So, um, what's going on in the world? No, don't answer that, it'll only depress me. Wait, Mike Sterling of Progressive Ruin is soon going to open his own comic book store. I'm always impressed with people who start their own businesses. Obviously somebody has to try, but it just seems like such a daunting idea to me. All the money and time you have to expend. Also, you need customers, which means dealing with people. Who wants to do that?
Avengers Undercover #8 & 9, by Dennis Hopeless (writer), Tigh Walker (artist, #8), Timothy Green II (artist, #9), Jean-Francois Beaulieu (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - So I should assume Zemo hurling himself into Pym's mouth is all part of his brilliant plan?
The story jumps three months ahead, though I'm unsure whether that was always Hopeless' plan, or he's merely kicking things into overdrive for a rushed conclusion. The kids have spent their summer vacation attacking SHIELD posts. Deathlocket's having a grand time, Hazmat and Anachronism are getting closer, but they're also ready to call in the big guns. So Hazmat manages to get a call out to Pym, and then tries to gather the troops. But Deathlocket's thrown in with the bad guys, and Anachrnoism's finding out Hellstrom is controlling Cullen. Oh, and the heroes showing up to attack Zemo's stronghold has been his plan all along. So as the Avengers are SHIELD charge in, Zemo and his crew teleport out, seize the Helicarrier, and seal up the entrance to Bargalia behind them. But hey, Cullen's out from under Hellstrom's control. That's good news. And Cammi got free somehow! Whoooo, best news ever! Stab Zemo right in the liver!
So yeah, it's very much rushed. It would have been nice to see how seriously each kid committed to the cover, or if they found ways to appear to carry out their missions, but not actually do so. Let the target escape, appear to blast the dead body into a river, but really you just stunned them and arranged for them to be recovered downstream, stuff like that. I'm still not clear on the Zemo's plot. I get he wants the Helicarrier, especially now that they have the codes to use it, but he was really expecting that having the kids would accomplish the part where he lures a Helicarrier in close enough to steal? You would think the repeated attacks on SHIELD outposts would have been enough, kids or no kids. I suppose this has the added advantage of trapping all the super-heroes in Bargalia, so Zemo and his bunch can wreak havoc, though I can't imagine some tons of rock are going to stop freaking Hyperion.
When I saw Tigh Walker listed as artist, I thought it meant Kev Walker decided to go by a different name. Not unless he also decided to completely change his style. Some of it is good, Tigh's style is simplified, lot of thick lines, it worked well for the quiet moments in issue 8. But several of the faces look lopsided, and his fight scenes aren't anything spectacular. Tim Green's work is more energetic, though he still needs to work on diversifying his female characters' body types. But I like how he draws Cullen's soul monster thing.
I like how Hank Pym is instantly ready to help as soon as Hazmat contacts him. We know he was ticked Maria Hill wouldn't do anything, but it's nice to see how, when he hears from one of his old students for the first time in months, he wants to be there for them immediately. Besides that, it's a nice touch because it shows the adults haven't abandoned the kids, for all that we might be fooled into thinking so otherwise, what with their complete absence from their lives over the previous several months (Cammi's mom excepted).