AVENGERS #9 / Writer: Jason Aaron / Artist: David Marquez / Colorist: Justin Ponsor / Letters: VC’s Cory Petit / Publisher: Marvel / October 13th, 2018
This week’s issue of Avengers pits Earth’s Mightiest Heroes against Namor the Sub-Mariner and the forces of Atlantis. This book delivers yet another chapter on an epic in the making. Since the start of his run, Jason Aaron has been showing that he’s building towards something big with the Avengers, and in this issue, he displays it tenfold.
The issue is relayed from the King of Atlantis’ point of view, and executes it perfectly. Throughout the book, the narration never fails to convey tension, heartfelt grief, and pure anger. Aaron used this strategy previously on his run (giving the antagonist’s point of view to add context to the story). It proved useful with Loki in issue #3, and once again, it makes the storytelling compelling and adds depth. I enjoyed Aaron’s take on Namor; his personality was well rendered and meshes amazingly with the antagonistic role. Despite not being a cut-and-dry villain, his morally-ambiguous attitude and actions are still quite intimidating. This was reminiscent of Killmonger in Marvel’s Black Panther, which came out earlier this year. His motivations are not wrong, he definitely has a valid point for his anger, but his methods are problematic and his anger is obviously misdirected.
Aaron also did a good job of establishing the stakes for this arc. My one concern, going into this arc with such a powerful Avengers team, was how Namor himself would pose a threat. My concerns quickly disappeared with Namor’s first intense and bloody encounter in the book. We also see him take a full-on blast from She-Hulk’s newly acquired power, which he brushes off without a hitch. Aaron’s power-up definitely made Namor a more believable threat. The issue concludes by introducing the Defenders of the Deep, seemingly in contrast to the Avengers, but protecting the oceans. I can’t wait to see how this new threat will size up to the Avengers, and how Aaron will make this cast of C-listers interesting.
It can never be said too often, David Marquez continues with fantastic work. He mixes grand spectacles with thorough details to bring forth the best in each scene. So, naturally, his amazing art is perfect to display the conflicts and phenomenal heroic moments. Matching this with Justin Ponsor’s colors brings Avengers #9 to life, like a moving tapestry. Adding the blue tint of the ocean might be a small logical step, but it’s crucial because it immerses the reader in the story. The contrast with the few land scenes brings depth and shows the crucial nature of this decision. This duo of artists has always been one of my favorite, and for obvious reasons. This comic is another example of a perfect match.
To sum up, I’d have to say that Avengers continues to have a strong presence each week it is published. Aaron really kicks off this arc on a great note of intrigued, and slowly builds towards a bigger picture. I’d say, without a doubt, that my concerns have disappeared. This book continues to bring captivating action, mixing it with expert storytelling and art to bring forward the full potential of our favorite heroes.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 Tiger Sharks