Brian Bendis has been writing Avengers for many years now and is a highly acclaimed writer. My favourite works include Daredevil and Ultimate Spiderman, showing quite nicely how his best work is with single heroes. His work on team books has been criticised because he cannot manage all the heroes. I personally think this is a little harsh but this comic works well because of the time given to the individual illuminati members. The illuminati are the most powerful and intelligent people on the planet and meet in times of crisis. This being an AvX tie in explains their meeting.

Each character has their say with Cap as the sounding board whilst the underlying theme of whether Namor would show up runs through the issue. There is some excellent dialogue here, especially with Xavier expressing his guilt and pain as a failed father. Iron Man has some great quips and Reed Richards finally says what needed to be said, the world has become a better place. Unfortunately I found the ending weak and the writing fell flat with the final scene. It’s a shame as the rest is profound, reactionary and true to the characters.

Mike Deodato artwork is dark, moody and tense. It’s tough to draw people sitting and standing in a room and still maintain a fluid scene. There are a lot of close facial shots and there is fine detailing on the expressions. This is built upon by Rain Beredo who is credited with the colouring. I do not know who performs the shading but it is quite striking and beautiful, essential when focusing on faces in a dark room. A minimal action and full on dialogue issue, just how I like Brian Bendis.

Great – 9/10

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