One last book, all by its lonesome. But it's a villain book, so it's fine. They didn't want to hang out with those dumb super-heroes anyway.
Illuminati #5, by Joshua Williamson (writer), Kev Walker (artist), John Rauch (color artist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - I know he's trying to look like a big wheel (not to be confused with The Big Wheel), but Parker just looks like a dork wearing a red suit and a red tie under a huge red cloak. It's just too much.
The team does not die in the explosion. They don't do so well against Odin's Thunder Guard, as it turns out their Enchantress is a fake. There's a fake Enchantress? Anyway, Titania gets angry/desperate enough to trounce some guards and punch the Hood in the face, both buying them time and giving Parker enough of a power boost (blood magic) to get them the hell out of Asgardia. And into actual hell, which is where Parker's hideout is. Brilliant. No possibility of disaster there. Titania is understandably ready to ditch this nonsense, but then the Hood mentions he knows where the Absorbing Man is being held - that Pleasant Hill place where they make the villains believe they're some other, average person - and they should totally go free him. Team bonding exercise!
I'm still waiting to see if the story is going to confirm my suspicion the Hood's staged attack on Titania in issue 1 is behind her power upgrade. Or else what is the explanation. It can't just be her being angry, because she's been angry pretty much every time she's shown up, except those times she was afraid of Spider-Man. Nice touch that of course the villain team is full of people lying about themselves and the resources at their disposal, or how they got them, but there are a couple (Thunderball and Titania) who seem to be open about what they're doing and why. It helps to make me actually care when the Hood gets them in over their heads, and turns out not to have other members he can call in for backup. These others are actually trying to buy in, be team players, and their boss is just screwing them over.
I hadn't paid enough attention to the solicits to know Kev Walker was drawing this issue, but I'm never disappointed to see him. A little surprised. He was drawing Hickman's Avengers books last year, I'd think he would be on a more high-profile book, but then I probably wouldn't get to read it. And it's his usual excellent work. The shift from nice, straight, rectangular panels in the build-up scenes to ones that are tilted and more trapezoidal during action is still in effect. I especially like the page where Titania backhands basically the entire Thunder Guard, and the sound effect is so big it's weighing down the panel below it, where she's still in the middle, breathing hard from the exertion while Thunderball looks on in awe, and the Hood fist pumps in the background.
I do think he draws her a little small, though. She should be a lot taller than the Hood, right? Also, there's a sequence near the end of the issue where she grabs the Hood by his collar, then decides not to hit and lets go, then abruptly grabs his face in one hand, which just feels awkward. Like, she maybe should have grabbed by the face second, when she asserts she won't hit him, then let go as she explains he's not worth it. Because after that she starts walking away, so it's like grab, let go, grab differently, then walk away, and it just feels clunky. Could be a scripting issue. Or it could just be me. If she's running a range of reactions, and not sure exactly which way to go, it would make sense her actions are a little herky-jerky.