A writer, historian, and geek through and through. I focus on fantasy, science fiction and whatever comes my way. I am writing and drawing a webcomic called Booger Balls Inc, and I'm working on two graphic novels as well.
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Avengers Standoff is finally over and our Seth Frederiksen is here to provide a final review on the series.
With the Avenger’s Standoff event now completed and the dust now settled, its time to look at the overall crossover and see what worked and what didn’t. There will be some major story points and spoilers ahead, so for those who have not read the story yet, you may want to consider that before reading the rest of the article.
Much of the story centres on the S.H.I.E.L.D. prison of Pleasant Hill and the riot incited by Baron Zemo. What sets the prison apart from other similar installations is the use of Kobik, a technology made from shards of the cosmic cube. Kobik also has the abilities to warp reality which led to many of the residents of Pleasant Hill to believe they are merely mild mannered civilians, when in fact they are dangerous criminals.
During the riot, two of the Avengers teams arrive to quell the riot and barely win the fight by the skin of their teeth, and with the timely aid of a the newly arrived Quasar. Another result of the riot was Steve Rogers being given back his youth, helping turn the tide of battle against the menagerie of villains working to cause chaos and anarchy.
With any story there were parts that worked, some that didn’t, and areas that could’ve used a little tweaking here and there.
Deadpool — Of all the characters to receive the most amount of development, Deadpool showed the greatest amount of growth. Not abandoning his comedic style, the Merc with a Mouth was not without some poignant moments. When the Avengers are recovering from their exposure to the Kobik treatment, it’s Deadpool who appears the most disappointed at having his old life back.
He was rid of his cancer, he was robust, he was handsome. And he was sane. So to have this all taken from him has a great effect on him, even if for a brief moment in time. Deadpool was also more than willing to call out the All New, All Different Avengers, who were somewhat hindering the process of containing the riot once both teams arrived.
This helped to solidify his status on the team as a real working component, and not simply as cashing in from his recent rise in popularity.
Role of Law Enforcement — What set up the riot was the program by S.H.I.E.L.D. to literally alter villains to another form in order to ensure their complacency. Several figures, including Steve Rogers (aka the first Captain America), was highly uncomfortable with idea and how it was handled by Maria Hill. Added with the upcoming Civil War II event this summer, it can easily help set up why many within the superhero community would have problems with law agencies using less than ethical means to achieve a “greater good”.
Action sequences and artwork was never disappointing, and generally speaking the second and third acts held themselves together quite nicely.
What Didn’t Work:
Flow — Though the second and third acts worked well together, the first one had some trouble getting some traction going, as the prologue and first main issue were simply on repeat, only with different characters saying pretty much the same thing.
Conflict — What drew into the story was the debate of where law enforcement ends and personal rights begin. And though this is an excellent subject to look at through the comic medium, and especially within the superhero genre, it didn’t get enough screen time as I would’ve hoped. It was brought up in some of the tie-in issues than in the main story, which was sad given the potential in adding some meat in between the action sequences.
It also would’ve been interesting to see some of the villains actually regret having the prison come to an end. Not that they enjoyed having their minds, bodies and souls altered to another’s whim, but in that they could live normal lives. They didn’t have the police after them. They didn’t have superheroes trying to beat them into a pulp. They had normal lives, and a few of them probably enjoyed being average joes. Even Baron Zemo seemed to be enjoying himself at one point.
Lack of Fallout — Aside from Rogers getting some years back, and Hill having some red tape to slough through, nothing really seemed to happen to shake up the Marvel universe. Not that I hate seeing heroes fall in battle, but that would’ve made the whole fiasco more relevant to the superhero and villain communities. It’s almost as if this was a very very bad day that everyone can drink away once they clocked out for the day.
Main Story and Tie-Ins — With the checklist given on the issue centering on the story, there was no indication which was a part of the main story and which were tie ins from other titles. This was more of a minor problem, but it did confuse the story a bit until the second act was underway.
Overall this was a good storyline as it had some good dialogue, well paced fight scenes and moments of development. However, there were some bumps that kept this from being a more memorable Avengers storyline, especially to this who may be getting into the line up for the first time.
Seth Frederiksen is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @SenseiSeth
A well rounded story, though with a few bumps along the road.