To encourage cooperation between the Avengers, X-Men, and Inhumans, Captain America created the Avengers Unity Squad. Once they failed at their mission, though, he disbanded the team; Rogue, Cable, and Deadpool went outside the law to find a cure for the Terrigen Mist-based, mutant-killing disease. However, now that Doctor Voodoo’s dead brother has disclosed the location of Bruce Banner’s body (which is in the hands of the evil ninja cult, the Hand), the team just might have to get together once more.
With the help of a very special someone (Elektra), the group is able to infiltrate the Hand’s resurrection ceremony-type-séance-thing, but will they actually save Banner to let him rest in peace? Meanwhile, everyone is upset that Captain America is (one) missing from the group on this mission and (two) breaking up the new group of Avengers. There are a lot of personal battles going on in this issue that I can’t wait to see resolved.
Deadpool has a big role in this issue. He and Rogue spend quite some time together talking about the group and the way life is going, before they realize that Cable is missing. While in battle with the Hand, Deadpool also has quite a lot of lines. He isn’t as over-the-top as we have seen him, but his language and candor is still enough to be inappropriately hilarious. In a story that is nearly all dramatic sequences, it’s nice to have that comic relief that we can always count on Deadpool for.
The entire lineup of the Avengers Unity Squad had a hard time with their first mission, but they all seem pretty focused on this one. I have to say, though, I think Bruce Banner is a motivational factor. With Hank and Bruce, I can see why the heroes are getting frustrated. One of their own has passed away; they want him to rest and they want to respect his memory—as well as his corpse. It was not only a shock, but a serious melancholic atmosphere when Hawkeye killed the Hulk. I remember reading Civil War II: The Fallen #1 and literally crying over the heroes’ reactions to Bruce’s death. It’s the freaking Hulk. For decades that dude has been entertaining and helping and guiding us. He was a complex character and, even in death, he still is. So, I completely understand why the Avengers are pissed.
Duggan’s language in this script is really understandable, but sounds mega dramatic when the team is talking about the situation or the Hand or what have you. But when they speak to each other, things sound a lot more relaxed—at the very least between Rogue and Deadpool. Torch seems a bit off put, but I’m sure it’s just because Elektra wanted him to burn a building with people inside and he said no while Deadpool did it…or something along those lines. The more relaxed character interaction shows us that these heroes work well together, and maybe Cap was wrong to end the Avengers Unity Squad so early.
Larraz’s artwork is stunning. With clean lines, heavy shadowing, and expressive facial features, Larraz doesn’t just illustrate a comic; he creates a world for us to immerse ourselves in. His portrayal of Tokyo, Japan is accurate and aesthetically attractive. We see busy streets, lots of people, little nature, a lot of urban life, big and tall buildings, and neon signs/lights everywhere. In action sequences, it’s very easy for the reader(s) to follow along the path of events as they happen, and with a large variety of panel designs, there’s no way for us to be bored of any monotony.
This is a great issue to add to the series. It paints a clear picture, has action and humor, and carries a really interesting storyline. For any Marvel fan, this is a must-read book. Avengers, ninjas, and a skilled assassin? What more could you want?!
Written by: Gerry Duggan
Illustrated by: Pepe Larraz