What a difference one issue makes. I wasn’t sold after issue 58; Jeff Parker spent too much time on the boring supporting cast members, letting Red She-Hulk just materialize as a threat and destructive force to harass them. I see now what he was trying to do: cast some doubt on Betty Ross’ mental state and really put some fear of the character into the Marvel U. I just hope readers stick around to give this issue a chance; this is much more what I had in mind when I started picking up this Marvel NOW title.
This issue still keeps much of the focus on the Avengers strike force focusing on taking out Red She-Hulk. Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, and more all join forces to take on Betty and stop her seemingly mindless rampage. I especially like how seamlessly Machine Man is assimilated into the team. He’s not an Avenger, but you’d never know that from reading this comic. (Heck, maybe he’s a reservist along with anyone else Steve Rogers deputizes these days.)
Red She-Hulk is definitely too wild, but her heart is in the right place. She’s trying to avoid an apocalyptic future witnessed by a young lady she knows. I’m not sure how the Echelon project leads to the apocalyptic future Betty sees, or if the vision is even real, but it is a good way to put her opposite the biggest names in the Marvel U. I expect X-51 will switch over to her team shortly.
Carlo Pagulayan’s pencils are dynamic, but they have a tendency to get fuzzy. It’s too bad, because I think he does a great job realizing the current model sheets for the Avengers, and I love his super-spy Betty Ross. There are just some panels where the lines seem fuzzier than necessary. Perhaps there is a printer issue? I like Pagulayan’s pencils enough I want to see them in sharp detail!