Cannonball is dead.

Long live Cannonball!  Your Major Spoilers review of U.S. Avengers #10 awaits!


Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Paco Diaz
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in U.S. Avengers: “After a corrupted Captain America led Hydra in a violent takeover of the United States, the U.S. Avengers teamed up with a group of European super=heroes to overthrow Hydra abroad and at home, and Toni Ho was able to restore Roberto’s Sunspot powers.  But their victory wasn’t without consequences — General Maverick’s Red Hulk powers were hacked by Hydra spies and Cannonball was lost in space during the initial attack.  Roberto believes Cannonball is dead, but the former New Mutant was actually scooped up by space slavers and shipped off to Glenbrook, U.S.A., an all-American small town…

…on another planet.”


After the last few issues and the team-up with the Champions of Europe, Roberto da Costa has been called into the office of the new Advisor for Superhuman Relations.  Hearing that Cannonball is lost in action and presumed dead, he sniffs that it’s “a start”, which surprises Roberto. only to have Senator Krask explain that it’s time to reload the team with heavy hitters and heroes who are more sympathetic to the current administration’s cause.  General Maverick, the previous Advisor, has been trapped in his Red Hulk form for weeks, and has begun the agonizing process of decompressing from Hulk size (which looks terrifying) and Kevin isn’t onboard with Squirrel Girl’s antics or the fact that Enigma is an immigrant.  Before he can continue, though, Roberto begins texting on his watch, explaining that the government’s contract is with HIM, personally, and not with A.I.M. or the U.S. Avengers, and he has just quite A.I.M.  As the advisor goggles in amazement, Roberto explains that he has transferred his fortune to A.I.M., that his powers are inactive and only A.I.M. can reactivate them, so the sole asset that is part of his contract is him, powerless, broke and unwilling to help.  It’s a lovely Batman gambit from the former Sunspot, followed by the arrival of Avengers Smasher from space, with news: Cannonball is alive!


Ewing’s take on the Avengers has been the freshest and most entertaining of Marvel’s books for several years now, but U.S. Avengers and this issue take it all to a new level.  From Roberto calling the government’s bluff to the changes in Toni Ho and Robert Maverick’s status quo (reminding me of the old days of Marvel when Stan would shake things up every few issues) to the preparation for Smasher and Sunspot to go find their husband and friend, it’s all solid as a rock, with wonderful dialogue and tight plotting.  Paco Medina’s take on the team balances the cute and energetic with incredible facial expressions and lovely blocking, making Roberto’s conversation with  as visually exciting as a fist fight.  Add in Senator Krask’s immediate smacking down, and you’ve got an extremely satisfying comic book reading experience.


As the issue began, I was worried that we were going to see the U.S. Avengers fall prey to the “corrupt government jerk” storyline, but was pleasantly surprised to see the whole thing zig-zagged with some clever thinking on the part of the former Sunspot.  (I’m really sick of that, especially post Secret Empire, and am happy to see some upbeat and more positive stories in the spy/secret agency vein.)  U.S. Avengers #10 keeps up this book’s level of quality, makes me hope that we’re going to see the team expand a bit, and prepares for what could be a big old-school “superheroes in space” arc, leaving me happy and earning a very impressive 4 out of 5 stars overall.  If you’re not reading this book, you’re missing one The Best of the Avengers-related titles…


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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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