Despite “Marvel Worldwide” clearly hoping this comic’s 61,897 readers would focus upon its pre-publication question as to just how the Avengers could “possibly defeat a crew of 2,000-foot-tall, nearly omnipotent Dark Celestials bent on annihilating the human race”, it’s entirely possible many within this twenty-page periodical’s audience were actually more occupied trying to make sense of Jason Aaron’s incredibly choppy and convoluted narrative. Indeed, the sheer number of sub-plots and secondary cast members which the Alabama-born writer crams into “A Battle That Was Lost A Million Years Ago” is bewilderingly breath-taking, with the likes of Agamotto, Starbrand, a swarm of cosmic locusts, Celestials, Eternals, Frost Giants, Proto-Humans and even the “Dragons of K’un-Lun” all getting at least a mention.
Of course, such a wide ensemble would be perfectly palatable if this book’s script actually tried to tie the different races and their fantastic locations together into a sensible, logical storyline. But any perusing bibliophile who casually glanced inside Issue Four of “Avengers” would instead have first found themselves being thrown back in time to the prehistoric Pleistocene Period, before arriving at Old Asgard, the Mountains of Greece, Alpha Flight Space Station, and the North Pole, all within the passage of a plethora of Paco Medina and Ed McGuinness’ perfectly pencilled panels.
Disappointingly however, few of these trips actually appear to make much sense, with Iron Man’s surprise visit to the Home of the Eternals proving particularly puzzling as Tony Stark’s alter ego discovers that Zuras, Sersi and Thena have all apparently killed one another “within the last few hours” simply because they were driven mad by “the deaths of all those Celestials”..? To make matters worse, Thor’s outing to see the All-Father is arguably even more bizarre with Odin refusing to help his son recover the Blood of Ymir, and She-Hulk deciding the best way to warm up an all-too conveniently faltering God of Thunder is to give the bearded warrior a huge kiss on the lips; “Thank you… For, Ah… Saving my life back there, my Lady Hulk.”
Fortunately, such debatably poor penmanship is entirely survivable thanks to Medina and McGunness’ sumptuous storyboarding and this comic’s attractively lavish inking by Juan Vlasco (with Mark Morales). Ordinarily, any series “scheduled to release eighteen issues per year” would understandably prove too “large load for one artist to handle by himself”, so Executive Editor Tom Breevort’s decision to add Paco “in the mix” with his similar style to Ed, really seems to have paid dividends with the illustrations for this specific edition.