This review contains spoilers.
Artist Bryan Hitch continues to do a solid job throwing us into this lifeless and bleak universe face first. The blocks upon blocks of devastation and rubble overshadowed by cold technology gives this world a unique and immediately recognizable feel. Characters are a bit stiff in a few occasions but for the most part they look good as well. He really sells the detail in some of their facial expressions during the meeting and seeing the world crumble from Luke Cage's strikes is awesome. Unless you're She-Hulk, that was a really, really cool moment that Hitch sold really well.
As usual, writer Brian Michael Bendis entertains with engaging dialogues between the key characters. From Hawkeye's frustration to Taskmaster's hilarity, the plot was never bogged down by uninteresting conversations or cringeworthy comments. Additionally, he's slowly expanding this mostly desolate world's cast of characters. Last issue, we chimed in on the duo of Moon Knight and Black Widow (who are sadly nowhere to be found in this one) and now we cut to Chicago where Red Hulk, Taskmaster and Black Panther are undergoing an operation of their own. Bendis doesn't feed us too many details here -- we just get one element of their plan and it mostly feels like an excuse to toss some more action in the issue. That's certainly not a bad thing, though, and picked up the pace after Captain America's meeting with the other survivors. Seeing Rulk smash was a treat and the following destruction was quite fun, too.
It's seriously game over for Black Panther just like that? It's a painful panel (the scene was hindered for me with too many panels, though), but really, just one landing and it's game over for the dude? Not going to lie, it's disappointing to me because it would be great to see how a character as intelligent and talented as T'Challa is reacting in this world -- especially if his group eventually meets up with Storm and the others. Oh well, see you never, AoU Black Panther. Also, I thought it was humorous how they're trying to hide yet they have a massive red brute standing out in the open.
Luke's final remark felt unnecessary. I always find it amusing when characters mutter these things to themselves, especially when explanation isn't needed. Still, that minor complaint is quickly forgotten with the next page.
Oh my, Bendis has gone all M. Night Shyamalan on us with that ending -- Sixth Sense M. Night, not The Village M. Night, that is. The overall narrative has been taking baby steps up until now. We're hit with a huge and most definitely intriguing reveal. At this point we already have plenty of characters with legitimately interesting stories established, so here's hoping Bendis decides to move forward with the key plots instead of introducing more and more elements. As someone who has been mostly disappointed with Marvel's last few events, I can say I'm honestly enjoying this one.