Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Mike Deodato
This issue was made up of roughly three separate parts - one with the Cabal meeting, another dealing with the Dark Avengers and the missing Noh-Varr and the third following Sentry's wiping out of the Atlantean terrorists. Each section had its moments, but I found, despite enjoying this issue, that a lot of it felt like fluff and that it read extremely fast, despite the various plots being followed. I'm not sure why I feel this way, but it just seems like Bendis is trying to overwrite every scene and make everything feel more important or dramatic than it actually is. Odd feeling, sorry I can't describe it any better than that.
Let's start with the Cabal meeting first. I really liked Norman's and Namor's exchange, particularly Norman's sense of entitlement and authority. It was one of the better scenes in the issue and Deodato did some great facial work on everyone's reactions to it. I'm a little disappointed at the more cliched Namor retort, though. The whole "surface world is evil" mentality hasn't been as two-dimensional as it was shown here in a while and Namor has taken action against these Atlantean terrorists and decried them back during Civil War/the early days of the Initiative, so I'm not sure why he's lashing out in this manner.
Jumping to the missing Noh-Varr subplot, it seemed to be too casually handled. We never see Noh-Varr in the entire issue and no one knows where he is or even when he left. There's the innuendo about Moonstone's relationship with him, but nothing is ever really expanded upon and we just sort of go around in circles for a bit. I assume he left when he found out they are villains while sleeping with Moonstone in the last issue, but, seriously, that can't be the whole reason, can it? He burned a giant 'F--- You' into a city when he first arrived and has done things just as bad, if not worse, than some of their members. I just felt they spent a lot of time on this scene and, in the end, told us nothing.
Finally, there's the Sentry moment, which honestly has me just as freaked out over how crazy he's become lately as some of the Dark Avengers have been reacting to him of late. This was a powerfully executed scene where Sentry is sent to kill all but one terrorist and return that survivor for public relations reasons. Norman telling him to let the Void out for this and Bob's confusion over how he's been telling him there is no Void and just the silent fade away wiping out of the Atlanteans really worked for me.
Verdict - Check It. A good issue, but felt extremely light at time. Read incredibly fast as well. At $3.99 a pop, I should feel a little more satisfied after reading it than I did, but very few actual complaints about it either.