Mind Capsules – Avengers #40 and Avengers #34.2

Avengers #40
Avengers #40

Writer – Jonathan Hickman
Artist – Stefano Caselli
Colours – Frank Martin

At the close of the last issue, the Invisible Woman had essentially shut down the fighting between the three teams all by herself, to which this issue opens up with all of them having a conversation.  It has been a long time in the coming, but at the end of it, everyone sort of gets what they want, most especially Steve Rogers who wants to arrest the Illuminati for destroying an alternate Earth.  How that is going to work is unknown at this point, but he is sure going to try.  A plan is put in place to rid the world of the Cabal, the team of world breakers consisting of Thanos, Maximus, Black Swan, Terrax, Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive and all at the hands of Namor’s deceit.  Things go according to plan for the most part, except the betrayer is then betrayed leaving things on a very solemn note.  The ending of this issue came as quite a surprise, a shock even and it is hard to imagine it having any kind of permanence.  For one, Thanos is going to be a big player in the Marvel movie universe and for him to die at this point is a little unwise on the publisher’s part, so you know it is not going to stick.  Also, if Thanos survives, there is nothing to say that the rest of the Cabal will not be able to do so either.  Hickman also leaves the teams in somewhat of a quandary.  Will they be able to trust each other going forward at this point and will the Illuminati surrender to face judgement for what they have done?  What about what Steve has done all in the name of what he thinks is right?  There are still a million questions to be answered and not a lot of time to do so left in the series.  Also, will we ever get to see what happened during the time-gap?  Another fantastic issue that keeps you hanging on to every word and picture and leaves you wanting more and more after it is done.

4.5 out of 5

Avengers #34.2
Avengers #34.2

Writer – Sam Humphries
Artist – Bengal
Colours – David Curiel

The third issue to bare the number thirty-four in the current run of the Avengers has absolutely nothing to do with anything that is going on currently and is merely a standalone tale featuring Starbrand and Nightmask.  So for those thinking that it will tie into what Hickman is doing, you will be sorely disappointed as it simply does not.  As it is, Sam Humphries writes a fun little tale involving these two heroes who head out into the middle of nowhere to investigate something strange that is going on.  Eventually they discover that it is an ancient being that, now in ghost form, is controlling some of the members of the town to go crazy and start fires.  Humphries puts a lot of humour into the tale, but more of a subtle humour instead of the kind that will make your belly hurt from too much laughter.  We also get to learn a little more about what makes these two heroes tick, something we have not really been privy to in the ongoing story as there simply is no time to do so.  While issues like this are appreciated, the numbering scheme that Marvel uses makes it seem like it is an essential part of the run and almost cons us, the customer, into buying it.  Now it is also smart on their part as if this were simply a one-shot special it more than likely would not have sold as much and this way it is guaranteed to have the sales they are looking for.  Anyways, be aware of what you are getting into here before you buy it, but really, it is an entertaining and fun issue and most should enjoy it if they give it a chance.

3.5 out of 5

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