SPOILER WARNING: Approach with caution!
Marvel’s Blockbuster Summer Event starts now! If I hadn’t made it clear prior to this, I have been eagerly waiting for this event to start since it was first announced a few months ago and it has been one agonising wait (My best friend has had to put up with a lot, a lot, of hype-fanboying). Now that it has finally began, I feel utterly miserable. However, that’s not a bad thing…
The issue opens with a flashback to 1945 Japan where Steve meets his old mentor Kraken. He is informed of the Allies plans to alter reality and set the course for the Marvel History we all know and love. Steve is shocked to here this as he enters a strange pool confused, lost and a little scared.
A huge jump forward is made to the present day where Steve, Director of SHIELD, is facing a nightmare scenario: Villains rising up on mass, Nuclear capabilities falling into the hands of the bad guys and a Chitauri Invasion imminent. Despite these overwhelming problems, the heroes aren’t giving up. The Defenders and a few others are tackling the villains in Manhattan whilst Alpha Flight, the Ultimates and the Guardians of the Galaxy are pushing back against the Chitauri, Quasar providing some serious fire power on that front. The Nuclear threat in Sokovia is being dealt with by the remaining SHIELD Fleet after the one nearby loses contact to the rest.
However, our heroes best appears to just not be enough. The Fall of Quasar intensifies the Chitauri wave and Nitro’s suicide explosion nearly wipeouts the heroes on the ground. All hope seems lost until Iron Heart and Iron Man are able to get the planetary defense shield back online. The Uncanny Avengers arrive in Manhattan to assist against the villain riots and the trouble in Sokovia appears to die down.
But wait! Steve and Sharon’s Helicarrier comes under attack from Hydra operatives, Dr Faustus brainwashing the SHIELD agents into submission. That is when the penny truly drops. Steve confesses his allegiance to Hydra to Sharon, leaving his love devastated. Cap refuses to drop the planetary shield, locking Captain Marvel and her fellow space-faring heroes out. Manhattan is encased in the Dark Force Dimension thanks to a Darkhold-empowered Blackout. With the first two phases successfully carried out, Captain America makes his final move: taking over Washington DC…
Honestly, wow. I knew this was going to be a really interesting read but I hadn’t expected it to be quite so heavy hitting. The sense of betrayl right now is a off the scale and I kind of love that aspect of it. Seeing Marvel’s pillar of trust do this is a lot to take in but it feels really well executed. I can sort of appreciate why long time fans are a rather upset about Cap’s turning but I think it has been handled exceptionally, even if it does defy and disrespect the good Captain’s past.
I am familiar with Nick Spencer’s work thanks to the Ant-man but this is a new, unique and dangerous side to him that I’ve now been enlightened to. He delivers a story that helps (At least for me) those who haven’t been following Steve Rogers: Captain America get to grips with what is going on. Yet at the same time, I’ve never felt quite so confused.
Daniel Acuña and Rod Reis’ art really helped make this story so special. I can’t quite say what it was about their styles but they both felt dark, if you catch my drift, to match this almighty upheavel. They really conveyed the collapse of, well, the Marvel Universe as we know it perfectly. Absolutely stellar.
Mark Brooks’ first cover has set the stage for what is to come. The level of detail is phenomnal and I must admit that a part of my reasoning for collecting this event is because of his covers alone. The ones released so far have yet to disappoint me.
As may be clear, this issue has left me feeling awful in a way that I sort of welcome. Marvel have promised serious change in the past but, this time, it truly feels sincere…
- Story: 10
- Art: 10
- Accessibility: Friendly – I would recommend looking into Assault on Pleasant Hill as that is referenced here and it might be worth checking out Steve Rogers: Captain America but, other than that, this issue is rather open in my opinion.
- Overall: 10
I appreciate my 100% rating may not be very popular but if any arguments could be constructive and swear-word-free I’d appreciate it. I’m completely open to friendly debate or just simply hearing where you stand. If you have any thoughts or questions please leave them in the comments. Thank you.
(The Image used is property of Marvel Comics and the artist who produced. I do not lay claim to it.)