Mind Capsules – Avengers Standoff: Assault On Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 and Invincible Iron Man #7

Avengers Standoff Assault On Pleasant Hill Alpha #1
Avengers Standoff: Assault On Pleasant Hill Alpha #1

Writer – Nick Spencer
Artist – Jesus Saiz
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

The second issue of the latest Avengers crossover entitled Avengers Standoff, finds Bucky still looking for answers, Sam Wilson roped into it and the identity of Whisperer – the man who has been feeding Sam information about various things – revealed. It also brings Bucky into contact with Steve Rogers after which he reveals that Maria Hill did not destroy the Cosmic Cube fragments as was previously thought and has used them to alter reality in some unknown way. That comes to light when Maria Hill decides to tell Steve the truth and show him the fruits of her labours – namely Pleasant Hill. Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz unite to tell the tale of a woman who thinks she is doing the right thing, but is going about it completely wrong. At least according to Steve Rogers that is. Many would appreciate what she is doing, but others who believe in the inherent freedoms that the country provides would disagree with her tactics and Spencer paints Hill as a woman who does not particularly care. That of course, does not sit well with Steve. As has been shown many times in the past, when a person does not meet Steve’s rigid code of morals, when a person does not do the right thing and instead tries to take the easy way out, they will find themselves coming into conflict with him. This book lays down all the groundwork for that conflict because you know that it is going to take place and by the end of the book, you know that it is going to happen sooner rather than later. One of the more interesting things that this book does is reintroduce a character that has not been seen in quite some time with a new role and how he factors into this new Marvel Universe should be fun to discover. One question that pops up is if the events that are taking place will bring Steve and Sam back into a friendly relationship. The two have been great friends for many years and it was only recently that it kind of went off the rails. One thing that looks to be sure is that Pleasant Hill is going to make people take sides, almost like Civil War did, and it may not be all that pleasant. With a very compelling, not to mention entertaining story, and some really great artwork from Jesus Saiz, this latest crossover is starting out right.

4 out of 5

Invincible Iron Man #7
Invincible Iron Man #7

Writer – Brian Michael Bendis
Artist – Mike Deodato
Colours – Frank Martin
Letters – VC’s Clayton Cowles

While Brian Michael Bendis has been doing a truly fantastic job on the book as of late, this issue is more filler than killer as half of it, maybe more, is just Tony having a conversation with Mary Jane and that conversation simply about whether he should hire her or not. This is the sort of thing that made Bendis famous in the first place – the talking heads thing, and while he is a master at words and dialogue, it would have been nice to see a little more happen in the book than what we did actually see. That being said, the conversation was an interesting one and it was nice to see Mary Jane keep up with Tony, no doubt due to her years of practice with her former beau, Peter Parker. So around and around they go, treading over the same material repeatedly and seemingly going nowhere while actually accomplishing something. Eventually Bendis gets to the problem of Rhodey, who as we saw last issue was in a bit of trouble, and while Tony makes his way over to Tokyo to lend a hand, Spider-Man is called in to help out a little thanks to the newly hired Mary Jane. As stated, one of Bendis’ greatest strengths is dialogue, yet it is also one of his greatest weaknesses. Sometimes the man can go for an entire issue with nothing but talking and that might be fun and entertaining and lets the reader get into the heads of the characters speaking, but once finished you realize that nothing actually happened and you feel a little bit cheated. Thankfully that is not the case here, but if it had gone on any longer, that could very well have turned out to be as such. Aiding Bendis on this latest issue is his old partner in crime, Mike Deodato whose pencils are as sure and steady and as utterly beautiful as ever. The Biohack Ninjas which took War Machine now want some info from him, though what that is still remains to be revealed and there is also the mystery of a new player in the game who looks like she will be giving Iron Man a run for his money when they finally encounter each other. All in all, another great issue, it just would have been a lot better if a little more time was given to the story in the latter half rather than the former.

4 out of 5

1 reply »

  1. Great reviews!. I’ve not read Avengers Standoff, but I did really enjoy Invincible Iron Man #7. While it was a bit light on action there were some great character moments for Tony and MJ, and I think her addition to the regular cast of characters is inspired. Sure, the pace of this issue was a bit slower, obviously to set things up for the rest of the arc, but overall it was very good, and the artwork is stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

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