Comics : Avengers (Vol. 4) #30
This review was first published on: Jul 2013.
It's Avengers versus X-Men. Time for a few one shots from the Avengers’ point of view.
Avengers (Vol. 4) #30
Nov 2012 : SM Spin-Off App
Summary: Spider-Woman Appears
The Earth’s so-called Super Heroes are occupied in Utopia fighting each other, leaving New York unprotected. These are the thoughts of Mr Negative who, along with his inner demons, seizes this opportunity to attack a S.H.I.E.L.D. warehouse housing the Mechs from New Avengers (Vol. 2) #16. Unfortunately for him, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman get there and intend to stop them. The two battle the inner demons whilst having a lovers’ tiff. They resolve their issues but the thing with Mr Negative’s inner demons is you can’t really beat them for long, so Clint and Jess are soon outnumbered.
Captain America, Iron Man and Thor receive word of the heist and go to the scene. They arrive to find Spider-Woman and Hawkeye have beaten them to it and have defeated all the bad guys too. Jess explains she got a tip off from Madame Hydra and that is how she and Clint got there first. Madame Hydra decides to pick this moment to ring Spider-Woman again. She thanks Jess for taking out one of her competitors, saying how she hates it when people try and take advantage of how busy the heroes of the World are! We readers see that she and her Hydra forces have used this opportunity to take a different S.H.I.E.L.D. base; one with Skrulls and their tech (presumably from the secret invasion event) up for grabs.
I thought this was a good story. Quite clever, showing that just because a big event is going on, the rest of the Marvel Universe doesn’t just stop and wait for it to finish. Added a bit of realism, which I liked. Equally the end, when we discover that Madame Hydra had played the Avengers, was clever and good. Will this lead to a new Hydra coming out following their unsuccessful team up with H.A.M.M.E.R., A.I.M. and the Hand? Who knows?
The fight of Mr Negative and his minions against Hawkeye and Spider-Woman was entertaining, which is a good job as it pretty much took up the whole of the issue. Lot of action interspersed with a bit of fun. I quite liked the squabble between Jess and Clint, again it added a little realism. The two of them have had relationships in the past and the arrival of one of Clint’s exes (Scarlet Witch) has annoyed Jess. Understandable and I thought the way Hawkeye dealt with it was good: they have a close group of colleagues, meaning there are only so many people they can trust and connect with and so there is going to be some crossover at some point. They have both had pasts that they can’t apologise for, so they should do the best they can with what they’ve got. There was only one hitch with the argument: during her rant Spider-Woman said a boyfriend shouldn’t compliment their girlfriend’s sister. It made it sound like she has a sister, and she doesn’t (at least not at time of writing, who knows what retcons may happen down the line!).
I did also have a problem with the story, not how it was told but where it was told. I didn’t think it belonged in the Avengers, I think this was more of a New Avengers story. The threat was relatively low level and so I thought it would have been more apt for the New Avengers to face them. Equally as Mr Negative is a Spider-Man foe and Spidey is on the New Avengers, surely it would be better for them to face off. (There does seem to be a running theme of Spider-Man's enemies graduating to Avengers level foes: first Norman Osborn and now Mr. Negative.) When back-up arrived in the form of Thor, Cap and Iron Man it was overkill and not needed, reinforcing that this was not an Avengers level threat. Ah well, it gave Hawkeye and Spider-Woman another chance to shine. They have done very well out of these AvX tie ins, with starring roles in Avengers (Vol. 4) #29, New Avengers (Vol. 2) #28 as well as this issue. The downside is that maybe other characters' inclusion have suffered as a consequence.
The art. Well for me it was a step back again. Most of the inner demons were quite cartoon-y and not really threatening. As I’ve said before, art and style is down to taste and sorry but this just isn’t to mine. A bit of a misleading cover again with what looks like Hawkeye and Spider-Woman leading a civilian uprising – that just doesn’t happen. Also there seems to be a lot of Jess-love in the Avengers of late. The front cover here has her costume torn exposing some boob (whilst Hawkeye’s outfit is fine), there was a close up of her backside in Avengers (Vol. 4) #29 and she stripped off to have a wash in New Avengers (Vol. 2) #28! (That’s not including her being stripped naked way back in Avengers (Vol. 4) #12.1.) I admire the female form as much as most other males but seriously, is that what it takes to sell comics these days?!
Good story, but I think misplaced in Avengers. There was just no need for Thor, Cap and Iron Man to feature. If it was in New Avengers we could have seen Dr Strange, Daredevil or the Thing as they have not been used much recently. Spidey could have dealt with one of his enemies too.