The $kullocracy has begun… Hide the good silver. Your Major Spoilers review of U.S. Avengers #2 awaits!
U.S. AVENGERS #2
Writer: Al Ewing
Penciler: Paco Medina
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in U.S. Avengers: “The U.S. Avengers and their support staff of scientists, spies and tacticians now serve as the American government’s first line of defense against all things big, crazy and weird– by going bigger, crazier and weirder! Roberto and his team are still settling into their new positions, but they won’t have time to get comfortable– Captain America 20XX, a future version of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ daughter, just appeared in their headquarters and she needs all the help she can get!”
As this issue opens, Daniell “Captain America” Cage briefs the U.S. Avengers on the truth about the Golden Skull: He’s from her world, a post-apocalyptic alternate future where Thanos has wiped out most of the top superheroes of the Marvel Universe and left the remaining Avengers massively underpowered. The Golden Skull has stolen Doctor Doom’s time machine and slid back to the mainstream Marvel U. He intends to plunder the world for all it’s worth, setting up a kleptocracy and refusing to pay all his debts while telling people he’s better than them…
…Sorry, deja vu. The Avengers are able to infiltrate a secret meeting (in well-tailored tuxedos), leading Roberto to meet an old friend of his from high society, a man named “Bryce” who is totally not Batman and whose valet “Freddie” is totally not a man named Pennyworth. As the issue ends, The Golden Skull drops his pretense, and lets the Avengers know that he knows that they know that he knows… Ahh, skip it, they’re under attack!
SOME BARELY VEILED METAPHORS
This issue features some very pointed shots, albeit in an oblique manner, at a high-ranking government official, and all of them hit the mark. Whether or not that will amuse or enrage you is probably going to have to do with which side of the ideological divide you’re sitting on right now, and I expect outraged howls at Marvel for the things this issue doesn’t quite say. Either way, it’s an exciting issue, but one that doesn’t do a lot with most of the team (Cannonball is once again a bit player, while Enigma, Squirrel Girl and Iron Patriot only get a couple of lines in.) The promise of a big battle sequence next time around should ameliorate that, however, and Paco Medina’s skilled pencils make the promise of a mad, bad, fighty-fighty scene utterly tantalizing. Perhaps the best part of the issue for me is the glee with which Al Ewing’s script introduces half a dozen wild concepts and makes them all fit together, as well as possibly revealing part of the future of the 616.
THE BOTTOM LINE: THE TIMING SEEMS PERFECT
The fact that this issue came out the week it did is no mistake, and that’s all part of the fun, as U.S. Avengers #2 follows up on the strong debut with a slightly less bombastic but no less entertaining issue, featuring strong art and wicked social commentary, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. I don’t know what the long game for U.S. Avengers is, but I’m sold on the concept for the time being, and highly recommend the book