Another gloriously weird issue of Avengers A.I., and it makes sense that it would be weird, as apart from the 1st panel and the last 3 pages, this comic takes place entirely inside the virtual world of The Diamond, allowing Sam Humphries and Andre Araujo license to go a bit nuts.
The issue starts off with the Avengers struggling to get used to being in the digital world, Captain America and Rogue especially. As Vision says, the traditional laws of physics do not apply, and that takes a bit of an adjustment period. We then see Victor and Gibson trying to convince Mairead and the rest of her freedom fighters to free them and help the Avengers in their battle with Dimitrios’ forces, and after initial refusal, they do go and help. Once Cap and Rogue get the hang of things, the fight gets a lot more fun, as Rogue transforms herself into a giant, and Cap grows himself 6 arms, each one with it’s own shield, which is a pretty awesome visual that Araujo just nails. The other Avengers have also adapted their forms, I’m not sure what Hank Pym had done, it looks like wings, but he wasn’t flying, just using super-speed.
However, just as it looks like they’ve got the upper hand, Dimitrios’ enforcer goons ‘engage beastmode’ (and yes, it actually says that in the comic) and merge together, becoming a giant wolf robot that is ready to crush. Luckily, this is when Victor and the freedom fighters arrive to help turn the tide. Pym is delighted to have it confirmed that Victor is still alive, and we get the awesome return of ‘froot loops’, but there’s not enough time to really celebrate, as the best is yet to come. To confront the giant wolf guy, the Avengers combine their bodies to create an amazing looking Avengers Mega-Zord. It’s got the Vision’s head, Captain America’s shield and Thor’s hammer too. It is amazing and stupid and brilliant. If you’re older than me then your reference point for this is going to be Voltron rather than Power Rangers, but whatever, it was great. Avengers-Mega-Zord easily smushes the wolf-bot with it’s hammer, and it’s on to Dimitrios.
Speaking of Dimitrios, he and Alexis are still in Eton’s garden, but once he’s introduced Alexis to their sister, he is forced to leave. Here, we finally find out about the rest of the ‘First Six’. There’s Bangalter The Conqueror (sweet Daft Punk reference), Cothron The Benevolent, who is dead, and finally, Fountain The Destroyer, who is asleep, and if she awakes, will, well, destroy everything. Humphries has built up a very interesting mythology for The Diamond in a very short pace of time, and I can’t wait to find out more about it.
After this, the Avengers start to bond with the A.I. resistance, but they have trouble, as Mairead is angry at them for not helping out sooner. There were initially 1000s of revolutionaries, now there are only 4. This scene shows that, even though the Avengers are talking a good game about wanting to help the A.I.s, they aren’t following through, although part of that is down to the time differences between the two planes. Vision tries to convince her to help, and we won’t get an answer to #10, but I suspect it’s yes.
The issue ends with Monica Chang and Jocasta, who are getting to know each other thanks to the most ridiculous ‘trust fall’ I’ve ever seen, and are soon called away on Robot Hunter mission. Monica asks Jocasta why she’s going against her own kind, and her answer is that, by taking out evil A.I. now, she’s making peaceful coexistence in the future more likely, which makes sense to me. The issue ends with Jocasta revealing her new ‘upgrades’ which are a whole bunch of different Jocasta bodies with different capabilities. Who does she think she is? The end of Iron Man 3? Nah, it’s cool, and this book continues to be very cool indeed.