First Impressions – AVENGERS: THE ENEMY WITHIN #1

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Carol Danvers is being stalked by her greatest foe yet, and it may just be the one in her own head. AVENGERS: THE ENEMY WITHIN #1 begins the crossover between Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble. What is the true nature of the mastermind behind Captain Marvel’s latest string of headaches? Speaking of, how will she be able to cope with the trouble at hand with a brain tumor threatening her life? Can the Avengers lend a hand to their friend? Or will she rot from the inside out?

For the last few months, Captain Marvel has dealt with a series of odd attacks by old villains…and dinosaurs. At the same time, Carol received troubling news from her doctor: she cannot fly under her own power, or the lesion in her brain will likely kill her. This isn’t easy, when a person unknown seeks to mess with her mind at every opportunity, while also running her ragged.

That this storyline shares a number of points with the one going on in the Daredevil books is a coincidence I’ve written of before. And believe me, Daredevil will come some other time.

AVENGERS: THE ENEMY WITHIN #1 begins with the disappearance of Rose, the elderly woman Carol frequently spends time with for reasons I’m not too clear on. Carol teams up with Spider Woman to look for her, fearing all the while that she’s been abducted by the enemies of Captain Marvel.

And then a trio of female wrestler villains show up, as well as the two dinosaurs from earlier issues. Because the mind screws need driving.

All of this leads to the operative function behind this entire event: getting Captain Marvel to cave and ask the Avengers for help. The one’s she loves the most are in danger, and Carol is in no shape to fight against her mysterious nemesis alone. What aid actually gets rendered will have to wait until part 2, which is in the pages of Avengers Assemble.

So do I recommend this book to anyone? Yes, if you were already reading Captain Marvel, this is absolutely required. Otherwise the plot of the next two issues of that series won’t make any sense. And if you’re reading Avengers Assemble, you’ll probably want to read it to understand what the next two issues of that series are on about. All of which creates a big knot, looping between the two series and this separate issue. Have I mentioned I’m not very fond of when Marvel does this?

If you’ve read neither series but want to jump onto either using this crossover, don’t. I can’t speak for Avengers Assemble, but Captain Marvel has built up to this event over the last few months. You’ll have to go back and read those issues before entering onto here, or you’ll likely be lost.

At least artist Scott Hepburn does a better job making humans look like humans in this issue, by contrast to the previous artist for Captain Marvel. No offense person whose name escapes me, but the characters have been looking like melted wax figurines.

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One Response to First Impressions – AVENGERS: THE ENEMY WITHIN #1

  1. xmenxpert says:

    “You’ll have to go back and read those issues before entering onto here, or you’ll likely be lost.” I disagree with this. I actually disagree with this sentiment in general. Honestly, the recap page of any book will get you up to date on what you need to know. In this case: Captain Marvel has a brain lesion. It gets bigger when she uses her powers. Someone’s been sending things to attack her. Now the guy’s stolen a piece of the machine that gave her powers in the first place. Boom, all caught up. In only four sentences. I think some people might not read comics because they’re intimidated by the complicated backstories, and I think those of us who read comics need to assure them that it’s not that bad, and that they can dive into any issue and follow along with little difficulty.

    Anyway. I loved this. And I think you missed the main reason this issue is so good: Kelly Sue DeConnick infuses the characters with such humanity. The way she wrote the friendship between Carol and Jessica was, to me, the highlight of the issue. We don’t get to see that sort of thing in comics very often. DeConnick just did such an amazing job writing those two. And the writing in the rest of the issue was likewise solid. But Carol and Jessica were the best part of an excellent issue. And I would encourage Enemy Within for anyone who likes good character-focused writing.

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