Review: Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1

STK6970911The dust has just settled after Secret Wars, and readers are settling in to the All-New, All-Different titles which came out as a result; and now Marvel is jumping right into a new multi-title event with Standoff. Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill is the jumping off point for this new story, and I can see that this one is going to spark a lot of problems in the Marvel universe.

Right out of the gate, we can see that Maria Hill is using S.H.I.E.L.D.’s authority in a shockingly new and, what some would call, abusive way that is going to raise all sorts of questions and debates on whether free will should be sacrificed for security.  The politics of what happens in this first issue are going to cause a lot of heroes to take a stand and choose a side…could this be the catalyst to the next Civil War that has been mentioned?  It wouldn’t surprise me.

Nick Spencer brings a fun mystery with the town of Pleasant Hill; a secluded town that looks to be the ideal place to live, but we learn very early on that this town has a lot hiding beneath the surface.  We get our first impressions from an amnesiac young man who is found in the woods; it would seem the citizens are eager to help him out, but we soon learn that that is the farthest thing from the truth.  I kind of wish the mystery was carried on a little longer for more of a pay off down the road, but I did enjoy seeing the reveal at the end and the possibilities of where this is going. Mark Bagley’s art does a great job of portraying Pleasant Hill as the quaint little hamlet it’s supposed to be, certainly looking like it lives up to its name, but at the same time succeeds in showing us the darker side to this town.

Overall, I really enjoyed this opening chapter. Maria Hill has absolutely no idea about the world of trouble she has coming to her when Pleasant Hill is exposed. I can think of two star spangled heroes in particular who will not take this lightly. This story will be carrying over various Avengers titles, so I just hope that things stay on course and don’t get lost on the way to the finale.

Story: Nick Spencer Art: Mark Bagley
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy