In the modern age of comics, it almost feels late in a title’s run that a crossover with other books would happen during issues #7 and #8, as opposed to either starting out of the gate with a crossover, or right after the first couple issues. Thankfully this was the case, as otherwise an issue like this earlier in the title’s run would have potentially scared away new readers from the book. This is a capable issue by Mark Waid, but I hesitate in even calling it an issue of All-New All-Different Avengers, as an intriguing plotline from last issue is dropped in a lame fashion, and the big character moments in this issue belong not to the team that the reader is following, but instead the guest-starring Uncanny Avengers.
Additionally, although a recap page attempts to bridge the gap between issues #7 and #8 of this series, it fails to actually manage to do so in a satisfying manner (although in that case it isn’t necessarily Waid’s fault, as I doubt he puts together the issue by issue recap pages). If you haven’t read the intervening issue of Uncanny Avengers, it makes going from one issue to the next more of a narrative leap than you would probably like. As much as crossovers are designed to make readers pick up multiple books to understand the narrative, there are still those who will stick to the book they’re actually reading and not let themselves get sucked in, and it’s a shame when there’s not much of an attempt to accommodate them.
The core story here feels a little one-note, but this might not be Waid’s fault entirely, as he’s not the only one playing in the “Standoff” sandbox, and thereby using Kobik as desired. It is interesting that some of the tie-ins play up her involvement in a big way, and then others downplay her entirely, instead focusing on the threat of the villains (which hasn’t quite paid off the way I would have initially expected it to). Deadpool reasoning with Kobik absolutely works, and works quite well, but at the same time it makes me wonder why this wasn’t put out as an issue of Uncanny Avengers.
The chapter preceding this one in the Uncanny Avengers title was focused on both teams, in a general sense, but in a specific character sense it was focused in on Rogue. It managed to tell a story focusing on both teams, but she was the primary character for all intents and purposes, which made sense as it was a story in an Uncanny Avengers title. The resolution of the Maria Hill aspect of the storyline was unexpected, yet underwhelming and felt like it was not the most sensible choice, given that we were dealing with multiple versions of a Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The artwork by Kubert was a joy, filled with action and intensity. The scene where the characters reclaim their identities was a nice touch, and the last page really worked to drive home the moment (although it’s a moment not yet seen in any other book).
Taken as part of the Standoff crossover, the issue did its job, although having a bunch of titles set in this sandbox does start to feel repetitive as the stories start feeling similar to one another. As an issue of All-New All-Different Avengers, this isn’t nearly as strong as past issues.