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Avengers #68

Posted: Sunday, July 6, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Olivier Coipel (p), Andy Lanning (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
While She-Hulk's exposure to the red fog results in her transformation into a raging brute who tears into her teammates, we see Iron Man is busy planning his & T'Challa's escape from government custody. Meanwhile the Falcon & Henry Gyrich discover the true evil behind the red fog, and the answer isn't exactly a pleasant surprise.

Comments:
This issue offers up a pretty solid surprise on its final page, or at least it would've been if I hadn't stumbled across this information during one of my little online jaunts. However in the interest of preserving this surprise for the readers who managed to avoid learning this information, all I'll say is that it involves the identity of the main villain, and there is a fairly clever clue hidden in the previous issues. The scene where this villain steps forward is also pretty intense, as he announces his arrival with the blast of a gun that leaves an Avenger in a bad way.

As for the other big plot element in this issue, her exposure to the red dust looks to have had a rather unexpected, and decidedly nightmarish result on She-Hulk, and considering she's currently one of my favorite members of this new Avengers cast you can bet my full attention was invested in the opening scene where we first encounter the altered She-Hulk. The battle she has with the Avengers is also pretty exciting, as one has to love the scene with the Vision.

Regarding the art, Olivier Coipel continues to deliver some very impressive work, and while there are scenes where I find myself wishing there was a little more detail on the page, I can't deny how effective a job the art has done at capturing the quiet, but ever present danger that the red fog presents. The page where we're first introduced to the altered She-Hulk is also quite strong. The cover looks a bit off though, as her head looks too small.

Final Word:
The action inside the red fog is what really sold me on this issue, as I've been a big fan of She-Hulk ever since John Byrne inserted her into the Fantastic Four, and as such the status quo shaking scenes in this issue were quite riveting. Plus, one has to love any encounter where the Vision gets his guts ripped out, while he was in his diamond hard mode. As for this issue's big reveal moment I have to say that I was kicking myself for having spoiled this surprise for myself, as while I don't recall where I came across this information, I did know who the mystery villain was before the final page reveal in this issue. Still, it's an impressive moment, and the underlying fact is that the story still hasn't offered up any clue as to how our heroes will stop the expanding cloud of death.



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