By: Dennis Hopeless (Writer), Timothy Green II (Artist), Jean-Francois Beaulieu (Color Artist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (Letterer), Francesco Mattina (Cover Artist)
The Story: See what happens when you don’t have an Akbar to shout out “It’s a TRAP!”?
The Review: Interestingly, the cover of this issue does not feature any of the regular cast of Avengers Undercover. It’s still a dramatic and energetic picture, but it’s a telling sign how things have really shifted in this series, how the stakes have been raised, and how there are all kinds of wheels within wheels that the regular cast simply hasn’t seen.
And yet, the story does not abandon them. It’s still really about the young heroes of Avengers Academy/Arena/Etc., even with all the larger plots and machinations flying around them. This creates some tension and empathy for our characters, although it also contributes to a very rushed feeling as well. Some momentum is fine, and as a reader maybe even preferable, but here there are times when I wish the various story beats deserved a bit more room to breathe.
This issue’s “point of view” is from Anachronism. There’s no ambiguity about that question, unlike the previous issue. There’s a panel with only him and a caption saying “This is me.” OK, gotcha. And yet, this trick of using characters’ captions as a narrative frame worked for other issues, and it gets dropped here pretty quickly. The scenes are shifting to too many other characters and the plot is being driven so hard that it’s not longer a defining feature of the book. And then, suddenly, an omniscient narrator’s caption is telling me Cammi is breaking the fourth wall in order to shush me? That’s a bit too sudden a stylistic shift and ruins what could be a more effective cliffhanger.