New Avengers #10 jumps back into the narrative right where New Avengers #9 left off: with a giant robot fighting a giant monster. It’s a solid conclusion to the most cohesive arc offered by any of the tie-in books. Spoilers begin after the jump.

New Avengers #9 ended with Avenger Five, the Pacific Rim-style robot deployed by A.I.M., beginning to attack American Kaiju. This issue opens with that confrontation, and understandably, a considerable portion of the book is devoted to the battle. After the build-up to the confrontation over the last two issues of New Avengers, the fight deserves fair representation, and it receives it: the art successfully conveys the excitement of the large-scale altercation, and the technique of showing the pilot’s faces in smaller boxes around the fight effectively conveys the characters’ relation to the action. Plus, the conclusion of the battle is reasonably well earned (with Da Costa’s mysterious design inclusions), and seeing American Kaiju go full Rampage and shrink down to his human form was suitably hilarious.

Meanwhile, the Songbird subplot comes to fruition as her status as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is revealed. This leads to a solid escape scene for Hawkeye and Rick Jones, who continues to use his bag of tricks to survive (while making a bunch of obscure Marvel references). However, when they’re about to escape through a portal to A.I.M.’s “actual” base, the unbridled enthusiasm of an A.I.M. grunt convinces Jones that the organization is actually evil, and he cheeses it. Hawkeye gives chase, but ends up captured by S.H.I.E.L.D., setting up a couple of interesting subplots.

Beyond these developments, the major remaining element of this issue is the epilogue, which reveals that Da Costa has retreated to A.I.M.’s true base, located in the remote Savage Lands. He’s seen discussing his plans with Cannonball, a character who seems to have some significance to Da Costa (but the uninitiated reader gains no hint as to what this significance might be).

Overall, this was a solid conclusion to a very enjoyable three-issue arc. Of all the tie-ins to Avengers Standoff, I found New Avengers to be most consistent in quality: the stories were interesting and unique, didn’t re-trace too much that had been handled by other tie-ins, and were fun and entertaining. American Kaiju alone was worth the price of admission. Beyond executing a solid tie-in, the characters and ongoing storyline seemed interesting enough that I will consider checking out New Avengers after the Avengers Standoff event has ended.

Creators: Al Ewing, Marcus To, Declan Shalvey

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