Avengers #26 – Comic Review

What Avengers #26 offers

In a story filled with science fiction ideas, the Avengers face a familiar challenge: not only have tyrannical, and arrogant versions of their core membership arrived from another world, but AIM scientists have a new surprise. Avengers #26 offers:

  • Themes of coercion, control, and playing god
  • Avengers from a parallel world
  • Heavy dialog, but a great story for Avengers fans

The comic book is a great sci-fi story. While the issue is entertaining, there are few deep themes. New readers might find the comic bewildering: reading the Avengers comic from the earlier issues will clear up any confusion, however.

Bright Orange colours, Murky metal tones, and villains dressed in yellow and black uniforms bring their creations to life

Another set of Avengers arrive from another world. Seems a bit obvious when written plainly. What appears in the art, and the dialog, entertains, however. Cold, steel laboratories are grey and uninviting. Huge bolts of electricity stream across the pages of several different scenes. The artwork is reminiscent of Frankenstein – creatures spring to life from cold metal tables.

Bright and orange colours, and electric shades of violent, support fighting scenes: these colours are the backdrop as Marvel super heroes clashing with AIM scientists latest creation.

Tony Stark has a flippant sense of humor, and a tyrannical, alternative version of Thor is pleased to show New York citizens his boot

AIM returns in Avengers #26. They have built a new weapon – powerful androids – using DNA samples collected from several Avengers, including Captain America, Black Widow. Marvel heroes across the entire Avengers team are about to face robots replicating the talents and abilities of the Avengers. AIM’s robot’s rise from their laboratories. Their first task: tidy up another AIM experiment that went wrong. Their goal is to capture a group of tyrannical Avengers AIM accidentally brought to the Marvel universe from another world.

What adds a lighter tone to the comic book is an exchange between Maria Hill of SHIELD and Iron man. She questions the Avengers about their recent activity. Black Widow says she has been getting her nails done. Tony tells her the same:

  1. “Exactly where were you three hours ago?” Maria Hill
  2. “Having my nails done.” Tony Stark

The tyrant version of Thor from anther world wields lighting from his hammer to terrify everyday people in the streets. He states that “all things should know what they truly are…and now these[people] have learned their place”. These visitors from another world behave arrogantly. For comic readers, alternative versions of well known super heroes are interesting. The cast of this comic shows off several of these alternative characters.

Themes of theft, coercion, and playing god appear.

AIM scientist, those Marvel Villains donning yellow and black uniforms, carry out unspeakably awful crimes. I cringed at their actions in this comic book. The theft of the Avengers DNA is frightening; the sample taken by AIM scientists is re-purposed and processed. Robots with copies of the Avengers power’s are born. AIM has created sentient life – Artificial intelligence. Through the theft of the Avengers talents, AIM plays god. In one panel, a scientists makes a reference to Incan mythology – human sacrifice to please some mercurial deity. The analogy is murky. It could be more clear. The point is AIM scientists compare their process of stealing DNA from the Avengers, and using it to build their own super powered androids, to a god-like process.

Avengers #26 has Marvel villains playing god. The act of ruthless theft is therefore villainous. Depicting the act of creating life as villainous, however, represents a sci-fi and popular culture staple.

Coercion and control exacted by the tyrant Avengers from another, parallel world is interesting. Thor’s actions, and Wasp’s control of the Hulk for example. Thor is a god. He’s used to stepping over or on things smaller than him. Wasp is manipulative. This alternative version of the flying and stinging super hero – Janet Van Dyne – has a device that allows her to control the Hulk. Their goal is to command, control, and conquer.

Avengers #26 is published by Marvel comics ($3.99 USD). Jonathan Hickman (W.) Salvador Larroca (A) Frank Martin (C.) VC’s Cory Petit (L.) Cover artwork by Mike Deodato and Frank Martin.

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