When I saw the preview for this issue, I was immediately hooked. Just like many others, I love a good mystery. What makes it even better is when I'm able to read an issue and be surprised because I hadn't been exposed to spoilers.
The heart of the story is Tony Stark detects a distress call from the old Avengers communication system. That right there raises a lot of questions. Who the heck could it be? Who has been missing or presumed dead for a while? The answer might be obvious to some. It's been a long time coming (sort of). We know missing characters often return.
The question is, once you think you have an idea, will it actually be that person? Because though we constantly see characters make a return, it often seems obvious when it happens. But today's writers sometimes can get tricky when it comes to bringing back characters. We are sometimes fooled so we can't help but be skeptical over characters returning or not returning. That made reading this enjoyable. Not knowing who it would be and then the mystery of once the clues gave us an idea, I didn't know absolutely whether it was actually going to happen.
In the art department, we are treated to Mike Mayhew and Brandon Peterson's art. We get to see several locations plus plenty members of the Avengers. Once they're all gathered, we're not really sure who will take part in this mission so there's a fun feeling of seeing how it all plays out.
It did seem a little odd when several members of the Avengers are assembled and then told they can't go on the mission. This makes you wonder why they were called to the location in the first place. In a fun manner, some of the characters actually touch on this.
We also see a former Avenger return to volunteer to go on the mission. This felt out of place and I feel like I missed an issue dealing with their coming to terms with the team (or at least Cap). This person is basically dismissed which adds to the odd feeling. Thankfully, this too is touched upon.
It's the return of a missing character! There may be some that frown upon this return but we all had to know it was coming. It's a matter of simply accepting this and finding out what this is going to mean for the characters affected by their absence. There definitely will be repercussions to be seen. If anyone can pull off this return, it's Bendis. He tells a serious story with plenty of his humor sprinkled in. There are some odd moments but the mystery and suspense of the (possible) return of a character is enticing. I had no idea this issue was going in this direction and am pleased to not have been spoiled. It's great to see a Marvel title continuing despite all the hubbub of Marvel NOW! There is a story to be told here and it's great to see it being played out before the series is relaunched.