Sam Humphries and Andre Araujo’s team of Robot Avengers continues to be a surprising delight for me, and this issue took things to another level. I thought the first one was a hell of a lot of fun, but here, Humphries adds a bit of darkness to that fun, and what we get is a thought-provoking comic that makes you think about just who side we should be on. The writer seems to now be on the side of the robots, should we the reader be too?
The issue opens with a proper introduction to Dimitrios, who has taken control of one of Iron Man’s old armours, to be precise, the sentient armour from that Joe Quesada story, which is a cool use of that old story, and we see the first steps in his robot revolution. I loved the character who helps him, Sister Joanie, who was an LMD developed by SHIELD to infiltrate underground youth culture in the 1970s. Is this a new character? I can imagine that weirdness springing from some LSD-addled bronze-age writer, but it could also just be Humphries.
Dimitrios’ first salvo is to activate a massive Sentinel, and send it to destroy Washington DC. The fight between Avengers A.I. and this Sentinel was a lot of fun, first with Doombot flying right at it and getting smashed (I love Doombot, so funny), and then with Vision using one of his unconventional new powers to fight in a different way. Vizh creates some tiny nanobots which go inside the Sentinel and change it’s programming (depicted in awesome 8-bit fashion by Araujo), and saving the day. But that’s where the darkness kicks in. Sentinel stops his rampage, and is repentant, forming a bond with the Vision, and helping him and Victor from saving some school kids trapped inside the Washington Monument. But then SHIELD, not realising that Sentinel has been stopped, fly right at him and kill him. Which is pretty sad, the humans just killed an innocent being. Maybe Dimitrios is right? His speech at the end certainly was awesome.
This issue was also packed with great little scenes and ideas, the mystery of Alexis is a fascinating one, she’s not made of metal, she exists in multiple ‘quantum layers’, what is her deal? I also loved the scene with Victor and his ‘grandpa’, Hank Pym, as Humphries brings back an old bit of Runaways continuity. In that book, a Gert from the future came back and revealed that Victor would join the Future Avengers and betray them, so Victor is worried that’s going to happen, and wants to leave, but Pym talks him out of it, telling him to ignore parallel realities and possible futures. And hey, since Gert is dead, he’s probably right to. And what’s the deal with that weird shape?
Andre Araujo’s art was awesome, apart from the aforementioned 8-bit sequences, the rest of it was great to, adding to the sense of fun this title has, I especially liked the not to Moebius. After only two issues, this has developed into a very good comic, I can’t wait for #3 and to see the Avengers and Dimitrios really go at it.