x35's The Avengers Annual #18 - Avengers Assembled review

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Operation Atlantis Storm

AF Reviews: Atlantis Attacks

Avengers Assembled (real imaginative title there, guys) is the 8th part of the Atlantis Attacks crossover and has the Avengers fighting against invading Atlantean armies. It is written by Michael Higgins with art by Ron Wilson, which is a bit odd since this is during the era when John Byrne was the full-time writer on both Avengers titles. He does do the cover for this issue, and if I recall, later did a whole apology in a future Avengers issue where he points out he was involved with the planning of it (he was apologising for a continuity discrepancy with Tigra's portrayal in Atlantis Attacks with regards to her ongoing story in West Coast Avengers).

This is, uhm, well it's fun that's for sure. There's a big cast of Avengers that was very much the hallmark of this era of the title and I was quite surprised to see the Hulk rejoin the team again especially so shortly after the last time he rejoined (only a year ago in the last crossover). The story here is basically the Avengers call in a lot of former members to help fight off Atlantis' invading forces and they all split up into smaller teams and travel to different parts of the country. As I said, it's fun but one of the problems was that it seemed too much like the four smaller teams all pretty much did the same thing just in different settings which didn't even look that different. I also found Moondragon and Rick Jones showing up to be the height of bad deus ex machina and it was incredibly unnecessary and random. Basically Moondragon shows up with Rick Jones and he uses the Destiny Force to help the Avengers... but the Avengers were already winning before he showed up. And the whole Rick thing is just on that page for a few panels out of nowhere and not mentioned again. It's really random and as much as I like seeing Rick with the Avengers again, quite frankly, that part really stunk.

But other than the Rick moment, there were some cool moments in there. It's always good seeing Hulk mixing it up the Avengers, or at least it was back then, and any Avengers issue with Sersi in is instantly fun to read. There's a few other minore problems like Quasar being benched straight away, a lot of the cast not really having anything to do and She-Hulk behaving oddly because of the Mark of Set she received in that messy Liefeld chapter (I assume anyway, it's not stated, in fact I didn't make the connection until halfway through).

But generally this is a good chapter of Atlantis Attacks, since, this one actually has Atlanteans in it which is a marked improvement over the last 5 or 6 chapters. There's maybe a bit too many characters crammed into an issue where not a lot really happens but so far, this has definitely been the best part of the crossover. Even with some of the wonky stuff in it, it's a colossal improvement over stuff like that god awful X-Men issue.

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