After the Avengers reformed in one of the strongest line-ups the team has ever had, you’d think they would leap into action big time against a powerful opponent.
That does happen in the second volume of the current series, subtitled World Tour, but there are more things going on here as it is.
Reprinting another six issues, the first actually goes back to prehistoric times to show the origin of the original Ghost Rider, a caveman who rode a flaming woolly mammoth. There was something big that the Avengers of 1,000,000 B.C. had to deal with, but what that is we don’t quite know yet. And while there some standard superhero action on display as Namor returns with new water-based powers he’s never had before and a new team of underwater Avengers (for lack of a better word), the Defenders of the Deep, and Namor is declaring the world’s oceans off-limits to air-breathers, and the Avengers are trying to defuse the situation before things get worse, there are other things going on here.
But that’s where things actually get interesting. Writer Jason Aaron actually put Black Panther in charge of the team, and given that S.H.I.E.L.D. apparently disbanded and hasn’t reformed yet, the Panther sees a need to be more diplomatic with other foreign superheroes. But Namor isn’t the only one putting a team together. The Russians have reactivated the Winter Guard, the Americans have secretly started a new Squadron Supreme, and the Panther has a whole second team of support for the Avengers called the Agents of Wakanda, only one or two of whom are Wakandans. Aaron has a rather eclectic group of characters on display in this trade, ranging from classic Avengers to more recent oddball characters from a wide variety of recent series. Much of this trade seems to be setting up something big, at least in part in the form of what appears to be a superhero arms race. Normally, these sort of set-up storylines don’t interest me much as there doesn’t seem to be much happening, but the developments here worked out fine for me, and I am interested in reading more. Aaron is going somewhere with this, and it looks like it’s going to be pretty damn cool. 9 out of 10 vampire civil wars on the horizon.