Hydra has taken over. Captain America is now a tyrant.
Hawkeye and Red Wolf might have something to say about that… Your Major Spoilers review of Occupy Avengers #9 awaits!
Writer: David F. Walker
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Tom Brevoort with Darren Shan
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Occupy Avengers: “Walk tall. Shoot straight. Die with your boots on.”
LOOKS LIKE THIS IS THE END
So, forgive me a momentary rant, but Marvel’s crossover bonanza marketing progress just kills any moment that smaller books could ever build. Occupy Avengers, aside from having a nonsensical title, has been one of those once in a lifetime books, taking characters from various places in the Marvel firmament and bringing them together into a story that only this creative team could tell. This issue actually starts with a caption box that says “The End”, as Hawkeye gives up his new team to join the anti-Hydra resistance, leaving Red Wolf, Tilda (the former Deadly Nightshade, don’t google her old costumes at work), and Wheels (from ‘Wolf Pack’, a late 80s title that only hardcore nerds like me remember) at loose ends. They take on the job of defending the southwest from Captain America’s jack-booted thugs, even running into some new/old friends. (I had wondered whatever happened to the new Tarantula from 2005-era ‘Heroes For Hire.’) This issue is all about endings, taking the idea of fighting against an unyielding army of faceless evil to its logical conclusion, with one of the strongest last pages in recent memory.
THE BOLIVIAN ARMY ENDING
Even so, this is a really good read. David F. Walker’s writing is always thought-provoking, and the way he plays with this cast (including the Fireheart twins, whose dialogue deserves to be quoted endlessly) is expert. Losing his biggest draw in Hawkeye, Walker proves that he didn’t need Clint Barton anyway, giving us leadership from Tilda, undaunted heroism from wheels and a little tiny bit of romance as well, putting it all together with an ending that I hope doesn’t mean the end for these characters. Walta’s art is amazing, really making Captain America’s skull-helmeted thugs terrifying, making the fight between armored tanks and a transforming panel van the stuff of legend, while not skimping on the facial expressions or combat sequences. Tilda Johnson’s joy at finally finding a cause worthy of her charisma is a moment that I will forever remember as one of Marvel’s strongest, once again cut down by the dedication to spending the summer churning out universe-threatening, character-damaging stupid fight sequences.
THE BOTTOM LINE: ANOTHER FUN BOOK GOES DOWN
In short, this is the comic book that I wish we could have all rallied behind, a book that deserved the 70 issue run of classic New Warriors, but never got the support, hype or reader love to make it go, which is really a shame. Occupy Avengers #9 wraps things up with a series of loud bangs, some excellent character work, a nice final shining moment for Red Wolf and Tilda, and a seething disgust at yet another fallen title in the wake of big, stupid Marvel crossovers, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. We will probably never see this collection of diverse, fascinating, well-crafted characters again and that should make us all sad…