This was probably the quietest and least eventful AvX tie-in Bendis has done so far, but I think it was the best. Yes, it was page after page of people talking, but that’s what Bendis is best at, and this was him in full flow, getting to the heart of some great characters and really humanising a lot of the craziness that’s gone on in the course of this crossover. The opening few pages are a flashback to WW2, with the Invaders taking on the Red Skull. The focus here is on the relationship between Captain America and Namor, allies back then, but now at War with each other. In an attempt to reach out to Namor, Cap has called a meeting of the Illuminati, and it’s here that a lot of interesting conversations are had and questions many readers might have are answered. So we find out why the Avengers aren’t just using the Infinity Gems to stop the Phoenix Five, we find out why the Fantastic Four (Thing aside) are remaining neutral, and we get a great insight into how much this whole shebang is affecting Professor X. The scenes with Xavier here were just excellent, he feels like a failure because of how his students are acting, and it breaks your heart. Of course, in amongst all of this pontificating and arguing, Bendis provides some humour in the form of a frazzled Tony Stark who is constantly saying the wrong thing due to how stressed he is. I like this take on Tony, and how even through the jokes, the despair of this situation was still there. In the end, Namor does show up to meet Cap for another fantastic dialogue scene, two old friends, now at odds, still respecting each other. Of course, this story takes place before Namor fucked Wakanda to hell, so that may change, but it was still powerful stuff.