Avengers Assemble #12 Story by Kelly Sue DeConnick Art by Pete Woods Review by Mara Whiteside Avengers Assemble continues to spotlight it’s rotating cast in issue #12. Hot off the heels of last month’s thoroughly enjoyable final panel, issue #12 brings readers back to superhero reality. Natasha has loads of bad karma. It comes with the territory of being a world-class spy. She recognizes her past deeds, and has promised to restore her good name and help those she’s hurt the most. In the past, Natasha murdered a man named Anokhin, a chemist behind a dangerous compound. Knowing the pain she’ll cause to this good man’s family, she pulled the trigger. Now, Natasha must make up for that pain caused. A marker indicating her debt to Anokhin’s family has shown up, compelling Natasha to visit Siberia. Of course, it wouldn’t be an Avengers title if a few heroes didn’t find a way to tag along. Hawkeye invites himself along, and Spider-Woman argues her way onto the small team. Avengers Assemble might as well be called Spider-Woman and her amazing friends. After years of being a B-class Marvel hero, Spider-Woman is getting some great panel time. For readers of just Avengers Assemble, it may be difficult to get a grasp on her personality. She shifts from compassionate friend to slightly paranoid girlfriend and hits everything in between. In a word, Jessica wants to be included. She wants to be accepted by her teammates, which makes this mission to Siberia that much more important to her. DeConnick’s dialogue suits each of the three Avengers. Natasha’s inner monologues reflect the business-like assassin that she is, and the playful banter between Clint and Jessica is perfect for a super couple. The weaving between the arguments Clint and Jessica have and the dangerous mission at hand is flawless as well as entertaining. THE VERDICT You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t jump in on this issue. One of the biggest selling points of Avengers Assemble #12 is that readers don’t need background knowledge on any of these characters. DeConnick lays out all the necessary information without dragging anything out. Woods’s artwork is clean, simple, and makes for a great comic book; he can convey so much underlying emotion with a single panel. Avengers Assemble is a comic book series well suited for both the hardcore Marvel fan and the new comic book reader. 9 Responses thisjohnd February 14, 2013 This was my first venture into Avengers Assemble and although I hear that the first arc was much more action-packed, I think I’ll at least give this series another issue or two. After reading a little bit of Spider-Woman in Ultimate Spider-Man, I feel like I want to read more of the character. I wish she had her own book. As far as being a great jump-on issue, I agree completely. I had no idea that Hawkeye and Spider-Woman were together but this issue quickly establishes the nature of their relationship. I thought the discussion about having a checkbook was definitely the kind of argument a newly-formed couple would have, so without spelling it outright, DeConnick gave me a good idea how long these two have been together. My only point of confusion is when Jessica says to Clint, “What about that time you put the ‘B’ and the ‘R’ round the…” I don’t know if this comes from a previous issue or not but it went right over my head. I assume the “B” and “R” stand for Barton and Rominoff but other than that I’m clueless to this reference and it took me a bit out of the scene that I was otherwise enjoying. Log in to Reply Travis McCollum February 15, 2013 Yeah the first arc is what really sold me on this book’s concept. Luckily it IS only 3 issues so if you get the chance I say pick it up (not the annual though as that’s a totally different thing). Blending humor, action and great dialogue it really showed what a fun Avengers book could be like. Although I did love this issue a lot, especially all of Jessica’s (Spider-Woman) parts (I really loved the little grin she gave when she was sitting between them, that was great) As for Spider-Woman’s own stuff, I say definitely check out Spider-Woman Agent of S.W.O.R.D and Spider-Woman Origins (and the Essentials if you can find them). Both are great books and really show the depth of her character. Though her own Marvel NOW series would be great If you were wondering, they started dating I believe in Fear Itself. He had broken up with Mockingbird and it seemed like they hooked up around then if I’m not mistaken. And the B&R thing is exactly what you think. Barton o& Romanoff. They’ve hooked up in the past and there’s been a sort of work husband/wife relationship between the two for years. Hope that helped and hopefully you continue to enjoy the book. Log in to Reply Mara Whiteside February 16, 2013 I am desperately hoping for a buddy-hero book with Carol and Jessica. Seeing Jessica interact on a semi-regular basis on Captain Marvel is a treat. nocommayes February 15, 2013 Take a one dollar bill. Write the letters “B” and “R” around the “ONE.” The result, “BONER.” Clint can be kind of immature sometimes. Log in to Reply Travis McCollum February 15, 2013 Oh wow. Didn’t even think about that. That’s clever on DeConnick’s part. Though I did think B&R the other way could work as well. But wow…BoneR…you learn something new every day thisjohnd February 16, 2013 I’m gonna have to go back and read that part again because I totally missed this…haha. I thought it was a reference to something Clint did in a previous issue of Avengers Assemble. That’s where the confusion from me came from. Also, thanks Travis for all the Spider-Woman recommendations. I’m going to a Con in a few months and I’ll be on the look out for those particular books. Mara Whiteside February 16, 2013 Also, I’m going to second Travis on those two Spider-Woman series. Marvel also has the collected black-and-white omnibuses out there, and a couple feature Spider-Woman from the 70s. Start with S.W.O.R.D., though. Great place to start. Log in to Reply Bob Reyer February 15, 2013 Not to give away too much of next week’s show, I adored Avengers Assemble #12! Ms. DeConnick, in a spate of “Hawksian” over-lapping dialogue, delivers the usual mixture of fun and adventure, but in the service of a nice piece of human drama as the Black Widow seeks to assuage some of her guilt for past “activities”. The art of Pete Woods (along with inker Scott Hanna and colorist Rain Beredo) is a treat, allowing the shifting moods to never feel jarring. I’d love to see this team tackle a Spider-Woman mini…or frankly, just about anything! For me, a great book…and a great review, Mara! Bob ps) …and yes, I googled “Krokodil”; what a truly sad situation, and by the way—YUCCKK!!! rrr Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply You must be logged in to post a comment.