There is a reason that every single comic book fan on the planet should buy Avengers #25 and it’s not the writing or the plot. Issue 25 is a throw away issue, it literally doesn’t have any bearing on anything other than to toss in a plot point that gives The Avengers something to do during the Avengers Vs. X-Men event. Writer Brian Michael Bendis seems to be laying the groundwork for a future run involving Captain America, one where the star spangled hero may revolt against his current situation as “the man”.
Avengers #25 opens with splash page involving the Avengers Vs. X-Men stand off. It then jumps back to a few days before all hell broke loose. Captain America is feeling the strain of his position running S.H.I.E.L.D. and the fact that everybody is blaming him for everything that’s gone wrong since Fear Itself. Cue the return of Thor, who has a lengthy conversation with Cap about how he’s always had rebellious streak and trying to hold the fort down as the go-to man for the military is wearing Captain America down. Cap then says that all he wants is one win, one clear win. A line that doesn’t sound like anything Captain America would say.
From there Avengers #25 involves an attack in a criminal organization using advanced technology provided by Noh-Varr. The team assembles, attacks the criminal organization and gets the clear win that Captain America was looking for. The tossed-in plot point comes when Noh-Varr is shown to be working with Kree Empire who wants him to try and harness the power of the coming Phoenix. I’m guessing this will be side plot for Avengers Vs. X-Men. By the end of issue #25, it’s clear that Bendis and Marvel needed to kill some time while the event series got started. It isn’t a bad issue, just not one that matters.
So, why should every comic book collector far and wide buy this issue? The art is done by comic book legend Walt Simonson! Yep, the man who invented Beta Ray Bill and gave comic fans years of great stories and brilliant art lends his incredible ability with a pencil to Avengers #25. The work, as always, is glorious. I read this issue once, but found myself looking through it ten or twelve times. Modern comic book art is a wonderful thing, but it just isn’t the same as when somebody like Simonson takes to the page. There’s a joy to this work, a simple elegance that doesn’t try too hard to be edgy but never sacrifices talent or style.
The opening splash page is all you need to see why Simonson is one of the all time greats of the medium. His art jumps off the page, it’s brimming with movement and excitement. Every single detail works for the greater image, something not all artists understand. Simonson is also killer for detail, just look at the panel when Thor first arrives back; it’s brilliant work by an absolute master. While Avengers #25 is a toss away story wise, it’s a statement to how great art can make any issue a masterpiece. Hopefully this signals a return on a semi-constant basis for Walter Simonson and his genius.
(Art: 5, Story: 3)