Avengers #18 Comic Review
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ed McGuinness
Colorist: Justin Posnor
Inker: Mark Morales
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Ed McGuinness & Val Staples
Variant Covers: Alex Ross; Paolo Rivera
Crisis on Ten Realms
What You Need To Know
The Avengers have been hit hard by the War of The Realms and America needs new heroes to protect it. Agent Phil Coulson has the perfect heroes to protect this great nation, The Squadron Supreme. The reformed Squadron is sent into action to win this war for America. Questions remain however: Where has Agent Coulson been and how is he alive? Where have the Squadron Supreme been all this time?
What Just Happened
The issue begins with the Squadron Supreme in their normal routines reacting to the havoc that Malkeith’s forces have brought to Midgard. Mark Milton aka Hyperion is a U.S. History teacher. Kyle Richmond aka Nighthawk is the newly elected Representative from the District of Columbia. Princess Zarda Shelton aka Power Princess is training as a MMA fighter. Stanley Stewart aka The Blur works multiple jobs due to his super speed. Colonel Joseph Ledger aka Doctor Spectrum is at his desk when he is made aware of the assault happening outside. Together they assemble and reemerge as the Squadron Supreme.
Agent Coulson gives the team the go ahead to take the fight back to the Frost Giants who have invaded Washington D.C. Strangely enough, none of the members of the Squadron can remember how long they’ve been together as a government sanctioned squad or how long the team has been training in D.C. Regardless, the Squadron is able to take down the Frost Giants without much resistance. The issues flashes between the battle in D.C. and what seems to be a flashback scene where Coulson is overseeing a strange project that seems to be the reason why the Squadron can’t remember much about their time as a team. Nighthawk seems to be on to Agent Coulson’s scheme, but Coulson is actually one step ahead. The Blur doesn’t seem to mind Coulson’s treatment, and Colonel Ledger is in the right mind state to be able to question Coulson.
This issue also shows a meeting between Agent Coulson and what looks like a mysterious benefactor. This benefactor seems to be the reason why Coulson has returned from the dead and why he seems to have control over the Squadron Supreme. Coulson’s hold on the Squadron shows when they run the Frost Giants out of D.C. but choose not to pursue them once they leave America and head to Canada. Instead they respond to Coulson’s order to head towards Ohio.
You know you’re dealing with a talented writer when the first issue of a tie-in to a huge event doesn’t even have the stars of the book in it. Jason Aaron officially reintroducing the Squadron Supreme back into the world was highly entertaining while leaving the reader guessing at how Agent Coulson was able to put this squad together and have them follow him. Seeing the Squadron in their everyday lives was also a great way to introduce them for readers who’ve never heard of them and avid fans alike. Hyperion is the All-American man who puts his country before anything. Nighthawk is the man who loves to be underestimated and trusts no one to do the job better than him. Power Princess is always looking for a fight and an adrenaline rush. The Blur is the happy-go-lucky man-child who always brings a lighthearted approach to any situation. Doctor Spectrum is the military straight man that will always respond to the call of duty.
Aaron brings the strangeness to this issue by flashing back to moments where Agent Coulson was putting this team together. Without spoiling too much, I will say that Coulson has a hold on this team that is not natural. Even when some of the members suspect something is not right, Coulson is able to stay a step ahead of them. And then there is case of Agent Coulson himself. We finally get an answer as to how he is still alive, and it is as much heartbreaking as it is surprising. This is not the same Coulson we are used to, and Aaron looks to real life current events to color the personality of Coulson and the Squadron Supreme. It seems Coulson doesn’t just want to protect America; he also wants to put America first and push a Nationalist mindset. The Squadron Supreme is nationalist hammer that Coulson wields.
Ed McGuinness’ artwork is perfect for the introduction for the Squadron Supreme. These larger than life heroes need an artist that can depict larger than life super heroics. McGuinness illustrates how powerful the Squadron is by how they slice and dice through Frost Giants like they are butter. Aaron is also laying out seeds for future storylines and enemies they will face in the future. The Avengers are in for a real fight if they survive the War of The Realms.