It’s the 700th issue of Avengers! Or so they say… Your Major Spoilers review of Avengers #10 awaits!
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ed McGuiness/David Marquez/Frazer Irving/Adam Kubert/Andrea Sorrentino
Colorist: Justin Ponsor/Erick Arciniego/Frazer Irving/Matthew Wilson/Giada Marchisia
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: November 14, 2018
Previously in Avengers: The whole world seems to be gunning for The Avengers, especially Namor’s fearsome new Defenders of the Deep and the reimagined Russian Super-Soldiers of the Winter Guard. And that’s not to mention the shocking surprise the U.S. government has in store for our heroes!
EARTH’S MOST-HATED HEROES!
This issue opens with the rebuilding of the Winter Guard (out of the former Soviet Super Soldiers, including Red Guardian, his twin sister Darkstar, a newly badass Ursa Major, The Crimson Dynamo and a couple of others), transitioning to the Avengers getting an emergency call during their downtime. Thor and Captain Marvel are discussing his crush on Jen “Hulk” Walters, Iron Man and Ghost Rider are racing for fun, Captain America is meeting with ‘Thunderbolt’ Ross about the status of the team, making for a lot of character bits and fun setup. When they’re assembled, the team must face The Sub-Mariner and his underwater Defenders, only to have the Winter Guard interrupt them. Utter chaos ensues as three separate teams clash, with something like twenty-five superhumans, old and new, in play. When Namor retreats, the Avengers and Winter Guard have an awkward moment that ends when Winter Guardian Red Widow orders their retreat. Soon after, we get a BUNCH of coming attractions for the future, with a drunken Odin attacking Ghost Rider, a set piece involving The Celestials and Wolverine, The Wasp saving Blade from Castle Dracula… and the new United States super-team, The Squadron Supreme!
YOU HAD ME AT “KING CRAB”
There’s a lot to love about Avengers #10, from it’s elevation of the Winter Guard to the use of the Squadron Supreme in a Justice League-inspired context but… it is all a bit much. Sure, we’re looking at a big anniversary double-sized issue, but this book reads like a series of vignettes that don’t have any real connective tissue between them, so even delightful moments like Tony Stark making a flying wheelchair for Robbie Reyes little brother are lost in a high signal-to-noise ratio. I try not to let continuity issues affect my enjoyment of a story, if I can, but the number of “how-the, who-the, what-the” moments in this book leave me struggling to figure it out. King Crab is a winner, though. The art in these pages is hard to quanify, as it’s all over the place. Frazer Irving’s rendition of the Odin/Ghost Rider battle is creepy and full of eerie visuals, but it also delivers some strange moments of uncanny valley horror. Ed McGuinness’ pages deliver his usual confusing combination of massive chests and bushy eyebrows, but the battle sequences are impressive. There are also some strange and confusing layouts throughout the book, but most of all in the Adam Kubert section of the comic.
BOTTOM LINE: CONFUSING AND CONFOUNDING, WITH A LOT OF DIFFERENT ART TEAMS IN PLAY
Avengers #10 (which is somehow also Avengers #700, according to Marvel’s official numbering system) is a perfect example of “too much, too fast”, delivering some strong moments that work, but surrounding each of them with enough spectacle that it’s hard to pay attention, with art that never dips below acceptable but is very much inconsistent throughout the book, earning 2 out of 5 stars overall. Part of that score is due to the high price point, part due to the whirlwind of events herein contained, making for a confusing whole. But no matter how I slice things, I can’t figure out which Squadron Supreme this might be…
A lot of moving parts and a lot of coming attractions without a whole lot of actual incident. Some of the art is pretty, though.