Here we are with the newest issue of Jason Aaron’s Avengers. This was a fun issue as it reminded me of the issues of X-Men where you would see the team play basketball or baseball — just a nice downtime issue of the Avengers relaxing after protecting the world from Frost Giants and Malekith’s War. So let us jump into the issue and get some SPOILERS! (NOTE: This will also have some fallout from War of the Realms, so make sure you finish that before going forward.)
The issue opens up with Thor lifting Mjolnir, which is huge as Thor hasn’t been worthy for quite a while. It is very nice to see him have the magical hammer and be very close to being the classic version we’ve had in times past. Jason Aaron manages to work in some comedy by having Thor and Tony being in a hot tub and Thor playing with his hammer. Yup, you read that right, and Tony even calls him on it. Something nice about this scene is that Tony and Thor are also working to mend their relationship as well.
At first you’ll find it funny to see Tony in the tub with his helmet on, but there is more to that as he is using it to control other Iron Man drones to help with clean up from the war. Thanks to that and Thor calling him in, Captain America joins the rest of the Avengers trinity skinny dipping in the hot tub since they need some rest and relaxation…this is something Cap even agrees to as well.
Seeing how Thor and Tony use their powers makes me think of the “sending thoughts and prayers” memes. Now our scene shifts to the Pentagon for a face-off with Black Panther and Phil Coulson. Luckily for Coulson, there are a couple of Nick Fury LMDs on-hand and they respond by trying to arrest Black Panther. T’Challa calls out Coulson for the upcoming forced confrontation between the Avengers and the Squadron Supreme of America, but Coulson reminds T’Challa that the Avengers haven’t been there for the USA and they have lost favor with the Government. T’Challa goes for the big blow and reminds Coulson that he is a murderer but that doesn’t get under his skin.
Before the moment with T’Challa and Coulson gets too intense, our scene is shifted and we get to see a little flirting between Blade and She-Hulk. Which is really funny, as you get to read Jennifer’s thoughts on what is happening, then hear her responses in “Hulk Speak.” Unfortunately their flirting stays at the speaking level since Blade is going to hunt down some vampires and takes Boy-Thing with him…I wonder if this will lead to Blade’s new team book, Strikeforce, in any way? She-Hulk asks if he will return and he reminds her that he is an Avenger. Sounds kind of ambiguous on his status and I wonder how his upcoming team will be looked at by the Avengers once they see how “No Comprise, No Mercy” actions will be. Luckily, She-Hulk ends the scene on a fun note.
The next bonding moment is shared with Captain (Carol Danvers) Marvel and Ghost (Robbie Reyes) Rider as they partake in some grand theft auto on Tony Stark’s boat. This was a wild scene and a great growing moment for Robbie as he puts it out there that he is afraid of his powers, life, and being an Avenger. I like that Carol lets him know that the thought is perfectly normal and even one that most of the heroes have. With great power comes great anxiety, I’d wager. It’s great how she shares her method of blowing off steam which leads to Robbie using the Ghost Rider power in wild manner, Ghost Rider of the seas!
We are taken back to the confrontation with Black Panther and Coulson with the Squadron, and they are still looking to take Panther in for arrest according to Nighthawk. Panther calls out their relationship with Coulson and also claims they are not the Squadron Supreme. Now this is huge because what other twists could the SSA be hiding? So this for sure will be building up to a great showdown with the SSA and Earth’s Mightiest, which will be a great substitution for a Justice League/Avengers fight.
Now we’re back at Avengers Mountain and in the hot tub when Cap wants to start talking shop, to which Tony tells him no and even Carol agrees to this. So She-Hulk definitely changes the subject by going “Full Monty” with the rest of the Avengers in the hot tub. Jason Aaron really does a great job with the humor verbally and Jason Masters is fantastic with his panels as well. I love that when we see Jennifer about to join the tub showing it all, that Carol covers Robbie’s eyes…haha great stuff. Masters puts quite a bit into his panels and gives the heroes a great touch of humanity.
This last little bit with the Avengers is great as we really get inside their minds and what is troubling them and probably some future storylines to keep an eye out for. Big names are dropped like Starbrand, Power Elite, and Namor — Tony thinks about his frame of mind and Thor worries about not being worthy. She-Hulk wants a real hot tub to which Robbie uses his power to hell fire it up for them while Carol worries about the Kree’s return. So with all of that to worry about at least we can see that the team is coming together; they have survived a war and are showing the bonds of camaraderie which is going to be needed for these upcoming challenges.
The only member missing is T’Challa and I wonder what Black Panther will be bringing to the team with all his research into the SSA and Coulson. What is even more intriguing is when T’Challa asks the computer to run down files on those two, the computer responds to asking if it should pause the other reports…so what are those other reports? This is going to be a side of the Panther that could either be helpful to the Avengers or be very divisive.
The last page takes us to Las Vegas and that nasty bad guy on the cover: Mephisto. We haven’t seen much of him since the Damnation event, but he is still locked up in his room, yet that doesn’t stop him from causing mischief. He has his chessboard out and a lot of very important pieces are on it. The two that caught my eyes were the Ghost Rider and Moon Knight pieces — with the Rider piece, it is safe to assume that it is Johnny Blaze and this will be quite interesting to see how Mephisto is manipulating the Riders and the King of Hell. For Moon Knight that seems interesting as on Jason Aaron’s own personal Twitter he has been hyping Moon Knight and is excited to see fans’ reactions.
This was a nice issue that just let the Avengers be people behind the heroics. It was nice to see their worries and bonding come forward, and it was really nice to see the relationships that are coming together with in lineup as well. It is nice to have Jason Aaron on the book as he certainly knows how to play the long game and keep fans interested. This issue also showed him flexing some humorous moments for the team, and was just littered with keywords that will come to fruition down the road. All in all it was a relaxing read before we jump into the next arc, “Challenge of the Ghost Riders.”