Things you need to know:
- The Hood has lost his powers (for the second time) and his criminal empire after Siege.
- The Illuminati (Namor, Professor X, Reed Richards, Tony Stark and Black Bolt) split up and each hid the Inifinity Gems. The general Marvel universe heroes know nothing of the Illuminati or their activities.
- The Red Hulk is one of the too many Hulks around at the moment. I don't read the Hulk titles, but apparently he is General Ross.
- Wonder Man blames the Avengers fro alot of the stuff that has gone wrong in recent times.
The issue opens with a ruthless Parker Robbins, aka The Hood, entering the old site of Atillan and retrieving the yellow Infinity Gem (manipulates reality), hidden there by Black Bolt. We then cut to Iron Man and Thor confronting Wonder Man and trying to find out why he is so anti-Avengers. Wonder Man doesn't really give a convincing argument, besides that Avengers die and gets frustrated and leaves.
Next Parker Robbins uses the yellow gem to infiltrate Reed Richards lab and retrieve the red Inifity Gem (for power). He then teleports using the yellow gem into the desert where he is confronted by the Red Hulk, who he then punches in the head!
At the Avengers Tower, the Avengers (including Spidey, he almost didn't make an appearance this issue!) are hanging out and eating lunch, Noh-Varr is introducing his girlfriend to the group when the Red Hulk smashes through the window. He is bleeding and semi-conscious. He mumbles one word: "In..finity.."
I enjoyed this issue, it had a mix of things going on and some good set up for the new story arc. The scenes with Parker Robbins retrieving and using the gems are great, though it does seem a little too easy... I'd like to know how he knew about the gems and their whereabouts and why no one else has tried to retrieve them before him... that is assuming he was told about them by someone else.
I must admit, I don't get where Bendis is going with the Wonder Man sub-plot. Wonder Man comes across as a bit nuts and it's no wonder the other Avengers are worried. But what's the point? Just another reason for a punch up eventually? Or something more? Is Bendis trying to make a legitimate point by what Wonder Man is saying?
Romita Jr does excellent work once again, but I must say I am hoping there is some widescreen action coming up in this arc and not as much talking heads stuff. I think that is when Romita, Jr really rocks.
Finally, I think either I am liking Bendis take on Iron Man and Thor more or he has improved. Iron Man doesn't seem to say as many annoying things. He has to stop calling Noh-Varr "alien boy" though, it is really annoying, even as a nick name.