Issue #10 of Marvel Action: Avengers seems to be a bit of a strange issue. To begin with it seems like a pretty simple set-up, A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics) have taken over New York City, and rule it with an iron fist. They’re doing this, in part, thanks to having captured and brainwashed a number of heroes into working for them.
These heroes are A.I.M versions of themselves, fitting the colours and logo of the evil organisation, such as Spider-Mechanic, The Golden Witch, and Yellow Hulk. We learn all this through Captain America, who begins the issue as an enforcer for A.I.M. before being rescued by some of his fellow Avengers, who are now running a resistance group from a secret underground bunker.
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All of this seems fairly simple, and is an interesting and engaging idea that would be good enough to play a story out of, especially as the few remaining Avengers would have to fight their former friends and colleagues to save the day. However, the final moments of the issue seem to hint that there’s actually a lot more going on here, and that everything we’d seen up to that point is simply an illusion inside Captain America’s head. There are hints that this may be due to the Fear Eaters, who were apparently beaten at the end of the last story.
Unfortunately, the issue ends there and we don’t get a clear answer to what’s going on. Now, this is bad because I want to know what happens next and have to wait to next issue to get some answers, but it’s also good comic writing as Matthew K. Manning has me wanting to know what happens next and waiting for the next issue.
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I’m going to be interested in seeing if we’re going to be jumping in and out of this apparent A.I.M. illusion/dream; if the dream turns out to be real or not; or even if the events shown in the previous issue where they beat the Fear Eaters might have been fake and the heroes actually lost the battle. Or maybe there’s something else going on that doesn’t connect with those creatures at all?
Because all of the questions raised in this issue over what’s really happening I find it a little hard to say if it was a good start to the story or not. Either we’ve had a lot of set-up for what’s going on, or most of it’s just a dream and we’re just getting hints at other things to come. I think a lot of how this issue ends up feeling will largely depend on what happens in the subsequent parts, but I think this was pretty good.
Marvel Action: Avengers #10 is out now from IDW Publishing.