To be honest with you, I wasn't even going to read this comic tonight. Besides the new comics I read nightly, I've been reading through the 12-part "Crisis on Infinite Earth" series from 1985. I wasn't expecting much from the original Crisis, but so far I'm really enjoying it! Of course I'm only 3 issues in, so that could change drastically. What I'm trying to say(in my usual long-winded way)is to expect this review to be pretty half-assed... Or more half-assed then usual I guess. The writer here is the very under-rated Christos Gage, with Rafa Sandoval doing the pencils.
-We open with Norman Osborn(who else!)giving a press conference where he talks about the new and improved Initiative program. According to Chairman Osborn, the Initiative is now run by HAMMER and is based out of an old Hulkbuster base in New Mexico, which is surrounded by lots of nothingness, meaning no civilians will be in harms way. Plus nobody will see all of the villains President Osborn has stocked the place with!
-The New Warriors battle the U-Foes in North Carolina, but since the Marvel Universe is akin to Bizarro World, the cops try to help the U-Foes, since the U-Foes are the official protectors of the Tar Heel State. The New Warriors escape, but are none too happy about the fact that they are now looked at as the villains.
-Poor Penance(the former Speedball)is still crazy, and Taskmaster(the co-leader of the New Initiative)has ordered Trauma to keep Robbie from remembering his past. Just so you know, Trauma has been told by the Hood(the other co-leader of the New Initiative)that if he keeps Robbie in the dark, the Hood will help Trauma's sick mother.
-Baron Blitzkrieg, Hood and Taskmaster discuss the fact that the Negative Zone prison has been over-run by creatures from the Negative Zone(makes sense right?). The three decide to send a bunch of c-list villains into the prison as a first wave to push the creatures out. After the first wave is inevitably killed, the trio plans on sending in a formidable team to then finish the job. Taskmaster tells Komodo it is going to be up to her to lead the first wave into the Negative Zone prison where her former boyfriend Hardball had been locked up... Poor Komodo!
-This issue ends with Tigra filming herself while she brutalizes one of the Brothers Grimm(while he was sleeping), much like the Hood did to her an issue of the New Avengers a while back. The message she seems to be sending is that if you're a villain and you throw your hat in with the Initiative, prepare to get an ass-kicking!
As usual, I liked this comic. I've never made a secret of my love for c-list Marvel characters, and this comic throws more c-list characters at me then I know what to do with! Christos has taken a comic that could have really come apart at the seams after the Secret Invasion nonsense and given it a new life. There are loads of different storylines unfolding here, such as the New Warriors vendetta against everything Initiative related, Trauma being forced to keep Penance under wraps, the influx of villains joining the Initiative, Komodo heading into the Negative Zone where she's sure to find her old lover, Hardball, etc. I say it every month, but this is the best Avengers comic on the market today! Nuff said. For a score, I'll give this issue an 8 out of 10.How can you tell this is a Marvel Comic? Norman Osborn is giving a press conference in it, that's how!