Writer: Jason Aaron / Artist: Ed McGuinness / Marvel Comics
Last week I watched Shazam! and this week I read Avengers #18. I’ve come to understand that Marvel can be on some petty mess. It was apparent when I was reminded of the dispute between Marvel and DC regarding Captain Marvel. This week the shamelessness is real as we’re introduced to the newest iteration of the Squadron Supreme. My knowledge of the team is fleeting at best from the short description on Vs System cards, but it was pretty obvious the similarity between them and the Justice League.
The issue begins rattling off the characters: Hyperion, Power Princess, Nighthawk, Whizzer and Doctor Spectrum are all summoned to handle an attack by Frost Giants by none other than Agent Coulson. A deeper look into their past shows some shady training by the U.S. government. The Squadron shows its loyalty is to the United States as they take a “not our problem” stance when the Giants are driven north to Canada.
For all the shade I’d like to throw at a Justice League copycat in a copy vaguely associated with The War of Realms, I really liked this comic. It turned the Justice League into a creepy team of Manchurian candidates waving an obnoxious “America First” banner. My particular favorite was Nighthawk’s arc. As far as I can tell, his being a DC representative is a new take on the character. There is a poetic narrative describing the lack of power a DC rep has and comparing that to his being the least powerful of the team. The theme is echoed later where Nighthawk’s inherent skepticism is explored through his mistrust of the team’s handlers. The glimmer of hope that the illusion will be shattered is dashed as Nighthawk is shown to be manipulated even in his paranoia, adding to the layered theme of powerlessness. Adding a little humor to offset the creepy hopelessness, Agent Coulson says “Hold Richmond’s doubt meter at level eight. Jealousy at four. He’s best when he’s brooding”. If this is the last we see of The War of Realms story bleeding into the Avengers book I’ll be good. I really want to see the Squadron Supreme as the latest team explored in this book.
8 “Demon Resurrections” out of 10
Reading Avengers? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.