Khonshu has won. The Avengers have fallen. Will Moon Knight save the world… or doom it? Your Major Spoilers review of Avengers #35 from Marvel Comics awaits!
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Javier Garron
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 19, 2020
Previously in Avengers: An empowered, godlike Moon Knight has just saved the world from fiery ruin. Now an army of mummies and moon priests begins to reshape the world in the image of ancient Egypt. But where does that leave the Avengers?
Broken, imprisoned – or on the run in the moonlit streets of New Thebes City…
THE AGE OF KHONSHU
After last issue’s reveal of a reshapen reality, we open with a flashback to the days of the proto-Avengers in 1,000,000 BC, as they face a horde of moon cultists operating in the name of Khonshu. Centuries later, even with the stolen powers of Iron Fist, Ghost Rider, Thor and the Sorceror Supreme, Khonshu is not only mad at being left out of their confluence of powers, but living in terror of Mephisto himself. This is exacerbated by the arrival of Mephisto… or at least *A* Mephisto, whom he dispatches quite quickly. In the streets of New Thebes City, She-Hulk, Blade and Captain America have embarked on a rescue mission, intercepting “The Moon Train” and freeing Robbie Reyes, Daniel Rand and Stephen Strange from captivity, though only Robbie is actually conscious, babbling something about Thor being buried on the moon. The last active Avengers, Captain Marvel and Iron Man are desperately trying to keep baby Brandy, the child with the power of the Starbrand, away from Khonshu’s fist, only to find out that the endgame is to defeat Mephisto, which gives Iron Man pause…
“FOR ONCE I’M NOT THE OLDEST GUY ON THE TEAM…”
It’s very difficult to put The Avengers on the defensive, especially THIS team of Avengers, but Aaron’s use of Khonshu has effectively done that, not only leaving the team running for their lives, but splintering the membership and creating new sub-groups, like the entertaining Captain America and Blade pairing. Garron’s art is interesting in these pages, with many moments making me think that he’s doing an Ed McGuinness riff, but he keeps his own aesthetic firmly on display. Khonshu’s headquarters is really impressively realized, and the sight of a pile of dead Mephistos dispatched by Khonshu is both attractive and a little bit hilarious, while the final page arrival of The Black Panther to confront Khonshu directly is a full-on “Oh, Hell YEAH!” moment. Even though this issue doesn’t progress the plot much, it does explain a couple of important bits that hadn’t been made explicit, showed off the characters and made it clear that the threat is worse than even Khonshu thinks. Oh, and also shook Tony Stark to his very core…
BOTTOM LINE: NOT BAD
In short, Avengers #35 is a good middle chapter of an ongoing epic, developing the threat of Mephisto while making Khonshu and Moon Knight’s actions much less clearly villainous, with nice character moments for Ghost Rider, Blade, She-Hulk and Iron Man, as well as connecting some dots of the overarching meta-plot, with better-than-average art earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. There are still unanswered questions and a couple of storytelling moments that required a re-read to understand, but all in all, it’s an entertaining read.
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The Big Finish
We're nearing the endgame here, and threads from the very beginning of the book are starting to come together, but I like the use of this issue's cast, especially Iron Man's realization that they're fighting the literal devil.