Avengers Assembling!

The New Avengers #3

Some new magical interdimensional villain has kidnapped Iron Fist, because he had the bad fortune to be holding the Eye of Agamotto. But they can’t actually take the Eye from him, which gives him a lot more leeway than he might’ve expected. Meanwhile, on Earth, the absence of the Eye has lead to an invasion of interdimensional demons, who immediately get busy tearing New York City apart. While the Avengers fight the demons, Dr. Strange, Dr. Voodoo, and Daimon Hellstrom leave for Voodoo’s Sactum so they can figure out how to get rid of the demons. And the bad news is — they’ve got no idea. Where does that leave the heroes trying to keep the Big Apple safe? Nowhere good, that’s for sure.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent patter in this one, especially between Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, and the Thing, and during Victoria Hand‘s very entertaining rant in her car about being forced to work with the Avengers. Aside from that, the action is good, the art is great, and the revelation of the Big Bad is a pretty unexpected surprise.

Avengers Academy #3

I missed an issue of this one — either not enough got delivered to my local store here in Denton, or there was a lot of unexpected demand for it. But this one looked interesting to me from the beginning, and I didn’t want to give up on it just because I missed the second issue.

So in this issue, besides getting some insight into Hazmat’s terrifically toxic powers and her extremely depressing life, and sitting in on an example of why no one should let Valkyrie teach students anything (it involves beer and sex toy demonstrations), everyone takes a field trip to the Raft, a high-tech prison for supervillains run by Luke Cage and the Thunderbolts. The idea is to let the Thunderbolts give the kids the “Scared Straight” treatment, but Hazmat, Mettle, and Veil have other ideas — they’ve found out Norman Osborn is being held at the Raft, and they want revenge for the way he tortured them. But if they sabotage the prison’s security measures to get at Osborn, they may end up causing a gigantic breakout…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Good dialogue, wonderful art, and lots of fun characters. Pretty much everything with Juggernaut on the page is a solid winner. I do have some quibbles — I’m not sure I like the idea of Speedball being a cutter — I think I’ve had more than enough of emo Speedball. And I’m not sure I believe that a super-prison like the Raft wouldn’t have some defenses against an electromagnetic pulse.

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