Written By: Jonathan Hickman & Nick Spencer
Art By: Stefano Caselli
$3.99 January 22nd 2014
We are only on issue #2 of this series and I already like it more than the core title. What I had wanted from this title, as a reader, has been delivered. The Avengers have decided to send smaller squads as response units that will tackle needs across the globe. Issue #1 saw the teams being split and teased the threats each would be facing. This issue of Avenger's World deals solely with one of those units.
Cannonball, Sunspot and Smasher are investigating Babuda ( island nation and home to A.I.M. terrorists), because the island is growing in size and evolving at a rapid rate..... as the squad approached in issue #1, they were hit by a unknown force of energy and incapacitated.
In this issue we see the team has been captured by A.I.M. and that only Smasher is left conscious. Smasher tries to escape and A.I.M.s Scientist Supreme, Andrew Forson, assures her she is free to go and that her allies are being taken care of in the Infirmary. He goes on to explain A.I.M.'s intent is that they plan on making a better world with better food and medicines to share with mankind....blah blah blah. But, it's never as simple as that and we see that A.I.M. has a new guest on their Island, the Entropic Man.
What is the most rewarding part of this particular issue is that we get to see some real character development in Smasher. She is the core focus from start to finish, showing fearlessness, loyalty to her friends and strength in adversity. We also get to see where some of her morals stem from. The treated of this issue is a very intriguing back story of her childhood and Grandfather. It's not an 'Uncle Ben' moment, so don't assume it is that simple. *No spoilers*
When reading Avengers titles, the worlds always at it's tipping point with annihilation, so it is hard to develop characters and allow them to be more fleshed out/have dynamic character growth. But, by focusing on smaller squads and decompressing the narrative, Hickman has told an interesting Smasher tale that gives the character more personality and development. Let's hope that these individual adventures of smaller squads lead to more character development and exploration including interpersonal ones between team-mates.
For me, the only drawback was the scenic artwork of the island itself. The best artwork appears during the flashback moments in my opinion but the scenic design of the issue dissuade you from this issue. Other than that small hiccup it is a very solid issue and should be part of your collection.
Rating: Buy it