The Revolution has enjoyed Avengers/Invaders so far. Krueger has delivered a solid story that is a rather entertaining read. I fully expect Avengers/Invaders #4 to be another quality read. And I have confidence in Krueger to handle the differences between the Mighty Avengers and the Secret Avengers with more respect and with out a blatant bias unlike some other writers have done in the past. Let’s go ahead and do this review for Avengers/Invaders #4.
Plot: Jim Krueger & Alex Ross
Script: Jim Krueger
Artist: Steve Sadowski
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Captain America’s shield falling from the helicarrier and embedding itself into the concrete steps outside of the Capital. The tourists are stunned that it is actually Captain America’s shield.
We cut to the deck of the Helicarrier where Bucky apologizes for throwing the shield to Cap and missing him. Captain America is busy brawling with the SHIELD LMD’s. Captain America tells Bucky not to worry about it and go free the other Invaders.
We slide back to the steps of the Capital where a couple of the tourists are trying to pull Captain America’s shield out of the ground. Captain America (Bucky version) appears on the scene and pulls the shield out of the concrete step. (Only a man worthy enough may pull Excalibur from the stone.)
We shift back to the Helicarrier’s medical bay where the SHIELD doctors are amazed at the test results that have been run on Toro. Since Toro is from the 1940’s the doctors believe that that Toro is in fact one of the first mutants to appear on Earth. The scientists claim that studying Toro might allow them to figure out what causes the mutant gene and, therefore, enable them to engineer a cure for mutations.
Suddenly, Toro begins the burn the anesthesia out of his system. Toro then “flames on” and busts loose of the straps holding him to the operating table. Toro takes out the scientists. Suddenly, the door to the medical cell blows up and Bucky walks in. Toro smiles and comments that he knew Bucky would get him out of here. Toro states that Bucky just does not know how to fail.
The two young heroes then race to where the Human Torch is being held captive. They break into the room where the Torch is being held. Bucky informs Torch that Cap is on the deck taking apart the android SHIELD agents. Human Torch exclaims that Cap cannot destroy them and that Bucky should have stopped Cap. Human Torch then flies off to the deck. We see Bucky’s journal entry that states that there was something in the Torch’s eyes. “A look I hadn’t seen from him since…No. That couldn’t be happening here. There’s no way. Not again.”
We cut to Tony contacting Ms. Marvel. Tony says that he is only deploying LMD’s in order to keep the loss of life to a minimum. Tony orders Ms. Marvel to assemble the Mighty Avengers to take down the Invaders. Tony says that they do not have time to feel guilty at this moment. Tony says it is imperative that they get the Invaders back into their own time period before something catastrophic occurs.
We cut to the young Namor standing over the older Namor and asking his people to follow him and help him save his Invader friends. The Atlanteans refuse to follow the young Namor. The older Namor gets back up and punches the younger Namor. The older Namor tells the young Namor to go help his friends while they still call him a friend. The younger Namor swims off for Washington, DC.
One of Namor’s men asks the older Namor why he let the younger Namor think that he had defeated the older Namor. The older Namor states that he remembers when he would have risked the death of his people in order to help his friends. Namor states that it is a good thing he was just a Prince back then. Namor adds that he needed to learn how to doubt himself and to become certain that he never becomes the Namor that the young Namor thinks he faced today.
We hop back to the deck of the Helicarrier where Iron Man is on the scene and asking Captain America to stop fighting. Captain America calls Iron Man a Nazi and refuses to stop fighting. The Mighty Avengers arrive on the scene. Ms. Marvel reminds everyone that they cannot harm the Invaders or else they will ruin the time stream. Iron Man tells the Mighty Avengers to go into the Helicarrier to deal with the rest of the Invaders while he handles Captain America.
We then see the Secret Avengers teleporting inside of the helicarrier. (That Dr. Strange is very handy.) Unfortunately, they teleport right in front of the Mighty Avengers. (Too bad Dr. Strange cannot be a bit more precise.) The Secret Avengers and the Mighty Avengers immediately begin brawling.
We have Wolverine, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Iron Fist and Ronin for the Secret Avengers against Wonder Man, Ares, the Sentry, Ms. Marvel, Black Widow and the Wasp. (Wow. That is just not a fair fight. Realistically, this fight should last about two seconds with the Mighty Avengers turning the Secret Avengers into grease spots.)
We cut back to Dr. Strange’s mansion where Strange and Echo are looking into Strange’s mystic flame. Strange states that something happened in 1943. That there was an invasion far greater than what was happening in Europe. Evidently, Churchill was killed and England fell. Strange states that time has been altered and the entire world with it. Strange says that this alteration in time simply has not caught up with their present day yet.
Strange then creates a barrier to prevent these changes in time from altering their present day. Strange contacts Iron Fist and tells him that they need to end this immediately. Strange states that someone used the Cosmic Cube to bring the Invaders to their present day period. Strange then gets an image of someone who looks just like the Vision. Strange says that this cannot be.
We cut to Bucky, Human Torch and Toro running across the battle between the Mighty Avengers and the Secret Avengers plus a bunch of LMD’s as well. Bucky tells Torch and Toro to begin brawling with the robots. Torch asks if Bucky has to use that term. Bucky mutters “There’s that look again.” Bucky wonders out loud what is wrong with the word “robot.”
Suddenly, Namor appears back on the scene. (And that helps out the Secret Avengers and Invaders obvious power disadvantage compared to the Mighty Avengers.) Captain America then sees his shield being thrown to him. Cap grabs it and uses it to take out a ton of LMD’s. Cap winks and says “Thanks, Buck. I knew you’d find this for me.”
Bucky replies that he did not find the shield. Suddenly, Captain America (Bucky version) grabs Bucky and tells him “Listen to me, Jim. Listen very closely. Your very future depends on it.” End of issue.
The Good: Avengers/Invaders #4 was another great read. Krueger turns in a well paced issue. We get a nice balance between action heavy scenes and dialogue heavy scenes. Krueger succeeds in entertaining the reader with enough furious action while at the same time dedicating enough space to further evolve several plotlines. While Avengers/Invaders #4 certainly moves at a quick tempo, at no point does it ever feel like Krueger is rushing the story.
Avengers/Invaders #4 was also a strongly plotted issue. Krueger is doing a fantastic job adding layer upon layer to this story. Each answer immediately yields a new and more intriguing question. Krueger has managed to weave several compelling plotlines at the same time.
What is greatly appreciated is that Krueger clearly has a well thought out blue print in mind for this title. This is apparent in how Krueger has moved this story along in a logical fashion and with an obvious purpose and clear direction in mind. This story is well structured which is usually a very hard thing to pull off when dealing with time travel.
Krueger certain supplies plenty of great action in this issue. The brawling keeps this issue a lively read. I particularly liked the scene near the end when Captain America gets his shield back and proceeds to kick some serious ass. All with a sly little grin on his face.
Of course, the magic in Krueger’s writing is that he is such a balanced writer who is equally adept at delivering action scenes as he is at delivering dialogue heavy dramatic scenes. Krueger shows off his trademark talent for cultivating deep and complex characters. There is plenty of excellent character work as Krueger continues to put his stamp on the various Invaders.
Krueger also treats the reader to plenty of strong dialogue. Each character has their own unique external voice. The dialogue has an enjoyable flow to it. Krueger is also able to establish some quality chemistry between the various Invaders.
I absolutely love how Krueger writes Bucky’s character. Krueger really gets Bucky’s character. Krueger clearly takes a cue from how Brubaker has been writing Bucky and runs with it. The running monologue in the form of Bucky’s journal entries are so well crafted. These journal entries help to flesh out Bucky’s personality and give the reader a nice look into Bucky’s mind.
Krueger also continually delivers a kick-ass version of Bucky. I love how even though Bucky is technically the weakest member of the Invaders, that he is in reality the most dangerous Invader. Krueger accomplishes in demonstrating through Bucky that raw power does not always win the day. Bucky is a survivor who is naturally talented and always seems to turn up on the winning side. Plus, Bucky has the heart of a lion and his will to succeed seems to have no limits.
Krueger also does a nice job with the current version of Bucky. I liked the scene where Bucky pulls Cap’s shield out of the ground like King Arthur pulled Excalibur out of the stone. This scene was a neat way to remind the reader that outside of Steve Rogers, Bucky is the only other person worthy enough to carry Captain America’s shield.
I dig how Krueger takes the fact that Toro is a mutant and positions him as one of the first mutants to appear on Earth. This was a neat way to integrate Toro into the fabric of mutantkind in the 616 universe. Usually, the mutant lineage in the 616 universe begins with Professor X and Magneto.
I completely enjoyed Krueger’s handling of both the young and older Namors. Krueger does a wonderful job highlighting the progression of Namor’s character from when he was an Invader to the present isolationist King. I have always liked Namor and he has had such a strange and mercurial relationship with the other heroes in the 616 Universe. Krueger understand this and really taps into Namor’s strained relationship with the other metahumans in the Marvel Universe.
I like that Krueger positions Toro higher up the mutant family tree which immediately serves as an effective method of making Toro a much more important character in the 616 universe continuity. This is a great example of taking a relatively minor character and trying to elevate their status within the 616 universe.
A rich and deep history is one aspect of the Marvel Universe that has always been missing. I like that Krueger is attempting to use Avengers/Invaders in order to give the Marvel Universe a bit more of a rich history. The Invaders are a wonderful Golden Age team and deserve a more storied position within the 616 universe.
I enjoyed how Krueger handled Tony’s character. I found Krueger’s take on Tony to be very fair and well done. Krueger presents us with a Tony Stark who knows what is right and is unwavering in his dedication to protecting our world even if it means sacrificing his own personal life and reputation. Krueger gets it that Tony is one of the few people who has the mind, the balls and the backbone to do what must be done.
I had faith that Krueger would write a good Tony Stark. Krueger is simply too talented to pull the type of character assassinations on Tony that we have seen from writers with a personal agenda like Bendis, Jenkins and JMS.
Krueger introduces a couple of new plot wrinkles in Avengers/Invaders #4. Krueger teases the reader about something that happened in the past concerning Human Torch. Krueger has Bucky rather concerned about the look in Torch’s eyes. The reader then gets a rather cryptic statement from Bucky that he has only ever seen that look in Torch’s eyes one time before and that Bucky does not believe that “it” could happen again right here and right now. Krueger certainly captured my interest in this new plotline.
Krueger delivers a great hook ending to Avengers/Invaders #4. Krueger finally reveals how the Invaders were sent to our present time period. Evidently, someone used the Cosmic Cube to pull off this attack on the Invaders. This certainly is a strong hint that the Red Skull very well may be the person behind this attack on the Invaders.
Krueger also delivers a cool little teaser with the version of the Vision that Dr. Strange sees when he is trying to ascertain who transported the Invaders to our era. I have always liked the Vision so I am certainly interested to see where Krueger takes this plotline.
Krueger ends Avengers/Invaders #4 in a dramatic fashion with the young Bucky coming face to face with his present day self wearing a Captain America costume. This should definitely provide for one interesting conversation with the next issue.
Avengers/Invaders #4 is a great looking issue as Steve Sadowski delivers plenty of fantastic artwork. Sadowski’s style of art is a perfect match to the mood and tone of Krueger’s story.
The Bad: My only complaint is that we are going to have a delay until we get Avengers/Invaders #5.
Overall: I greatly enjoyed reading Avengers/Invaders #4. Krueger continues to deliver a highly entertaining story that is a wonderful blend of action, adventure, mystery and drama. Krueger is crafting a story that should have plenty of mass appeal. I would certainly recommend giving Avengers/Invaders a try.