Mind Capsules – Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 and Amazing Spider-Man #8

Avengers Standoff Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1
Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1

Writer – Nick Spencer
Artist – Mark Bagley
Inker – Scott Hanna
Colours – Paul Mounts
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill opens on Bucky Barnes infiltrating a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility due to his duties as the man on the wall. Something big is about to happen in the Marvel Universe and all the signs point to this very spot, here and now. The problem is that S.H.I.E.L.D. does not want him to know anything about it which is where writer Nick Spencer then decides to cut out and take us to another scene, namely the aforementioned Pleasant Hill. There is something strange about Pleasant Hill. Very strange. We are introduced to a man with no memory that has just awoken to find he has no idea of who he is, where he is or anything really. Luckily the good citizens of Pleasant Hill are there to help him out, even after he decides to try and break out multiple times. There is something off about the place and he feels it deep down inside and thus the reason for all the escape attempts. Soon, the man is made aware of the truth of it all and things in Pleasant Hill, for S.H.I.E.L.D. and for the rest of the Marvel U will not be the same going forward. Spencer delivers a very captivating tale, one full of mystery and a little suspense and while at first it seems to be going the way of Lost or even Wayward Pines, Spencer delivers quite the shocking ending which heralds back to an earlier time in the Marvel Universe, specifically nineteen years ago. Truthfully, you sort of knew what Spencer was doing – to an extent anyways, but that ending was genius and quite out of the blue which really made this book worth reading and gets you excited for the latest crossover that is about to take place. Workhorse Mark Bagley provides the pencils with his partners in crime, Scott Hanna and Paul Mounts and his artwork not only looks good, but is quite fitting due to the subject matter. There are times when Bagley looks to be overextended on a book as he tends to pump the pages out at a rate that puts other artists to shame, but thankfully that is not the case here and everything is perfect from start to finish. This book and this event also tends to tie into the S.H.I.E.L.D. plotline that has been running through various titles over the past year or so, even longer perhaps, that has seen the organization getting a little above their heads and meddling in things they should not be. Whether all of that gets addressed in this series is one thing, but for now, what we are presented with looks to be promising indeed.

4 out of 5

Amazing Spider-Man #8
Amazing Spider-Man #8

Writer – Dan Slott
Artist – Matteo Buffagni
Colours – Marte Gracia
Letters – VC’s Cory Petit

The finale to Dan Slott’s Dark Kingdom has arrived and it finds Mister Negative out for revenge against the man that wronged him at any cost. The only problem is that he has underestimated Spider-Man who has set a trap for him and with the aid of Parker Industries, has created a cure for Shade. It is not only Mister Negative that Spidey has to deal with though, but his girlfriend Lian who has also sworn to take out Spider-Man in the hopes that her mother will receive treatment for the cancer that is ravaging her. It looks like Spidey has his hands full and Slott packs the book full of humour and action with a little help from Matteo Buffagni whose pencils look quite fantastic. One thing you may never have thought to see in 2016 was the return of Spider-Man’s Spider-Mobile and yet, it has not only made its return to the book, albeit a slightly updated version, but now our hero has to essentially fight it. It is a good thing that Spidey, with a little help from Cloak and Dagger who are newly freed from the effects of Mister Negative’s Shade, are able to stop it otherwise Lian may not have lived through the end of the battle which you will see when you read this book. Now that Spidey knows who the mole is, the book heads into the next story arc Scorpio Rising which looks to be an amazing new chapter in the Wallcrawler’s latest title. One of the more interesting aspects that Slott has introduced in the series is the fact that Spider-Man is able to work with the police in Shanghai, something that he has never been able to do before. It creates not only more storytelling opportunities and perhaps, if Peter ends up going home, it will affect how Spider-Man is seen in New York. With all sorts of gadgets at his disposal, an international team to help him out depending on where he is and great supporting characters like Mockingbird and the newly returned Cloak and Dagger, the book is firing on all cylinders.

4 out of 5

3 replies »

  1. I’ve not read Avengers Standoff, but I really enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man #8! The new direction for this series has been great and we really see it used to the full potential here. There was a great fight between Spidey and the Spider-Mobile as well, also good to see Cloak and Dagger as well, and it set everything up for the next story arc. A really exciting and fun issue. Great reviews as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.