The Avengers are trapped in the realm of nightmares, all save for The Vision and The Scarlet Witch. Can two Avengers stand against the entire Twilight Court? Your Major Spoilers review of Avengers #8 from Marvel Comics awaits!
Writer: Jed McKay
Artist: C.F. Villa
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 6, 2023
Previously in Avengers: Trapped in a world they never made, the Avengers struggle to break free – while one of their number fights their own hopeless battle against Myrddin and his Twilight Court! But Avengers never fight alone, and the most dangerous Avenger joins the conflict!
Of course, she IS his ex-wife.
BATTLING ON MULTIPLE FRONTS
After a battle that left them with a new headquarters called The Impossible City, Ms. Marvel and her team of Avengers were ambushed by Nightmare, each thrown into their personal dream hell. This has left them wide open to attack by Myrddin and the Twilight Court, a group of Arthurian-styled warriors who are after the unconscious body of Kang The Conqueror that lies in their med-bay. The android mind of the Vision isn’t affected, though, leaving him to stand against the strange knights, while his former wife, The Scarlet Witch shook herself free of the mystic attack. Together, they defend the team, but Wanda is powerful enough to send a message into the mind of one teammate: The Mighty Thor. Being a literal god means that Thor is akin to a dream himself, allowing him to shake off Nightmare’s control, freeing his teammates, and facing the dream-lord. When Thor asks what Nightmare wants, he replies with one word: “Respect.”
A LOT OF INTRODUCTIONS TO BE MADE
The response to that is the best part of the issue, as Tony Stark, Sam Wilson, and Carol Danvers refuse to go down without a fight, but Thor? Thor laughs and responds, “I have greater obligations than my pride!” He declares that Nightmare has won, and by the rules of cosmic combat, demands that they be freed. It’s impressive stuff, thinking outside the box in a way that reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. The ending of the issue is pretty spiffy as well, with Captain Marvel greeting Myrddin with “We’re the Avengers. And this is our house.” It’s a moment undermined by the Avant Garde art, though, as Carol looks utterly bizarre, and the arriving Avengers squad is spotlighted on a strange, gradient background. The scratchiness of the art reminds me of the salad days of the ’90s, especially Jae Lee and Deodato. The coloring is equally odd for me, with a lot of big empty backgrounds that could just be an indicator of dream content, but feel like an artist with a deadline.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT QUITE CLICKING ON ALL CYLINDERS
All in all, though Avengers #8 has a lot of bits that I like, but spends nearly a third of the issue introducing the large team of villains and their archetypes (which mirror those of The Avengers perfectly, which feels both ominous and a little bit convoluted) and has art that just doesn’t resonate with me, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall. I also wonder when this issue could take place, given events in Wanda, Tony, and T’Challa’s home books, but that’s not a failing so much as a little bit of distraction that comes from reading the Marvel Universe in real time.
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The focus on individual team members and their interactions is nice, and Thor is in rare form, but it's another example of a good comic that feels like a chapter rather than a full-issue experience.