It's an entirely unplanned bit of synchronicity that I recently reviewed the original Avengers #16, which was the first "change the team's line-up" story, and now I'm reviewing Avengers #18, which is the newest take on that tale.
But it's a story that has ties not only to Fear Itself, but also previous "Events" like Civil War and Secret Invasion, and it looks like the Avengers aren't the only ones putting a new team together.
While this issue is obviously designed to take care of old business and set up future storylines, I have to admit that I'm not sure why Captain America decides to make a line-up change, since he just needs to replace those who didn't survive the attack of the Serpent (presumably that'll be explained next issue).
Still, it's a strong showing for Cap, as he takes on the leadership role with a fervor that seemed to be missing the last time around. Brian Bendis does his usual stellar work crafting the sharp dialogue here.
The issue also marks the first for new artist Daniel Acuna. I wasn't sure how his style would work on the Avengers, but I like it a lot. His style in unique and gives the issue a painted look that feels "real" without being overly concerned with being realistic, if that makes sense. He moves from Cinemascope splash pages to small moments of personal anguish with surprising ease.
So where does the team go from here? That's going to be the fun part over the next issue (or more), and as per that last page, a big showdown is in the works.