In the long, long history of the Avengers, the team has had their fair share of home bases. Most notably, of course, are the Avengers Mansion and Tower. Recently, though, the team hasn’t really had a solid base of operations. That stops now because the Avengers just got the coolest headquarters ever in AVENGERS #8: Avengers Mountain.

Following the defeat of the Final Host, the Avengers are gifted with the body of the first Celestial to visit the Earth. This long-dead body, located at the North Pole, now acts as the home of the Avengers. Though it may sound a little odd, it’s also insanely cool. I mean, come on. Avengers. Mountain. How can that not be cool?

As we’re getting the grand tour of the new home base for the team, writer Jason Aaron still manages to work in some excellent storytelling elements. He sneaks in a few hints of what’s to come, foreshadowing a dire conflict on the horizon. On top of that, it seems the King of Atlantis is back.

Artist David Marquez and colorist Justin Ponsor lend their impeccable talents for AVENGERS #8. I’ve been a fan of Marquez’s work since I first saw his pages in the Miles Morales era of ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN. His knack for blending realism into inherently goofy scenarios and scenes hasn’t faded since then. And, as usual, Ponsor is right alongside with Marquez for the show.

AVENGERS #8 Shows Off the New Avengers Headquarters

Like I said, Avengers Mountain is obnoxiously cool. AVENGERS #8 is predominantly about establishing this new space and working on specific character relationships. The issue opens with Ghost Rider arriving at the Mountain and sparring with Cap. Robbie is weighed down by uncertainty, in terms of joining the team, but Steve has a great deal of confidence in his abilities. I’m with Steve on this one. Ghost Rider being an Avenger has been awesome so far.

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AVENGERS #8 page 7. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

While Tony and T’Challa briefly argue over who gets the penthouse, we learn a bit more about Jennifer Walters’ condition. Apparently, she’s now potentially holding more gamma radiation than Bruce Banner ever could. She’s essentially become one of the most powerful Hulks ever. Doctor Strange calls her “a living gamma bomb.” And it shows. I’m sure that won’t go horribly wrong in the near future.

We also get a much-needed chat between Tony and Carol. Obviously, the last time these two were together, Carol basically put Tony in a coma. I know there’s more to it than that, but that’s the abbreviated version. But, in AVENGERS #8, the two clear the air, and Tony gets Carol to stay on the team. This conversation ends in the perfect way, as you can see below.

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AVENGERS #8 page 19. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Perhaps one of the coolest twists is who Jason Aaron puts in the hot seat as the new Avengers “Chairperson.” The Big Three unanimously vote T’Challa as the team’s leader. Though there’s some slight hesitation due to the politics of things, Black Panther agrees to take on the position.

As the teams first order of business, they’ve got Namor to deal with. Won’t that be fun?

Storytelling and World-Building on a Mountainous Scale

On the surface, AVENGERS #8 is a fairly straightforward issue. Nothing too exciting happens. It works mostly, as I mentioned earlier, to introduce us to Avengers Mountain and further establish the team’s sense of unity. But, beneath all of that, Jason Aaron artfully weaves in story elements that will no doubt play a huge part in the story later on.

First, the early pages of this issue flashback to the end of the conflict with the Final Host. This scene shows us how Avengers Mountain comes to be, as well as what happens to Loki. Before the God of Mischief is taken away by the Celestials, he hints at how the Avengers are being watched by some greater cosmic force. It’s not hard to miss this hint at something greater on the horizon, but with only a single mention, it’s possible it could go off on the wayside.

Another crucial element I picked up on is T’Challa’s trepidation towards his leadership in the Avengers. First and foremost, T’Challa is the King of Wakanda. He’s shown time and time again that he will always put his people first. I have a feeling there may be some tension between his interests at home and with the team at some point. He also notes the potential political ramifications of his leadership of the Avengers.

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AVENGERS #8 page 15. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

My point for noting all of these things is this: Aaron is laying the foundation for a handful of different stories all at once in AVENGERS #8. These are all potential plot threads that will likely come to fruition or play some part in the larger story later on.

Marquez and Ponsor Had Better Be Series Regulars

Series like AVENGERS typically wind up with a long list of rotating artists. Ed McGuinness did a wonderful job debuting this new team of Avengers with Jason Aaron. But, for the next few issues, we’ll be graced with pages from the dynamic duo of David Marquez and Justin Ponsor, an artist/colorist team that always finds a way to stand out above the rest.

You can’t talk about one of these guys without the other, because if you see one name in a book, chances are, you’ll see the other. Marquez and Ponsor have always demonstrated a consistent and precise chemistry in their pages. Like I said earlier, their pages are extremely realistic and lively, all while maintaining a genuine comic book feeling.

AVENGERS #8 is a perfect showcase of their work. Marquez’s character designs are accurately clean and creative. I particularly enjoy how he draws Robbie Reyes, both as himself and as Ghost Rider. He also captures the scale and depth of Avengers Mountain extremely well.

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AVENGERS #8 page 2. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Ponsor’s colors are in a category all their own. They complement Marquez’s artwork so perfectly. AVENGERS #8 is filled with a diverse amount of color. Very few scenes look the same because each one shines in a different light. His shading is perfect on the character designs, as well.

All in all, AVENGERS #8 is a fantastic issue to look at. I’ve never been disappointed by this duo in the past, and I don’t expect to be anytime soon.

Oceanic War on the Horizon?

As AVENGERS #8 concludes, Namor, the King of Atlantis, makes a surprise return. It’s not much of a spoiler, as it was hinted at in previews and such for the issue. Whatever Namor and his people are up to, it doesn’t seem good, given what happens in AVENGERS #8. Needless the say, the new team will certainly have their hands full. Should be interesting to see Black Panther and Namor interact again.

But, AVENGERS #8 stands as an incredibly fun issue. I enjoyed every moment of reading about the Avengers Mountain and hearing all of Aaron’s hints of what’s to come. There’s some consistently great world-building at work here, and I want more!

Marquez and Ponsor make their mark on this new series in AVENGERS #8. They bring Avengers Mountain to life and capture all of the characters perfectly. I’m excited to see more of their work on this series and hope they become series regulars.

So, yeah, next up, it’ll likely be the Avengers vs. Namor. Like I said, I’m sure that’ll be just swell. And by that, I mean it’s going to be an explosive mess.

AVENGERS #8 by Jason Aaron, David Marquez, and Justin Ponsor
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Characterization
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Summary
AVENGERS #8 is features simplistic, yet extremely important and artful storytelling, along with some incredible pages. It's issues like this that remind me why I love the Avengers so much.
93 %
Completely Badass

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