Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Artist: Scott Kolins
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: More hijinks on Battleworld, still no sign of the Beyonder, and then an unexpected jaunt off-stage.
Comments: The fun continues in this odd mish-mash of a non-team, mostly generated by the nefarious (and much-missed) Space Phantom. What’s he doing here? Well, really, what is any of this crew doing here? If there’s any plan to the Beyonder’s scheme, we’ve yet to see it, and that’s one of the few flaws in an otherwise fun story.
There’s no sense of progress this issue, though there are many newly retro looks at the vastness of the Marvel Universe. They fought Dragon-Man last issue, now our motley heroes face Xemnu (an old Defenders foe), a big shaggy alien Abominable Snowman that only the Space Phantom remembers (when he turns into him).
I do like the characterizations of everyone here. Hank is back to his West Coast Avengers "man of 1000 tiny machines" schtick, while Jan is the seasoned leader and strategist (Deathlok’s onboard computer even confirms the soundness of her plans at one point). My favorite moment is one where Gravity uses all his skill to rescue Medusa from having been thrown hundreds of feet, and she then urges them both immediately back to battle.
There’s a lot of talking in this issue, however, and not so much action. The plot sidesteps rather than advancing, literally into another dimension. McDuffie had better hurry up and get us to the confrontation with our main foe before the issues run out.
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