Monday, August 5, 2013

Avengers Assemble #16 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

This issue is OK.  It's not great, since DeConnick has to engage in a lot of exposition, not just to bring up the folks who don't read "Captain Marvel" to speed, but also to explain where Yon-Rogg has been for the last 35 years or so and why he suddenly appeared now.  But, DeConnick does the needfull as painlessly as she can and does a great job of setting the stage for the rest of the cross-over event.

Even though the reveal that Yon-Rogg was discorporated as a result of the explosion of the Psyche-Mangetron is somewhat clichéd, it makes sense in terms of the original story and why he only now appeared in the present era.  Moreover, it isn't just that he was discorporated; DeConnick reveals that Yon-Rogg has in fact, become one with the Psyche-Magnetron.  It's this revelation that really drives the story, since it explains why Yong-Rogg was so desperate to get his hands on the last shard of the machine (which Carol had kept).  Now fully charged, Yon-Rogg is a seriously formidable enemy, something he already appeared to be, given how effectively he's been disrupting Carol's life.  Recent cross-over events rarely seem to involve a villain who truly requires various superheroes to band together to defeat him, but DeConnick makes it clear why Carol would need the Avengers help to defeat Yon-Rogg (now re-named Magnitron).

The only real downside to this issue is, oddly for DeConnick, the weak characterization, with everyone pretty much just serving as a basic copy of their usual selves.  Moreover, the cast is so large at this point that DeConnick is forced to ignore Black Widow and the Hulk almost entirely.  However, I'm guess that it's a rare misstep, given how well DeConnick usually does in juggling a large cast and giving everyone a distinct voice.  Hopefully, with the stage set, she'll be able to turn on her usual charm.  If she does, that, combined with the intriguing conflict that she lays out this issue, would make this cross-over event the first one in a long time that didn't disappoint me.

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