuña’s style is appropriate for the tone. The simply drawn characters work well (even if Red Hulk looks like a midget) and inspired, almost slippery colors deserve particular mention. Those colors make this work and elevate the issue to one of the better Avengers related reads of the past few months.
It’s weird how fantastic art enhances a Bendis script tenfold. Or maybe it isn’t. The story here is probably meant to be read as the first step into the Shattered Heroes era (the Heroic Age lasted like, what, two months?) Gone are the retrospective dialogues by the crew about stuffed that happened. Now, the story follows S.H.I.E.L.D. forensic scientist Carolina Washington (wait, where?) as she cleans up after heroes following the major events since the Superhero Civil War. Carolina’s theft of superhuman paraphernalia and expertise in the field make her an interesting addition to the huge cast, and it’s not an entire spoiler to tell you that at the end of the book she approaches H.A.M.M.E.R. with the intent to take down the reckless heroes of the Marvel Universe. The reason it’s probably not a surprise is because H.A.M.M.E.R., Norman Osborn, Superia and others have hovered around the team(s) for quite a while now. I appreciate the storyline because of its real world dynamic of regular joes being unsatisfied with the those of power, but it only now seems to be ramping into anything noteworthy.
The issue also features a dialogue between Stark and Rogers about the state of Avengers Tower and a gathering of the entire roster at Avengers Mansion. Both scenes are a start on the team’s healing process, but that’s all they are, a start. It appears we will have to wait to see what Captain America, and Bendis, have planned for the team in the months leading up to the surely awesome Avengers movie.
Jamil Scalese is just like you — an avid comics fan and lover of sequential art. Residing in Pittsburgh, PA, he is an unapologetic Deadpool fan, lover of the Food Network and proud member of Steelers Nation.