The mission has gone awry and the fate of the world rests on two of the most unlikely Secret Avengers – Venom and Ant-Man.
Secret Avengers #31
Venom and Ant-Man, both unaffected by the Abyss for different reasons, are now left to figure out how to stop an army of people possessed by the Abyss from spreading it throughout the world. They notice that after hours of the people just roaming around aimlessly, they begin working their way to the airport where they plan to board planes to cities all over the world. Meanwhile, Black Widow tries to call in reinforcements but comes up empty handed. So she decides to head out on her own. She winds up in the only plane Venom and Ant-Man couldn’t stop. Unfortunately, Hawkeye proves to be too pesky to easily down it. Just as Venom and Ant-Man is about to strike against Taskmaster to take the crown off his head, Valkyrie shows up to stop them.
What really makes this issue tick is Venom and Ant-Man. Here are two characters with a lot of baggage, but now must save the entire world. However, it’s not even as simple as them needing to figure out how to be heroes worthy of being called Avengers. Ant-Man, while it’s been somewhat easy to forget that he isn’t who he says he is, is either needing to fit in as much as he possibly can to keep up appearances, or he’s playing at something for the crown. I know it’s conjecture, but the whole time, I was waiting for him to drop his facade and take the crown for himself or toss Venom to the wolves.
Generally speaking, Rick Remender has done some very nice things with this time since he took it over. He has a mind for these darker types of stories and has always given us meaty books that we can have a real hard time justifying a complaint for the $4 price tag. It takes time to read and that seems to be a really hard thing to come by these days. Plus, the art from Matteo Scalera has certainly been decent. The look of the possessed characters is creepy and there’s certainly the feel of a grittier story thanks to his art.
There are a couple things that aren’t perfect here. The first being the pacing has dropped off a bit. It’s great that Venom and Ant-Man take center stage, but after a couple faster paced issues, this one finally starts to feel like that it might just be an issue too long. Now, for someone who just randomly picks up this issue and reads it, it’s not going to feel that way, but if you’ve been on board from the start of the arc, then you might be wondering when the conclusion is coming. It’s just a tad too long in the tooth now. Plus, we don’t really get to see the Taskmaster do anything but sitting on his throne. Let’s see him throat grab Venom or something. It’s bad enough you have thousands upon thousands of zombified people looking to spread the Abyss across the globe, but the stakes could have been risen a little bit by having Taskmaster prove to almost be a one-man-wrecking-crew of his own.
Still, this story has entertained even if things are starting to slow a bit before winding down to a conclusion.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Solid art accompanying a solid script. Nice to see Venom and Ant-Man step up.||Story seems to be just a little too long at this point.|
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