And so we’ve reached the second to last issue of a story that’s been going on since the beginning of MARVEL NOW! A book that I have enjoyed and looked forward to every month since it began as Avengers Arena, sadly appears it’s going to end slightly ahead of schedule, and will not allow Dennis Hopeless to write his planned trilogy following these characters. Now that doesn’t mean that this series will have a complete non-ending, it just means Hopeless had to jettison some plot and character development to get to the end he add originally planned. This would explain the three month jump in issue 8. So seeing as I’m talking about the the second to last issue of a story that’s gone through two titles, this is not a jumping on point. Before I start, let me just say I HIGHLY recommend checking out the first trade of Avengers Arena, and onward from there. Now, Avengers Undercover #9.
Picking up where last issue left off, things are looking bad for our group of heroes. The beginning of this issue consists of a big fight between the teenage heroes and Hellstrom, Son of Satan, who has possessed Cullen Bloodstone and is using his demonic form to wreck havoc. This doesn’t scare Anachronism, who has some choice words for the man forcing his best friend to act against his will.
Safe to say, this gets resolved fairly quickly, but the battle is far from over and escalates equally on both fronts. None of this fighting feels forced, and truly makes these last couple issues seem like the endcap to this tale. But while this issue consists primarily of one big fight scene that just continues to get bigger, that doesn’t mean Dennis Hopeless fails to put in some genuine character moments.
Artwork this time around is done by Timothy Green II, and that’s my only real problem with issue #9. He’s done art previously for this series, and he’s always been my least favorite out of the multiple rotating artists this book has had. Not to say his artwork is bad, just good enough to be able to tell everyone apart, as well as tell what everyone is doing at any one time. Normally this would be good enough, but when you compare this to what Kev Walker and Tigh Walker have done with this series, it’s just unimpressive. Of course, even after saying this, Timothy did draw some pretty fun panels.
However, taking the issue as a whole, the story more than makes up for the artwork, pathing the way for our final showdown in issue #10. If you have been following this series up to this point, then it’s safe to say you’re just as hooked on this book as me and have already read it. If you haven’t followed this series, then DO NOT start here. As a final word on this issue, let me just say that it does not appear this series finally will disappoint, and I am excited for the last issue.
CBH Score: 4.5 Out of 5