(Warning: This post will contain spoilers!)
Upon the arrival of several missing back issues (see “On Comic Book Collecting: Lost Issues”) I was left in the wonderful position of being able to binge read 5 issues of All new All different Avengers (bliss, I assure you) along with an additional one shot tie-in. Several of these issues tied into a recent Avengers crossover event: Avengers Standoff.
Quick-fire summary time (for the sake of time). SHIELD, a 51 year old spy organisation, had set up yet another super-villain prison but this time on a questionable foundation. The town of Pleasant Hill, mindscape of a sentient cosmic cube in the form of a little girl (Childish innocence was the basis but I see a noticeable lack of unicorns which I personally
love loved as a young child) known as Kobik, comes across as a quaint American town with a normal population on the surface. Surface being the opportune word here. Beneath this façade lies a dark secret: brain-washed villains given new identities against their will. Sinister and enthralling (Not sure what that reflects about my mental state but that doesn’t matter. Much) . This peaceful town falls apart rather quickly upon the arrival of Baron Zemo, evil head of Hydra with rather great fashion sense (Can I endorse villains based on fashion sense? I’ll let you decide), teams up with other villains like Fixer who has developed a way to reverse the process. One thing leads to another and lots of villains get their identities back, throwing the town into chaos. One thing leads to another and 3 Avengers teams turn up and sort it out. Baron Zemo gets sent off by Kobik to Tibet with Dr Erik Selvig, the Winter soldier walks off with Kobik to form a new iteration of the Thunderbolts, Quasar returns, Maria Hill gets put on trial and Red Skull reforms a new, radicalised Hydra! Exciting, I know. (Not as quick-fire as I expected… )
First things first, Nick Spencer. A writer whom I am familiar with as a result of the Astonishing Ant-man, a series going from strength to strength with every issue. This event has shown me just how brilliant Nick Spencer is and he has sky-rocketed into my top 5 alongside the equally AMAZING G. Willow Wilson who writes Ms Marvel (Need I say more?) and Dan Slott who writes the Amazing Spider-man. He writes an enthralling tale of adventure, danger and emotion that kept me on tenterhooks the entire time I was reading.
One of my favourite scenes had to be when Kobik is panicking because her wonder-filled town had fallen to ruin and some of the Avengers, namely Miles Morales, Nova, Ms Marvel and Deadpool (Surprising but true), try to comfort her. The younger All-new All-different Avengers are beaten to her by Deadpool which causes an expected uproar from the young heroes. However, when he allows Kobik to see his messed-up mind and help her see that she isn’t alone she resolves the issue by re-instating the heroes with their powers leading to them stopping Zemo. Some truly heart-felt panels there which moved me beyond belief. Equally, the unity of all the Avengers teams was motivating and spectacular but the Deadpool-Kobik scene hit me right in the feels (for the lack of a better word).
All that’s left to say is that even if you aren’t a comic book collector, this event was enthralling and exciting. If I had to recommend which issues to buy the 3 tie-in issues (Welcome to Pleasant Hill, Avengers Standoff Alpha #1 and Avengers Standoff Omega #1) would be the best place to start if you weren’t looking to spend too much. Noted, the gap between Alpha and Omega is noticeable but filling said chasm would be quite expensive but if you do wish to fill it, see the checklist above. As is clear, I really, really enjoyed the event and couldn’t put it down from start to finish. I can only recommend it as a good read. Next stop: Civil War II!
If you have any questions about the events and the characters within leave a comment and I will assist where I can.