'Taking the Fall' book begins with another of this book's idiosyncratic recaps, this time delivered in song by Venus, goddess of love.
If not scansion.
This issue sees Jimmy Woo, M-11, Namora, Gorilla-Man, the Uranian and the aforementioned Olympian face Wolverine, Spider-Man, Ms Marvel, Luke Cage, Ronin and Captain Shiny who are, as one hood puts it, 'the AWOL Avengers'. Still pretending to be part of an evil empire, the Agents have been cultivating a relationship with Norman Osborn, which has brought them to the attention of the New Avengers. Woo and company see this as an ideal opportunity to wreck a fake weapons facility they've set up to dupe Osborn, while furthering their reputation as cads of the first order.
Jeff Parker shows once more that he's one of the brightest writers in comics today, presenting pitch perfect portrayals of all the characters and having action occur logically. A bit of business involving Spidey's spider sense is spot on, while the fight scene is nicely choreographed and cathartic.
Penciller Carlo Pagulayan and inker Jason Paz deserve massive credit for bringing Parker's scripts to gorgeous fruition, while Jana Schirmer's colours are breathtaking. A double page spread of the teams clashing is one of the best I've ever seen - well-composed, skilfully delineated and brilliantly coloured, right down to reflections on the floor.
With luck, this issue will persuade New Avengers fans to consider adding the book to their regular purchases. With Captain Britain and MI13 disappearing soon, Agents of Atlas has no competition for the cleverest, best-looking team book from Marvel. Let's keep it around, OK?