Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: David Marquez & Ed McGuiness
Guest Artists: Frazer Irving, Adam Kubert, & Andrea Sorrentino
Colors: Justin Ponsor, Erick Arciniego, Frazer Irving, Matthew Wilson, & Giada Marchisio
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
The Avengers #10 is not only another stellar issue of Jason Aaron’s take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but very quietly and with very little fanfare it is also the 700th issue of the Avengers. For years the Avengers was a staple of the comics industry and one of Marvel’s longest running series as it started during the Silver Age in 1963. Yet the original numbering ended with issue #402 in 1996 as Marvel turned the reigns over to Rob Liefeld and Extreme Studios for the poorly received Heroes Reborn. Over the past 22 years Marvel has started and restarted the franchise with multiple new volumes, some stronger than the others, but when added together they culminate in the impressive number of 700.
The Avengers #10 feels like an anniversary issue. It is extra-sized, dense with a compelling story, and full of beautiful artwork from an array of A-list artists. Jason Aaron’s take on the Avengers has been full of widescreen action, larger than life personalities, and global extinction level threats that only a team like the Avengers can handle. The Avengers #10 begins with one of these events as Namor and his aquatic cohorts have declared the oceans of the world off limits to all land based life, drawing the anger of not only the United States of America but also Mother Russia. As Russia is drawn into the story for the first time new readers are introduced to Russia’s array of super heroes and the issue actually has one of the best splash pages I’ve seen in a long time to kick off the issue. Ursa Major, of the Russian super team the Winter Guard, is in his cups with bottles of broken vodka littering the ground around him. I was already going to read the issue, but that page alone would have sold me if I was on the fence. The Avengers and Namor’s forces meet in a classic super hero fight, which is quickly joined by the Russian reformed Winter Guard and the fight quickly gets out of control. Added to the mix is the fact that this current Avengers team is unaffiliated with the United States, and with the Black Panther as the chairman many people in power feel they are nothing but puppets to Wakanda. So as the super teams meet in combat there are backroom machinations going on that will no doubt lead to an epic conflict in the pages of the Avengers very soon.
Rounding out the book, after what would have been a big enough cliffhanger of an ending are three vignettes that expand upon the book. One of them is a lovely story, beautifully drawn by Frazer Irving, about the current Ghost Rider and the Allfather himself Odin getting to know one another as Odin has a bone to pick with the current incarnation of his ancient ally. Loki is the focus of the second vignette with a special guest star from just North of America and the Celestials. I have no idea where this particular story is going but I can’t say I’m interested in where it goes and I am always a sucker for the Celestials. The final vignette was my favorite of the three and I cannot wait to see how this macabre story will play out in the pages of the Avengers, but I do know that I want more Andrea Sorrentino on this book as his moody and creepy artwork read perfectly with the
Jason Aaron continues to impress on the Avengers. After less then stellar recent iterations of Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes Aaron really feels to have the title back on the right path. He has a wonderful take on the team dynamic and interactions that has really developed over these ten issues, even the unorthodox courtship of Thor and Hulk has grown on me, especially as Thor acts more like a teenager in lust than the ancient God that he is. The one drawback to the issue is the jarring switch from David Marquez’s artwork to Ed McGuiness. Both artists bring their A-game but their styles are so distinctively different that it does jar the reader a bit since the switch takes place in the middle of the issues big fight sequence. The inclusion of the three guest artists really made the issue feel like a special anniversary issue, and even as the main story cliffhanger was fantastic the Andrea Sorrentino final page was astounding and left me wanting the next installment instantly.
Verdict: the Avengers#10 (#700) is a dense and satisfying read that feels like the anniversary issue that it is. Jason Aaron and his A-list group of artist have turned in a fun and compelling comic book that will leave the reader breathless and wanting more and is an absolute Buy!