Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #6 was a very enjoyable read. Two stories packed with action, suspense and adventure. The first, an espionage story with Avengers racing against Hydra to gain control of a bomb. The second, includes three surprise guest-stars and defines the team as heroes with unique super-human abilities that have united against a common threat. SHIELD Directory Nick Fury is back with another Fury Files profile entry. This book is a roller coaster ride of fun.
The issue opens, under a pretty cool cover by Khoi Pham and Edgar Delgado, with Captain America and Hawkeye joining Black Widow on a return trip to Russia to recover the Zerobomb, developed in the 1960's by Artem Fedoseev. It was supposed to be tested, but both bomb and developer disappeared and were never seen again. The jet that the three Avengers are on with a squad of SHIELD field agents is damaged in a storm they are using for cover and they all have to bail out.
The story by Rob Williams is well done. Concise, to the point and full of action. He uses two panels for flashbacks to set things up and his pacing and placement of the flashbacks keeps things moving smoothly.
Tim Levins' pencils have been a highlight of The Batman Adventures and Batman: Gotham Adventures. It's good to see them here again, with Karl Kesel's inks. If you are unaware of the personal adventure that Karl Kesel and his wife are going through, Google for more information. There is just as much drama to be found off the four-color page as there is in seeing the trio of Avengers battling Hydra agents over a weapon of mass destruction. The panels that Levins and Kesel create for Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow in action are a delight. Diving out of the jet, Black Widow waits until the last possible moment to open her chute. She lands safely. Captain America uses his shield in flight, while Hawkeye takes out the Hydra weaponry. Unfortunately, he has a parachute malfunction and needs to be rescued.
The Hydra vesels weaken the ice enough to create an opening that the Wido falls into and is dragged under. The action and drama are exciting, leading up to a conclusion worthy of Levins' previous work with The Dark Knight.
Another installment of The Fury Files profiling The Black Panther with adapted still frames from the animated series segues between the first and second stories.
Magneto Walks The Earth, by Yost and Rousseau is a brilliant story of extremes and misunderstandings. It is genius how Yost lets the story roll out. It is not until near the conclusion of it that it is revealed what Magneto is doing at Avengers Mansion. He, his son, Quicksilver, and daughter, The Scarlet Witch, have come because they heard, read or saw a news story outing The Wasp as a mustant. They have come to enlist her into The Brotherhood of Mutants. The same story has brought anti-Mutant protestors to the mansion. Captain America - obviously back from the mission of the previous story - along with Iron Man, Thor and The Wasp are on hand to defuse the situation.
Magneto is able to best both Iron Man's armor and Thor's hammer, Mjolnior. He is, however oblivious to Captain America's mighty shield. So, what happens when Captain America throws his mighty shield?
Pietro and Wanda step up into action. Magneto is as extreme in his prejudices as the crowd of protestors. Pietro and Wanda are more open-minded, and because of that, they become conflicted in what they should do. His convictions lead Magneto to abandon his children. The pair in turn flee and go their own way. It just seems that they will be back fighting alongside Captain America in the future.
Licensing agreements may keep The Avengers and X-Men apart on screen, but not on paper where it counts.
Once again, The Wasp is the star of the story. She is front and center as the focal point of the adventure and gets all the best lines. Even the punchline at the end against Thor. Hopefully, she and Hank will be paired up as The Wasp and Ant-Man in the future.
The issue ends with a forgettable Mini-Hulks gag about Green, Red and Blue Hulks engaging in yoga as a calming measure. Unless it's done by Chris Eliopoulos, which it isn't, it's a waste.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is must-read material. It is a highlight to new comic Wednesday. The book is both fun and action-packed. The best part is that it is light-hearted, it's not heavy and doesn't sit light a stone in the pit of the stomach. Comics should be fun and this book proves it.