Review: AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #19

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #19
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jen Van Meter
Art by Barry Kitson
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 25, 2013

AVNASS2012019_DC11_LRThis issue was fun. It felt a little less like a tie-in than #18, but still enriches the overall Infinity story. We saw in the most recent issue of Captain Marvel how the rescue mission aboard the Builder ship went (awesome); this issue tells that story from the point of view of the Avengers who made it out of the Corridor. What I really enjoyed about this book was that it let me know that all those characters in the backgrounds of panels in Infinity are actually going through a lot, they have motivations and a reason for being there, even if we don’t see them talking. I know that’s the basic premise of an event tie-in, but it’s really rewarding to see it done so well.

Does anyone else think the escape from the Battle of the Corridor is taking forever? Because it feels like it. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Jen Van Meter focus more on the emotional story, rather than the action, in this issue, which allows the book to stand out. It’s very character-focused, with a rehash of my favorite exchange ever between Captain Marvel and Spider Woman and some great moments with the Black Widow and Hawkeye. They use some very powerful language to pull you in. My favorite line in the book (other than “Sorry I’m a badass”) is “The Widow doesn’t bend.” What a perfect, simple way to tell you about both Natasha herself and the severity of the situation. Spider Woman seems shaken out of her self-pity party from last issue and gets her rear in gear. Also, Mr. Squidie!

The attack on Ringworld and the rescue mission themselves are almost like background, but it’s very cool to see that entire scene again from the rescuer’s perspective. I really appreciated that DeConnick and Van Meter took the time to address the fallout of Jessica and Clint’s relationship. They were, and then they just sort of weren’t (at least from my perspective based on my reading list). The uneasy resolution of that conflict is sure to linger awkwardly around the Avengers Clubhouse.

Barry Kitson is once again on art duties, and he does another fine job. There are fewer big moments this issue, so he focuses on the small ones. He says a lot with very little. The tiny background image of Black Widow bent against the wall is powerful even without Jessica’s narration. On page 3, Jessica’s anger practically jumps off the page at you. Kitson also drew what is possibly the greatest Carol Danvers face ever on page 16. Her sassitude cannot be contained! There was what I’m assuming was an unfortunate printer error in my copy – on page 9 there’s a huge color bleed of red all over Jessica’s face and neck. She looks like she just ate a living heart, Khaleesi-style. Besides that, the issue is gorgeous.

The two Avengers Assemble tie-ins have been my favorites in the land of Infinity. It’s important to tell stories about individuals to keep readers grounded amidst the reality-altering consequences of the mega-event. It’s also vitally important to hit Clint Barton in the head with a plushie squid.

Verdict: 9.0/10

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