I thought the first issue of this book was OK, but not spectacular. I wasn’t planning on getting issue #2. But then they put Taskmaster on the cover. And when I flipped through the book, I saw Crossfire. I also saw one of my favorite Avengers popping up in an unexpected role. So yeah, this book has enough Marvel history in it to definitely get my attention.
Nick Spencer spends a lot of time in this issue setting things up. I still haven’t read the founding of AIM Island, but I love the concept. It’s not that different from the old Cobra Island idea, is it? Especially after this issue where we see the ruling elite that will be running the place. In addition to the current Scientist Supreme, we’ve got Mentallo, Superia, Black Widow II, and more. That’s a pretty great utilization of some obscure Marvel characters! Sold!
On the hero side, Nick Fury Jr. is trying to get Taskmaster out of jail. Tasky just had a run-in with a serpent-crown type artifact that has made him quite unpopular in villain circles, so Fury has to get him out as quickly as possible. Fury is aided by Agent Coulsen, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, as we established last month. There is one more hero who shows up as a member of the team, and man, if she’s in the book full time, I may just add this to my sublist. With Taskmaster joining up too, this line-up is getting rock solid.
I think I’ve seen Hulk in some upcoming issues, though, right? I don’t think he fits in as well. I worry the green goliath’s overpowered presence will change the feel of this spy caper comic.
Luke Ross’ art continues to impress me. When the surprise Avenger shows up, she looks like David Lopez just finished drawing her and that is a big compliment. Ross also does a great job with the crowd scenes featuring B-list Marvel villains. Ross has been around for a long time, and he really is a chameleon. He can draw in any style.