New Avengers #8 Review: A.I.M. Is Evil Again?


If there is one word that can describe issue #8 of New Avengers, that word would be WOW. Writer Al Ewing (Tharg’s Terror Tales, Judge Dredd, Mighty Avengers) crafted a wonderful chapter in Marvel Comics’ latest event, Avengers: Standoff. Illustrator Gerardo Sandoval  (Zombo, Mighty Avengers, Tales from the Black Musuem) drew some amazing artwork to go along with an excellent story.

Currently, A.I.M. is on the side of good, former X-Man/rebellious millionaire Robert Da Costa, a.k.a. Sunspot, bought A.I.M. and converted the company to be the New Avengers. Da Costa received a message from the Whisperer, the renowned hacker who infiltrated the S.H.I.E.L.D. database and the one who tried to expose their Pleasant Hill project to the world. Since his attempt to expose S.H.I.E.L.D. resulted in his capture, he had an automated message to A.I.M., asking to rescue him from the evil hands of the largest spy agency in the world.  

Before Da Costa agreed to rescue the Whisperer, he held a vote to determine if going after S.H.I.E.L.D. was the right move to act on. All but three voted for exposing S.H.I.E.L.D. And those three were Squirrel Girl, Wiccan, and Hulking.

Because Squirrel Girl, Wiccan, and Hulking voted against going after S.H.I.E.L.D., Da Costa transported the trio to the middle of the desert, declaring them the only legitimate New Avengers because the other ones were about to break international laws.

Meanwhile, Songbird, White Tiger, Power Man, and Hawkeye attacked the S.H.I.E.L.D. hellicarrier holding the Whisperer. Greeting A.I.M. was Agent Deathlok, Agent Daisy “Quake” Johnson, and Agent May. The trio of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were mighty resilient but we’re not enough to withstand A.I.M. and their mission of retrieving the Whisperer. But May dropped a bombshell to Quake and Deathlok that may shake up the foundation of A.I.M. and the New Avengers sometime in the future.

Once the highest agencies in the world found out about A.I.M.’s act of treason, the government, moving forward, will be taking matters in their own hands with the elimination of A.I.M.

The Bottom Line: Wow! Ewing wrote a great story to move the narrative forward. Not only does he play power versus skill, but he adds in potential betrayal, shading government organizations, and conflicting views. Even though A.I.M. is technically “good,” the Advanced Ideas Mechanics always manage to find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

The idea of a second big event in less than three months sounded exhausting from a reader’s perspective. Secret War was absolutely phenomenal and the event following that epic series was sure to fall flat among the Marvel Comics faithful. Avengers: Standoff is a very solid event on its own. What separates Pleasant Hill from Secret War though is that Secret War had only one main artist and writer — Jonathon Hickman — while Pleasant Hill has had multiple writers and artists, with the story flowing smoothly from issue to issue.