Artist: John Cassaday
This series has been very interesting so far, and although it was a bit bumpy quality wise, as well as the scheduling being all over the place, it's starting to pick up, and become a very entertaining story. Rick Remender has done a brilliant job of brining the Avengers Unity Squad together, and it's the perfect blend of Avengers and X-Men, and with the re-emergence of the Red Skull how could this not be exciting.
Red Skull, and his S-Men continue their fight against the mutants of New York City, and with the God of Thunder, Thor now working for the Red Skull, it doesn't look good for the Avengers Unity Squad.
This was a brilliant issue, and a terrific end to what was at times a slow story. Overall the story was very good, and having read it all together, not having to remember what happened has really helped, and has made it much more enjoyable, as I really felt that it was the shipping delays that sucked the life out of this series, and although it was worth the wait, it was still annoying. Rick Remender has however once again done a marvellous job with the writing of this series, and although it's still got minor faults I can easily forget them, as the rest is truly amazing. Remender has done a brilliant job of keeping this story very exciting, and suspenseful, and although it has been slow at times, that's been necessary, and you expect the odd slow moment when introducing a new team anyway. I did however feel that this issue was much more dramatic and suspenseful after reading it a second time, this time having read the previous three issues along with it, as everything being fresh in my memory it made it much more clearer, which itself made it more interesting, and entertaining. Remender has also done an amazing job at handling the action, and this issue he probably did it the best, as it was really energetic, and exciting. I also loved how Remender continued to write with the narration, as it really added ton's of depth to the story.
Although it's been the cause of all the shipping delays, I've still really enjoyed John Cassaday's art throughout this series, and although it'll help with the shipping schedule, I'll still miss his art. Anyway, Cassaday went out of the series with a bang, as his art was truly wonderful, and although there were certain panels that weren't as perfect as his art usually is, the others were much better, and overall it was amazing. The only thing that was imperfect at times was the detail, as there were some panels that looked a bit rushed, not being as detailed as they'd normally be, but besides that the detail in the rest of the issue was marvellous, and to the high quality that Cassaday usually produces. The way Cassaday drew the action sequences in this issue was what made it better than the rest of his art in the series so far, and although he's done a brilliant job in previous issues, he's really surpassed himself this time, especially when certain characters were against Thor. Cassaday also did a brilliant job at showing the character's emotions, as although he's not the best at drawing facial features, with it sometimes looking weird, he's still did a marvellous job, and you can tell that he's made an effort. I was however not as fond of the way he drew the likes of Havok with a swollen eye, as it didn't look quite realistic, and although Wolverine's injuries looked a little more realists it still looked a bit odd. Overall Cassaday has done a phenomenal job on the art for both this issue, and the series so far, and although I'll miss seeing his art, I'll still be looking forward to seeing his covers (as he's continuing to draw the cover art).
Last issue saw Honest John use his powers to persuade Thor to join the Red Skull's cause, and the consequences of this couldn't be any better. This was a brilliant surprise at the end of the last issue, and I found it both shocking, and dramatic. As if Red Skull and his S-Men weren't a hard enough opponent for the Avengers Unity Squad, they have they're most powerful member taken from them, and used against them, making things near impossible for this newly formed team. Although when Thor crushed Wolverine in the last issue's still my favourite moment with Thor against his own team, this issue also provided some amazing moments, with Thor battling both Scarlet Witch, and Havok. These fights were nothing short of phenomenal, and although I've loved the art throughout this took it to another level, as they was expertly laid out by Cassaday, making them very dramatic, as well as being very exciting, and overall entertaining.
There was a part in this issue were the Red Skull showed Captain America the future he has planned for the mutants, which was brilliant. This sequence also gave a brilliant reference to one of the biggest X-Men events of all time, Days of Future Past and a future were the mutants are persecuted. I liked how this was handled as although Days of Future Past was prevented this shows that there's still the possibility of it happening, but in a different way, and to see Havok, and Scarlet Witch replace Wolverine, and Kitty Pryde on this famous piece of art was wonderful, as it doesn't just give a brilliant homage to the story, and artwork, it also shows something unique, and a possible future event in the series.
Besides this Red Skull continues to use his psychic abilities that he stole from the dead Professor X to make certain members of the Avengers Unity Squad believe what he wants them to, and although I won't go into details as to avoid spoilers I will say how I felt about this. Although he wasn't really doing much prior to his death I was disappointed that Professor X died, the way that Remender's used this to change the Red Skull is fantastic, and although he's only scratched the surface in this story, it should be interesting to see what he has planned down the line. What he did in this issue was interesting, and surprising, and although I won't spoil anything, I will say that I think what Remender did in a certain sequence was very clever.
Captain America, and Red Skull finally get to fight in this issue, which I really liked. I was contemplating whether or not this was a spoiler, but with it being the last issue, and the fact that they haven't fought so far made it quite obvious that the pair would fight at some point. I won't go into details as to avoid any major spoilers, but I felt that this was a very interesting, and exciting turn of events, and it was nice to see Cap get his hands on the Red Skull, especially considering he's not been able to fight him for a few years.
There was a kind of epilogue to this issue, and although I won't go into too much detail, I will say that it shows possible things to come, whilst also teasing the next story arc, and it has me very excited for the future of this series.
This was an amazing finish to the story, and although it wasn't perfect, it was still very good. This story overall wasn't anything extraordinary, but after re-reading all the issues together I've enjoyed it much more this time round, and it was a brilliant opening story for this new team, and I look froward to what the future holds for the Avengers Unity Squad. I would highly recommend this issue, and the entire story, but I would also recommend that you read the story as a whole, as it flows much smoother, and the shipping schedule really hurt the impact that this had on me the first time round, even though I still enjoyed it then.