Writer: Nick Spencer Pencils: Mark Bagley Colors: Paul Mounts Letters: Clayton Cowles Cover Artist: Daniel Acuna Publisher: Marvel
If you are as exhausted as I am about Marvel events and wanted more time for writers to establish their own stories in their own books then you probably aren’t looking forward to Avengers Standoff. Fortunately, as the prelude to the upcoming Marvel event, Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 takes quite a different and enjoyable angle in set up.
After a vague opening featuring the Winter Soldier, the plot turns into a mystery story following an amnesiac who will eventually be given the name Jim. Who wakes up in a town that is all too cheerful, wholesome, and charming to be real and writer Nick Spencer doesn’t insult the readers intelligence in trying to drag it out and have it being the twist at the end. We get various hints through out the issue and as to what Pleasant Hill is and when it is revealed within the final pages it feels like a genuine Marvel event. The build up to this is solid.
What Spencer establishes here regarding S.H.I.E.L.D.’s involvement makes me think that this event will be leading into Civil War 2. There is definitely a very political angle to this story involving the issues of security, privacy, and freedom. Neither side is made out to be right or wrong thus far and forces the reader to ask themselves what is ultimately more important, life regardless of order? Or order regardless of life?
The always solid Mark Bagley brings a clean and consistent look to this comic along with tone fitting colors by Paul Mounts. There aren’t any flashy panels or epic splash pages but the story doesn’t call for it. The art team brings what is called for to this issue and do there their job well.
Despite the disappointment in Marvel already delving into a crossover event only a month after the conclusion of Secret Wars, Welcome to Pleasant Hill #1 was an enjoyable read and is a promising start off to the Avengers Standoff event. What is revealed in this mystery issue is intriguing and will grab ones investment to want to know what happens next. The primary concern however with this is the same to have with all crossover events. Which is will it stay consistent in tone and continuity as it draws into other books with different writers and artists?
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach