The Avengers Examine Their Role In A Post-Secret Empire Marvel Universe

An Avenger Shall Lead Them

The most important event in Avengers #11 is the conversation between Sam Wilson and Jane Foster. Sam is currently dealing with an identity crisis following Secret Empire and his decision to pass the Captain America shield and mantle back to the returned Steve Rogers and once again become The Falcon. His big concern is that, since now he’s no longer Captain America, he feels can no longer lead The Avengers because he doesn’t carry the heavy-hitter cache that he once did. On the other hand, he feels Jane Foster as Thor does, so he asks her to take over and lead the team.


However, Thor reminds Sam that the Avengers don’t defer to a costume or a codename, but a leader of experience who is a proven Avenger. Sam Wilson, whether he’s The Falcon or Captain America, has more than proved himself worthy of being the leader of The Avengers, and Thor is someone who knows more than a few things about what it means to be worthy. Sam rescinds his offer just as the news breaks that the Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man have taken over the American embassy, and Thor reunites the refreshed and reinvigorated Avengers to go save the day once more.

No Single Hero

Prior to Waid’s run on the franchise -- which started with 2015’s All-New, All-Different Avengers -- the team had become almost unwieldy in its enormity. By the end of Brian Michael Bendis’ run, there were two teams of Avengers operating out of the tower and the mansion respectively, and Jonathan Hickman’s time with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes featured possibly the largest roster ever. By scaling back to a roster of six, Waid is able to spotlight interpersonal relationships on the team a lot more and especially give a shine to characters like Hercules, The Vision and The Wasp who no longer have their own books.

Unfortunately, Waid’s run has thus far been hamstrung by both Civil War II and Secret Empire. As a result, it's never really had the chance to lay the groundwork for the long-form storytelling the legendary writer is used to. Hopefully, Avengers #11 serves as somewhat of a reset for the team as they head into the crossover with Champions next month, because this issue was a perfect reminder of how great the series' cast is, as well as the opportunities for great storytelling that come with an Avengers roster made up of unpredictable and slightly left-of-center members.

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