Art by: Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco, Jesus Aburtov and VC's Caramagna
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 13, 2016
This is an odd book for me to review. I am not a huge Avengers fan and even if I was, I am not really that familiar with this team. However, that is actually the reason I picked it...to dive head first into our Marvel Mondays experiment and see what I've been missing. This issue is part two of the A.I.M vs S.H.I.E.L.D. story and if you are a fan of acronyms, then you need to jump on right now. It's also a Civil War II tie-in and all of this had me intimidated a bit going into this review. Did I overcome it and enjoy the issue? Let's find out...
The issue starts on the SHIELD (sorry, I am already sick of typing it as a true acronym...please forgive me) Helicarrier with Songbird being greeted by John Garrett and Dum Dum Dugan. After showing Melissa that Dum Dum is "part of the team", Garrett has some questions for our triple agent. It seems that Ulysses and Karnak have noticed a little something about Songbird that is a bit disturbing to Garrett and leads to a totally kickass fight between Songbird and Dum Dums. Yes, that was Dum Dums as Songbird tears apart Dum Dum after Dum Dum until an army of Dugans join the fray.
We then head off to Avenger Base Two where Cannonball and Roberto De Costa are watching the coverage of Hawkeye's recent Civil War II troubles. De Costa blames himself for not being there for Hawkeye, but Cannonball lays it down in a "man makes his own decisions" kind of way and just when it looks like everybody will be able to sleep at night, they get an emergency call. Yea, it's Songbird and the jig is up...and gone! Before she can warn De Costa of his future, one of the Dum Dums knocks her out cold.
The issue continues by showing us a first hand account of what SHIELD calls, "Enhanced Interrogation". Not torture, mind you, but...Enhanced Interrogation. As far as we see, it involves a lie detector and pointing a gun at people.
Back at Avenger Base Two, we meet up with Powerman and Dr. Positron who jump into the Stealth Zero pods and blast off with Cannonball providing the horsepower. They look a bit like the Cloud City Pod Cars and I may not have been as excited as Cannonball, but I thought the whole thing was pretty cool.
This is where De Costa opens up his stupid mouth and pretty much invites anyone and everyone to gear up and attack AIM. He tells Cannonball to hurry up and grab Songbird and get their asses back to base since they are really exposed for attack right now and we see that The Maker is all for just that.
If we didn't already have enough going on, we check in with Dr. Ho working on Pod and it looks like she's figured out how to free Aikku from the armor. The problem, though, is that without Pod, Aikku is Aikku...but without Aikku, Pod is nothing. As in kaputs-ville. It's actually a really touching scene as Ho realizes Aikku's sacrifice, but it's all interrupted by...I can't tell you that or I'd ruin a pretty awesome cliffhanger. Al Ewing sets it up well to make you care even more about what happens and what appears about to happen.
As a newcomer to the series, I had a pretty good time here. I do hope that Al Ewing tightens up the screws a bit so that we aren't all over the place going forward. A crazy team book like this is bound to throw you in a ton of directions at once, but when you barely move forward on any front, it can become a problem. I will give him credit, though, as each of the directions is pretty damn interesting to me. Just a warning for those grabbing this for the Civil War tie-in part of it...there is not much at all here and you can just pass on by.
I really liked Paco Medina's art in this issue. The character models are all really good and there are plenty of big panels to impress the reader. My favorite part was the army of Dum Dums which wasn't just because it was a character I know but also because it made me smile.
Bits and Pieces:
Even with some pretty cool revelations, this issue felt like a bunch of setup. Al Ewing does a good job of getting the reader excited for next issue and Paco Medina's art is really good, but that can't disguise the fact that not a lot happens. I will be back next month and it looks like the shit is really going to hit the fan.