I have to admit, I wasn’t really aware that Marvel had this new Standoff event in the works. And I don’t follow recent Captain America, Shield or Avengers storylines so I wasn’t sure if there would be anything here to grab me. But I decided to go ahead and pick up Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill 1 and Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill (Alpha?) 1.

It turns out, I don’t need to have read a lot of those recent books as this is a rare story that actually gives background information on how we got to this point. So far the story centers around Sam Wilson, Steve Rogers, Bucky and Rick Jones with not a whole lot of Avengers.

Welcome to Pleasant Hill appears to be a one shot. It introduces the town of Pleasant Hill, which is sort of a Truman Show/Pleasantville/Wayward Pines amalgam being run by SHIELD as a prison and basically powered by the Cosmic Cube which is now sentient and takes the form of a little girl.

In Assault on Pleasant Hill, Steve is made aware of the existence of the town and, of course isn’t too happy about it. This sets him at odds with SHIELD and probably some of the other Marvel heroes (like maybe Iron Man I’m guessing?)  The fact that the Cosmic Cube is involved sets up a lot of possibilities for tinkering with the Marvel Universe so I’m interested to see where that goes.

Overall, I have to say I’m intrigued enough to pick up subsequent issues, although I won’t be getting tie-ins unless there is a creative team that I just can’t pass up. But I’m wondering what exactly Standoff is. An event? A mini-event? A pre-event leading into Civil War II?  

Anyway, I though about posting comments in various threads but I decided to just set up a new catch-all thread in case anyone wanted to discuss.

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Philip Portelli said:

My fear is that Standoff is not stand-alone but a prelude to Civil War II.

And we all had so much fun with the first one! Yikes!

It might be time to bring this out of retirement...

Standoff may provide some type of setup for Civil War II but from what I understand CWII is centered more around the basic theme of "Minority Report" and pits Iron Man against Carol Danvers so I'm not sure exactly how much of a lead-in we will be getting.

I guess I have to admit that they got me with this one.

Picked up New Avengers 8 and ANAD Avengers 7. Both books were pretty good in my estimation.  I think the appeal, for me, lies in some of the more subtle characterizations and dialogue rather than the action and superheroics. Still don't think I'll be getting the SHIELD tie-ins though.

Both of the aforementioned Avengers comics show the teams getting drawn in to investigate what's going on with Pleasant Hill. And of course, the ANAD team ends up fighting the Uncanny team and the New team has a skirmish with the Agents of SHIELD.

I bought Captain America #7 last week (on a whim because it was an anniversary issue), not even thinking about it being a tie-in to "Standoff." Captain America #7 follows directly from the "Alpha" issue (which I really liked), and I don't feel as if I missed a part of the story. I now plan to buy #8 as well.

Jeff of Earth-J said:


This comic is by far the best of the lot and my “Pick of the Week.” I had every intention of buying the plain blue cover (since I started with the “Alpha” yellow cover), but I couldn’t pass up the Arthur Adams variant. Surprisingly (or maybe not), there were several characters on the cover I couldn’t identify. I don’t know what was in the other crossovers, but Alpha, Captain America #7-8 and Omega told a complete story, one of the most entertaining superhero stories I’ve read in quite some time. I find myself really liking Anita Hill (as a fictional character). I’m not at all interested in Civil War II, but I followed Marvel’s first “Civil War” from the POV of Captain America only, and I expect that’s how I’ll experience this one, too.

Okay, I know those weren’t the most insightful reviews I’ve ever written, but I didn’t want to leave it over the weekend. Back to work!

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

Not knowing the contents of that trade, I would assume it would have both Alpha and Omega and, at the very least, the issue of Captain America that...uh, no spoilers...let's just say would be pivotal to this story. All of those were written by Nick Spencer. I normally don't like "wordy" comics, but these are certainly more wordy than the norm. Still, Spencer writes them in a way that really flows, and it isn't expository.

Jeff and Sensei, I hope you don't mind...Rather than respond in the other threads, I'm going to implant some quotes into this one to keep the flow going.

Detective 445 said:

The Standoff checklist has about 16 comics on it including the Alpha and Omega bookends plus various issues of Avengers, SHIELD, Captain America and an issue of Illuminati. I'm guessing these will all be collected in the same TPB.  So that would make it maybe around 350-400 pages.

Detective 445 said:

So, Standoff has now reached its conclusion. I enjoyed the parts that I read which consisted of the prologue, the bookends and the Avengers titles. I plan on getting the trade collection and reading the whole thing that way rather than rounding up the titles I missed.

This was the rare (these days) event that didn't cross over into too many titles, didn't drag on too long, and didn't depend on some sort of controversial or provocative flashpoint to generate hype. In that sense, it was very much an old school crossover and I appreciate that Marvel decided to go that route.

btw: I haven't been following Quasar but wasn't there already a female Quasar that had taken over that mantle some time ago?

  Why is it so hard to build a prison for super villains?  Between marvel and DC I've seen them do everything from the negative zone in cw1 (which in my opinion was putting a prison barge in the Suez canal and expecting nothing bad to happen) and exiling them to another planet in Salvation Run.  It doesn't seem to matter where they put them, the villains end up getting loose anyway.

16 issues? One trade?
I fear they might split that into two.

Thanks for the informative pieces Mr 'detective' sir - knowledge us power.

Oh and FYI -- the female Quasar (Phyla-Vell - daughter of dead Captain Mar-Vell) ...died.

"Jeff and Sensei, I hope you don't mind..."

Not a bit. You read the bookends and the Avengers titles, I read the bookend and Captain America (and felt that I got a complete story). I find myself eagerly anticipating the new Steve Rogers: Captain America title. I sorted my Captain America longbox last night; there have been some really good runs of Cap in the last decade or so.

Avengers: Standoff did its job as far as I am concerned.

It was an entertaining story.

I chose to follow only the bookends and one set of crossovers (the Captain America ones), yet I still feel I got a complete story with no missing parts.

I was planning to buy the new Steve Rogers series, anyway, but Standoff inspired me to continue reading Sam Wilson as well, plus try the new Thunderbolts series. It even inspired me to seek out a few issues of Rick Remender’s previous Captain America series.

Finally, it put Nick Spencer on my radar. I’ll keep an eye out for his work going forward.

In 2012, I chose not to read Rick Remender’s Captain America series because I objected to the direction of the plotline. Similarly, although Sam Wilson has been a longtime favorite character of mine, I chose not to read the early issues of his series, either, for the same reason. I followed James Robinson’s Invaders series and felt I learned all I needed to from that about Steve Rogers’ aging and his dispute with Sam Wilson, but Standoff and SW:CA #9 have inspired me to seek out the last few issues of the previous Cap series, and the first few issues of the new one as well.

Well done, Marvel! And well done, Nick Spencer!

I have the Remender trades. The Dimension Z story grabbed me but my interest flagged after that so I haven't read the rest of them yet.  I also grabbed the first Sam Wilson trade which has really nice Immonen art but haven't got around to reading it yet.  Looking forward to it though.

I just couldn't go there with the first issue of Thunderbolts. I like the Winter Soldier but I don't know anything about Jim Zub and the art (which looked straight out of a 90s Youngblood comic) hurt my eyes.  I couldn't get past it enough to read the story.

I agree with you about Spencer. I wasn't really aware of him before this but I'll being keeping an eye out going forward.

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