Right to Assemble 6: Catching Up
By Troy Brownfield
Here there be spoilers . . .
Greetings all! It’s a big Avengers week, and to that end, we’re taking stock of both “Dark” and “Mighty”, plus taking note of another book that features a particular assemblage.
After reading the new issue of Dark Avengers (#11, out today), I’m happy to discover that my “It’s Mephisto” line of reasoning can still be in play. It turns out that the assembled characters aligned behind Molecule Man (those being The Beyonder, Mephisto, Enchantress, and Zarathos) are merely his constructs, external representations of the kind of beings among whom Molecule Man wishes to be counted. Although I have to say that it’s exceedingly clever of Bendis to have gone for the fake-out last time by employing some actual suspects from the “Who is Norman’s secret weapon?” list.
I was a bit surprised to find a goodly portion of the issue given over to Victoria Hand. Some interwoven flashbacks demonstrate how she earned the enmity of her higher-ups and lost her girlfriend, Isabelle, at the same time. On the upside, she ended up not having to cope with the back problems that Isabelle is sure to suffer later in life. On the downside, it’s pretty obvious that those events hampered her confidence and her ability to step up. Interestingly, that’s exactly what she ends up doing.
I think that the major question that continues to hang over “Dark Avengers” is “Will it even exist after Siege?” Honestly, it would seem that the overall subtext of Marvel would be moving away from such a title. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays.
The Mighty Quirky Avengers welcome a large group of avenging brethren as they take on The Unspoken and some of their own devolved teammates. Though the debate about Hank Pym being Scientist Supreme will no doubt continue to rage, most of the focus of this issue was spent on the various heroes actually trying to work together. I know!
Frankly, that’s been one of my biggest gripes about team books in recent years. Few people seem to put a focus on the team in action anymore. Not that there aren’t action scenes, but they’re mostly individuals fighting other individuals alongside like-minded individuals. There’s frequently little team action or cooperation. This issue actually has that. Slott and Gage definitely highlight Hank, but much of the cast plays critical roles. By my count, Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Ronin, Stature, Vision, Quicksilver and even Radioactive Man all have parts to play toward a common goal.
I also thought that the resolution to the Quicksilver/Inhumans relationship was interesting. Actually, it keyed me to something I hadn’t really noticed before, in that several of the “Mighty Avengers” have been those in need of some kind of redemption. Though Hank Pym actually GOT that years ago, recent events re-opened the casebook on Hank, forcing him back into a redemptive cycle. There’s U.S. Agent, who always seems to have something to answer for. There’s Quicksilver. While that overlying theme doesn’t really apply much to Jocasta or the Vision, it’s still an interesting undercurrent to note.
Kicking Off . . . Realm of Kings
By now you’ve seen the payoff to the “Evil Assembled” teaser image. What your thoughts on this take? Are you into this particular iteration of the cosmic crossover that, at least in tertiary fashion, involves the Avengers? Let’s hear it, people.