I’m pretty annoyed. I was pissed, but that has simmered down to level which allows me to write this review. Can someone please explain to me why Marvel will bring in new artists partway through the series? I’m specifically calling out Marvel here because they happen to be what I’m reading the most lately. I have no idea if this practice is done over at DC and others. Although, John has told me it’s not something that has happened in the Image Comics titles he’s been reviewing for the site.
This happened a few issues ago with Ms. Marvel, and I know Joseph expressed dismay when a new artist was used in the She-Hulk series, so I shouldn’t have been surprised when I opened up A-NU #7 and found the artwork not just different, but drastically so. The panels in issues 1 thru 6 were sleek and popped with color. Here, they’re dull and bland. They look like early sketches before someone comes in and really brings them to life with detail and color.
The team (minus Bombshell who is taking some much-needed mental health days) have taken to the sewers to track down Crossbones, the leader of the Serpent Skulls who got away after the majority of his crew (and Scourge) were turned over to the cops.
They follow his blood trail to a giant creature named Vermin. After an intense fight, the creature runs off and when our gang follows, they bump into Detective Schreck looking a serious hot-ass mess. How they recognized him is beyond me. He’s in full-on radioactive sewer dweller mode. They also meet Agent Crock, an ex-S.H.I.E.L.D super soldier who has some kind of psychic connection to Vermin. After learning that they’ve been living down there since S.H.I.E.L.D was dismantled, and realizing that Crock and Vermin weren’t going to listen to reason, Kitty Pryde has to dig into Crock’s skull, killing him and Vermin.
Meanwhile, the detectives are interrogating Scourge who, in turns out, is a vigilante who wants to rid the NYC streets of blacks and Puerto Ricans. That’s right, y’all. Scourge is basically Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.
A detective nicknamed The Bengal is brought in to assist. Detective O’Reilly goes home and decides maybe it’s best that The Bengal and the others to deal with this whole gang war. Maybe she shouldn’t care so much. You know what they say about the best laid plans. Someone knocks on her door and she opens it to find the Ultimates have delivered Detective (defective) Schreck.
I wanted to rate this issue lower because I was so put off by the new artwork, but I can’t deny how good the story was and how quickly it went because it had my full attention (once I got past the first few pages). In this issue, more than others, it’s clear why Black Widow is the group’s leader and the absence of Bombshell made sense – that girl was overdue for some alone time. I’m not sure I like Scourge being some “You kids get your brown asses off my lawn!” racist. He was much more menacing before this reveal, but I am curious to see where this goes. I liked that the ramifications of S.H.I.E.L.D’s demise is still being felt. Of course, I’m dying to see where this development with Schreck goes. O’Reilly better put down some plastic before letting him in. That guy’s dripping all over the place.