An old favor is called into the Black Widow, now she, Hawkeye, and Spider-Woman are off to Russia in the newest issue of Avengers Assemble!
Avengers Assemble #12
Years ago, the Black Widow assassinated a young scientist working on a reptile-based formula that was to be used on the Soviet army as a sort of Super Soldier Serum. The assassination took place in front of the scientist’s wife. Now, in the present, the Black Widow receives a marker – a sort of favor to be cashed in for the harm she had caused others in the past – that brings her to the wife’s home in Siberia. Despite her wishes, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman tag along as the trio is now trying to find the daughter of the man who she killed. They head into the sewers believing to find people strung out, and decaying, from the use of the drug krokodil. Instead, they find a civilization of lizard men who quickly overrun the heroes. They are brought to the main room of the underground lair where they are shown a double cross has been sprung.
I’m definitely a big supporter of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s work on this series. She’s told good stories and still been able to infuse a little humor to lighten the mood. In this issue, she doesn’t work with the larger group that she did in her first arc. Instead, she keeps it small with only three Avengers. With the overall drive to the story being more personal in nature for Black Widow, I’d say this is a good move on her part. Having a big group of Avengers to carry the weight of Natasha trying to pay back debts would have been out of place. So, instead she brings in Hawkeye, who has a great deal of history with Black Widow, and Spider-Woman, Hawkeye’s current girlfriend to lend a hand. It’s a good trio and while it is a little weird to see these three working together on this type of “mission”, it really helps to fill out the story a bit.
I also like what DeConnick did with the lizard characters. In a lot of ways, I look at them with some nostalgia to what the Lizard was prior to evolving into what we’ve seen over the past couple years from Dan Slott’s Spider-Man run. They seem a little more cartoony in a way, but that, honestly, plays to DeConnick’s strengths as a writer. I’d like to think of her as a true comic book writer. I don’t mean that no one else can lay claim to that title, but there are a lot of writers out there who are a real departure to the types of books I read as a kid. DeConnick is especially good at delivering a simple, yet fun and interesting, story that flows nicely and, dammit, just plain entertaining. Between this and Captain Marvel, I really look forward to reading what she’s producing out of Marvel these days.
Pete Woods provides the art for the issue and he simply knocks it out of the park. As I said about DeConnick delivering an old fashioned feel to her stories, Woods does the same in the art. For example, the designs for the lizard men is simply perfect. It perfectly compliments the script and helps tie a great bow around this issue that was simply a joy to read.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Fun and entertaining story with perfect art to compliment it.||Nothing huge to state as negatives. Just a solid book.|