I confess I've been on the fence here and there with Dennis Hopeless' story, but the one thing that keeps me consistently pleased is Kev Walker's pencils. Along with Jason Gorder's inks and Jean-Francois Beaulieu's colors, the character work remains lively and even fun in this issue. It's a slightly animated look which really thrives with its variety of standout expressions and how the panels are framed. Thanks to this trio, AVENGERS UNDERCOVER #5's scenes will leave a lasting impression in your memory. Also worth praising: Francesco Mattina's cover illustrating the "choice" the characters face.
While I do have my gripes with the narrative, I do still find myself invested in some of these characters and enough is happening to leave me curious enough to see what'll happen next. This chapter briefly hones in on several characters and attempts to give us a logical approach to how some of them are feeling (this comes mostly from Hellstorm), but ultimately, this chapter's mostly set-up. It walks us through Baron Zemo's world and reveals how it has the potential to appeal to some of the group. The constant change of scenery is a nice compliment to the pacing and this issue effectively covers what appears to be most of the basics for the new storyline. I have to admit there's a small comedic bit with Zemo that gave me a decent laugh, too.
This chapter tries to produce some heavier emotional moments (e.g. Nico's breakdown), but honestly, I didn't find it to be all that compelling, especially when compared to some of the more gripping moments this course of events has offered. The same applies to the cliffhanger. It's a development that'll likely keep many of us interested, but it isn't all that shocking of a twist and won't have you truly anxious for the next issue. Unfortunately, most of the laughs didn't really deliver for me, either (e.g. the "this is where the magic happens" banter). Last but not least, this is a huge change in direction for the book and an equally big decision they have to make, so it's a bit of a bummer they're apparently forced to make it by the end of this issue. I would have been all for having this part spill into another issue.
Minor gripe: there's a bit of dialogue that seems like a blatant jab at people who don't enjoy the book. If it really is, that just seems unnecessary to me.
Honestly, I'm left feeling down the middle about this latest chapter. On one hand, I love the artwork and, for the most part, it's a steadily engaging issue. But on the other hand, I can't help but feel as though this development is moving along a little too quickly and not focusing on the entire cast nearly as much as it should. That said, at least two strong developments are put in motion, so there's a decent enough hook to keep me around for the next chapter.