Avengers #11 Comic Review
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: Ed McGuinness, Cory Smith, Mark Morales, Scott Hanna & Karl Kesel
Colorists: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Ed McGuinness & Marte Garcia
Variant Covers: Alan Davis, Mark Farmer & Matt Hollingsworth; Carlos Pacheco, Aneke & Jason Keith
The Strength and Conviction of Phillip Coulson
“United Superhero Nations”
What You Need to Know
Agent Phil Coulson is back from the dead, and not the same Agent Coulson we all know and love. His brush with death has left him jaded towards the superhero community and that seems to mean trouble for the Avengers. Meanwhile, T’Challa holds a superhero peace summit and Thor and She-Hulk go on a date.
What Just Happened
The issue begins with Phil Coulson talking to someone off panel and discussing him seemingly coming back from the dead, and his experience with death changing his feelings towards superheroes. Coulson believes it was childish for him to worship superheroes and believes the Avengers have turned their backs on the United States. Coulson threatens this unseen person and blames his actions on the Avengers.
Thor and Jennifer Walters go on a date in the Savage Land, and Jennifer isn’t too impressed with the dinosaur scenery or Thor’s bragging and boasting. On Avengers Mountain, T’Challa meets with Arabian Knight, Sabra, Shaman, Sunfire, Captain Britain, Ursa Major, and the Collective Man to discuss collaboration and communication amongst their nations. The group mostly agrees but Ursa Major tries to disrupt the meeting by ranting and mocking T’Challa over the United States being absent from the meeting and for T’Challa not knowing of Namor’s latest attack on US soil. Ursa attempts to attack T’Challa, who teleports him back to Siberia while lamenting the fact that Russia sent Major as an antagonist. Back in the Savage Land, awkwardness begins to derail Thor and Jennifer’s date, and Jennifer flat out asks Thor if he meant to ask out She-Hulk instead of her.
Thor admits to Jennifer that he is not good at sharing his feelings despite his status as a God and manages to profess his infatuation with both Jennifer and her gamma-radiated alter ego in a way that almost made me swoon (don’t tell my fiancé). Jennifer actually swoons.
Coulson admits to his prisoner that the Squadron Supreme of America was the force that stopped the Defenders of the Deep in Alaska. Coulson also states that the Squadron will be meeting the Avengers very soon. Coulson’s prisoner manages to escape, but not before Coulson guns him down.
This seems to be a come down issue that simultaneously serves as a cooling down period from the landmark 700th issue and a way to introduce plot threads that will likely lead to big events in the future. Ghost Rider and Captain Marvel aren’t given much to do in this issue, but I got a kick out of Captain America quizzing Robbie Reyes on super villains, and Captain Marvel admitting that the quizzes helped her in battle. Captain America and Iron Man don’t appear in this issue at all. I’m all for jaded and angry Phil Coulson. Coulson’s anger and feelings of betrayal bleed through the page and I’m interested in how Jason Aaron continues to develop this darker side of him. Too often non-powered supporting characters for superheroes are beaten, tortured, and killed just for being affiliated to them, and Coulson is the embodiment of their pent up frustrations. I also appreciated the threat he made to Deadpool. I’d like to see that confrontation happen soon. Also, the sooner we see Squadron Supreme versus Avengers, the better.
It is not very surprising that Thor would pick the Savage Land as the site for a first date. Who would’ve thought that a god would be such a boring date? Aaron did surprise me by revealing that Thor was not just interested in She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters believed, and Thor’s loving words to Jennifer could charm the pants off of anyone.
T’Challa’s roundtable with heroes from all over the world featured some guest appearances from characters I haven’t seen in a long time. Shout out to Arabian Knight, Sabra, and the Collective Man. Ursa Major is becoming one of my favorite characters in this book. Who doesn’t love a belligerent, drunk, talking bear?
The differences in artwork really stood out in this issue and it was kind of distracting to me. Not that both artists did a poor job, more so their styles were very contrasting. Here’s hoping there is a consistent artist going forward on this book.