Avengers Assemble #11

I'm not traditionally a big Avengers team book reader, but Kelly Sue DeConnick and Stefano Caselli have hooked me with their super fun, gorgeous "Avengers Assemble" run. In "Avengers Assemble" #11, DeConnick closes an arc that flawlessly mixes superheroics and humor with the same tongue-in-cheek self-awareness of "The Avengers" film -- not a bad strategy at all.

The issue opens on the Avengers midway through their battle with "kind of a big deal" villain Yun Guang Han and his killer/supersoldier virus as he tries to kill a village while infecting the Avengers. The Avengers naturally save the day in reasonably short order, and return triumphant to New York. Once safely at home, Iron Man and Hulk realize the rest of their team has declared them the losers of a bet, the ramifications of which are a naked walk through New York City. It's the kind of fun that makes you wish these guys were real and you were friends with them (or, you know -- on the team).

Caselli has the beautiful mainstream superhero style down to a science. Everything is effortlessly understandable, but he's good enough he doesn't have to sacrifice storytelling for pretty or vice versa. Every page is pretty. Really pretty. Everyone looks strong and appropriately superheroic, and he handles the massive cast with ease. Everyone feels on-model but not in a way that feels stiff or boring. The pages are such quintessential superhero comics Caselli has almost made it look easy.

"Avengers Assemble" #11 is not a book that is going to change the world, it's not even a book that will end up on a "best of" list, but it's just good old-fashioned fun, and sometimes that's exactly what readers want and need. I am, after this first arc, officially a monthly reader of "Avengers Assemble." Go ahead and bring it, DeConnick and Caselli. I'm on board and can't wait to see what's next.

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