The hammers have fallen and the Worthy have begun to appear! As agents of the Serpent, their objective is to spread fear and destruction throughout the world. Neither hero nor villain is safe from their influence and important members of both groups are transformed as a result of the Serpent’s mystic hammers. While Steve Rogers deploys the rest of the Avengers to deal with the growing chaos, Sin begins Blitzkrieg, U.S.A., an attack on Washington, D.C.!
The issue begins right in the action, with Bucky Cap, Black Widow, and the Falcon fighting back against Sin’s army of Nazi Mechs (that will sound just as ridiculous every time I type it). Sin-Skadi and Cap begin to battle and he actually seems to have a slight moment where his confidence falters.
Back in Asgard-Space, Loki (who is a child again, after the events of Siege ) tricks some the guards watching over Thor with some poisoned food. It seems that he has arrived to break him free, so he may help Earth. We are given a one-panel shot of the Greithoth, Breaker of Wills, destroying Dubai. This is a transformed Absorbing Man, who picked up his hammer in one of the side stories running alongside the main series. Meanwhile, in Brazil, Hulk-Nul, continues his path of destruction while Red She-Hulk tries to save as many innocent people as possible. She turns back into Betty Ross and tries to reason with the Hulk, but fails. Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, and the Protector show up in time to save her.
Meanwhile, in New York, the Future Foundation continues to inspect the hammer that fell on Yancy Street. While Reed does more scans, Ben Grimm sits off to the side being harassed by a civilian. After dealing with being told how they’re not going to win this time, Ben is told to try and lift the hammer. Of course, this transforms him as well, creating Angrir, Breaker of Souls. He quickly begins his rampage, destroying his beloved Yancy Street.
We jump back to Asgard-Space, where Loki has freed Thor. Loki explains that Odin has rebuilt Asgard with the intention of destroying Earth to stop the Serpent. By killing the humans, he stops the source of the Serpent’s strength (that is, their fear). Loki leads him to Thor’s friends (for those of you who saw the movie, it is basically the same group seen in that). While they are willing to help him get out of Asgard, they won’t go themselves, as it would go against Odin’s orders. Before they can begin their plan though, Odin shows up to stop Thor. He claims to want to stop a prophecy and Thor from getting killed. Still, he will not listen, and Odin sends him back to Earth, returning Mjolnir to him as well.
On the Quincarrier, Steve Rogers debates with Sharon Carter and Maria Hill about their course of action. Being a soldier, sitting around planning doesn’t suit him, so he joins the defensive against Sin’s assault. Bucky has been taking a beating, but refuses to stop fighting. Unfortunately, his best is not enough, and she beats him again, ripping off his prosthetic arm. She finishes the fight by driving the shaft of the hammer through his chest! The issue closes with Bucky slowly dying….
Well, this issue certainly delivered a bit more on story progression! Unlike last issue, where we mostly got snippets of stories we won’t see a resolution to, this issue gave us some story and insight into what are supposed to be the main events of the book. There are still some events missing, however. As I am not picking up the tie-ins, I personally missed the entire story about Grey Gargoyle, who became Mokk, Breaker of Faith. Or when Absorbing Man got his hammer. Granted, there’s only so much space in each book, but if you have such grandiose plans for the story, you can’t just deliver on small pieces of it.
I suppose those aren’t the pieces Fraction wants to focus on, but one of the book things about this book was transforming known characters into something new. I feel like that should count for something! And again, I know we’re only being given these little bits so we are tempted to buy the tie-ins as well, but that doesn’t make it good writing. Clever marketing, maybe, but really not so good when it comes to writing.
Also, while I did really enjoy the progression of events in this part, there was still a lot of jumping around. This story might just be too cluttered and I think it’s starting to make me confused as to what I want. I do want to know more about the different events, especially when we’re being given one-panel shots of entire events taking place in other books, but at the same time it’s a bit overwhelming when there are parts of about 4 different stories being thrown at you.
The ending did finally create a feeling of significance, but at the same time I sort of have to wonder why we went there at all. Based on what I had read, this series was supposed to highlight Cap and Thor, as they had their movies out over the summer. So I imagine it’s similar to how Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman, and the black suit all showed up in Spider-Man comics around the time of the respective movies. Still, will this stick? How long before Bucky is back again? And wouldn’t this have been more appropriate to cover in perhaps a separate story in the Captain America series?
I’m going back to a 3 web rating here. It was definitely better than last issue, but overall this series just isn’t doing it for me. I feel like there are too many missed opportunities, too much jumping around, and just not enough explanation or depth into any one event. We’re hitting the middle of the series, so I personally would not expect too much depth from the next few issues either.