As It Stands (Avengers Standoff Recap) Part Four [SPOILERS]


Welcome to As It Stands, our weekly recap of everything going on in the Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill spring event. 

The Avengers Standoff spring crossover has split again this week, from two issues last time to three. Bam Smack Pow is here to update you on the adventures of Marvel’s favorite superteams so you can decide which parts you want to follow!

What we know so far: Rick Jones, as superhacker The Whisperer, told Sam Wilson about Pleasant Hill, a prison where SHIELD uses a sentient cosmic cube to overwrite the reality of villains, turning them into Americana cliches. Sam called his team of Avengers, and Rick got caught by the Agents Of SHIELD. Steve Rogers found out about the cosmic Guantanamo and summoned his Unity Squad, but they didn’t get there before all the villains got turned back into themselves. The Squad made it to the edge of town with an escaped Maria Hill when Sam Wilson’s Avengers arrived in a Quinjet, piloted by their own Maria Hill! What?

Last chance to avoid spoilers for the week…

The Howling Commandos Of SHIELD #6

Orrgo, a lovable giant Kirby monster, uncovered corruption in SHIELD and was sent to Pleasant Hill as a coverup. Kobik the Cosmic Cube turned him into a Pomeranian, and he loved it so much that when all the villains regain their true forms, he hunts that little girl down to change him back. (“Orrgo was… happy! The small animal I became was soft and fluffy! Orrgo felt love!”) His supernatural teammates bust in to rescue him, and they almost defeat Kobik, so she teleports them back to their Headquarters.

New Avengers #8

Rick Jones gets a message to the Avengers and former terrorist group AIM that he’s about to get captured by SHIELD. Leader Roberto Da Costa asks his team to vote whether to break Jones out of the Battlecarrier, and when Squirrel Girl, Wiccan, and Hulkling vote against, Da Costa kicks them off the island base and everyone else busts into Jones’s cell. They fight the three Agents of SHIELD guarding him and manage to extract him, but this triggers a Pentagon group to see them as a threat and activate The American Kaiju (a big Godzilla with American flags tattooed on his forehead and tummy), attacking next issue.

All-New All-Different Avengers #7

In a New York alley, most of the team fights a very obscure villain named Night Phantom who keeps screaming that he’s escaped from Pleasant Hill. Maria Hill tries to take possession of the defeated foe, but Sam Wilson radios the team the info he got from Rick Jones, and they make her pilot their Quinjet to Connecticut. When they see the Unity Squad on the ground outside the town with their own Maria Hill, the one in the jet opens fire on them, triggering a few pages of the teams fighting before they’re interrupted by a freak snowstorm, which turns out to mean that Kobik has trapped them in a snow globe to keep them contained as she overwrites each of them into a Pleasant Hill life.

We still don’t know why there are two Maria Hills. My vote is Life Model Decoys.

Check out David’s review of this issue here!

The structure of Avengers Standoff still seems like readers of the prelude and Alpha issues only need to read Uncanny Avengers and All-New All-Different to see what happens to the main story. Agents Of SHIELD and New Avengers are taking turns telling what happens to Rick Jones – fans of either team or of Rick Jones (I am sure some of you exist. I haven’t met you, but statistics promise someone likes Rick Jones) should read both of those titles, but budget-conscious readers can safely skip them. Howling Commandos was good to flesh out life in the prison, but you get enough in the main books, and this week’s Illuminati promised that their tie-in issue will follow the team into Pleasant Hill as they attempt to extract Absorbing Man from his duties in the malt shoppe, which should be fun but inconsequential.

Related Story: As It Stands (Avengers Standoff Recap) Part Three

Next week, Avengers Standoff hits Captain America: Sam Wilson, and next month it will cross through All-New, All-Different AvengersNew AvengersCaptain America: Sam WilsonIlluminati, Uncanny Avengers, and Agents of SHIELD before concluding in Assault On Pleasant Hill: Omega. To keep track of our recap coverage, watch this link.