[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
We join the Black Panther a few weeks ago when he first showed Edwin Jarvis, former butler and confidant to the Avengers, the new Avengers headquarters located inside the body of a dead Celestial. T’Challa wants the Avengers to have that kind of support again, and he tasks Okoye with choosing a new staff of heroes that could help the Avengers from the margins. Gorilla Man, the original Wasp, and Ka-Zar rank among their number, but T’Challa knows the Avengers will need more than that.
Avengers #12 introduces a hybrid Avengers support staff, S.H.I.E.L.D analog for Wakanda, and a pseudo-Secret Avengers, all headed by the Black Panther and Okoye.
It shows the side of T’Challa that still relies on clandestine operations to accomplish his goals. It’s not surprising; the ambition and at-times vicious methods are among the things that make the Black Panther such a compelling character.
That said, the comic frames it as zany and even a little innocent at times, with the likes of Gorilla Man and Broo adding a cartoonish quality to it all. That reads as a little incongruous, but it’s intended to contribute to the idea that this idea is supposed to be better than S.H.I.E.L.D or even the Secret Avengers, even if it’s still implied to be a secret from the rest of the team.
The strange motley crew of characters does make it some good fun though. I still haven’t mentioned all the surprise members of this operation.
Ed McGuinness returns once again, and he is accompanied by artist Cory Smith. Both artists contribute great work to the book, with McGuinness contributing his trademark bombastic style while Smith adds a more classic comics aesthetic. Erick Arciniega’s color work contrasts itself well and adds a lot of visual energy to the book.
Avengers #12 is another fun and strange issue of Jason Aaron’s take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. We get to see how T’Challa plans on keeping the team functioning with such a tight roster and what the likes of Gorilla Man and Ka-Zar are doing these days. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.
Avengers #12 comes to us from writer Jason Aaron, artists Ed McGuinness and Cory Smith, inkers Mark Morales, Karl Kesel, and Scott Hanna, color artist Erick Arciniega, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Alan Davis with Mark Farmer and Jim Campbell, and variant cover artist Phil Noto.