Tuesday, 6 February 2018

U.S.Avengers #2 - Marvel Comics

U.S.AVENGERS No. 2, March 2017
Shifting just 29,523 copies in January 2017, a staggering drop in sales of over eighty thousand editions within the space of just a few weeks, it would arguably be easy for critics of this title to claim that this second instalment of Al Ewing’s “Skullocracy” story-arc came as something of a major disappointment to Marvelites everywhere. However, whilst Issue Two of “U.S. Avengers” does predominantly contain plenty of lengthy dialogue-heavy exposition in order to rationalise the sudden appearance of Captain America 20XX on Earth-616, the British writer’s narrative also comes packed full of action as the alternative version of “Danielle Cage from thirty years on” takes down a number of the Golden Skull’s henchmen in a failed attempt to stop “the son of an environmental activist” from entering a “doorway to a new world!”

Even more engaging though, has to be this twenty-page periodical’s enthralling coverage of Thanos ripping the skull off of Steve Rogers’ shoulders, and then invading Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S. in order to “use their tech to build a pair of Cosmic Cube Iso-Gauntlets…” This ‘parallel Earth flashback’ sequence, sublimely pencilled by Paco Medina, comes chock-full of all manner of ‘Marvel Universe” super-heroes fatally falling before the Mad Titan, and only comes to an end when the Black Widow, using a mixture of science and magic, scythes Dione down with the help of the Black Knight and the Hulkling; “Thanos murdered half the heroes of Earth… Just to say he was back.”

In fact, even the comic’s later supposedly humorous infiltration of the Wyne International Hotel in Miami, Florida by the “America-themed team of Avengers” doesn’t actually fail to entertain, despite its depiction of Roberto Da Costa clumsily inviting his tuxedo-adorned colleagues to the location’s Penthouse Ballroom in a doomed effort to circumnavigate “the nephew of the notorious Parnival Plunder” by reaching the billionaires club first. True, the “schmooze” sequence potentially pads out a quarter of the publication and contains some unsubtle moments of absurdity, such as Squirrel Girl badgering a waiter to get her any hors d'oeuvres with nuts in. But the group’s subsequent encirclement by a room full of Golden Skull's Robots proves a chilling cliff-hanger, especially when it becomes clear that Citizen V is already too late to thwart the “super-criminal from a possible future” and his plan “to institute a global kleptocracy.”
Writer: Al Ewing, Penciler: Paco Medina, and Inker: Juan Vlasco

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