Comic Books

AVENGERS #11

• “WAKE THE DRAGON”

• As Shang-Chi battles an ancient enemy, the Avengers hang out in Hong Kong’s swankiest casino.

• Captain Marvel, Black Widow and Spider-Woman find out it doesn’t pay to gamble in the spy business.

• Cannonball and Sunspot play craps with a bunch of AIM Agents. AND WIN!

Story by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Mike Deodato
Cover by Dustin Weaver

Price: $3.99
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 2.2%
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Avg Rating: 4.0
 
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Comments

  1. Really liked last issue & totally loved Infinity, so getting used to Deodato now while finally waiting for Hickman’s space-opera to finally happen?!

  2. Ms/Captain Marvel with a samurai sword?!?!?!?!?

  3. I’m getting a little bored with this series. I don’t really know why, but I am.

    • I was too but last issue really drew me back in. I’ve been up an down with this series overall but I think I’ve finally decided to settle in for the long haul.

  4. This looks like a ton of fun!

  5. I’ve been buying every issue of Avengers and New Avengers, but I’m going to be skipping on this one purely on the cover alone. There is a very weird racial insensitivity going on with the cover that I am not comfortable with. The story is based in Hong Kong, which is in China. The cover is an homage to Japanese popular culture. Does Marvel really think that two very different Asian culture are interchangeable like this? I understand that Dustin Weaver is a huge Japanophile, but Marvel should have known better and asked Weaver to change the cover or told him from the start that the issue was going to be about China and not Japan. If Weaver wanted to do a cover homaging Japanese pop culture, he could have easily done one for other books that are actually related to the correct country, like Wolverine. The worst part of all this is that Marvel has not many any sort of comment about this issue, though it has been brought up multiple times by various websites. If this were an issue set in Great Britain but had a clear French, Spanish, or German theme for a cover, I think it would definitely be talked about much more. But because this is an issue about Asia, which comics barely use as a subject matter to begin with outside of the two “main” Asian countries (China and Japan), this is going largely unnoticed or, worse, ignored as not important and minor.

    • Dustin Weaver addressed this on his blog – he got his instructions crossed up and the mistake was on his end. Now I suppose you have to wonder if they decided there wasn’t enough time to correct it, or editorial said “good enough” and moved on.

    • Yeah it was actually a pretty nice post by Weaver on his blog. He apologized and explained why the mix-up occurred. I would say calling it “unnoticed or ignored” is incorrect. More like “already dealt with and moved on.” Just because you didn’t notice the problem and the apology until now really isn’t Marvel or Weaver’s fault.

    • I just read Weaver’s blogpost and can accept the fact that this was a mistake, at least on his end. But this does just make Marvel editorial look even worse now to my eyes. Marvel editorial knows that the story is going to be based in Asia, they probably have some sort of information about which country it would be based on, and could have (and should have) given Weaver more information than just, “Draw Asian-inspired characters.” Now Marvel editorial looks both lazy and racist.

    • Weaver actually mentioned that the timetable was very short implying that a redraw might not have been possible. You are making assumptions based on no facts. Marvel may have been lazy and racist or they may not have been. You assuming the worst helps no one and accomplishes nothing.

      It is interesting that according to your user profile you have pulled no comics, written no reviews, and have no comments prior to yesterday. And all of your comments speak to perceived racism toward Asians. I’m starting to think you are nothing more than a troll with an agenda.

    • I’m someone who barely posts on any board, forum, or website I’m a part of. I mostly only post when I feel like there is something important to say. I don’t use the pull list because I feel like there’s no point in doing so on this website. I can just buy my comics. I did a pull list one week just to see what it was like and have felt no need to do ever do so again. No need to advertise everywhere what I’m buying. It’s unfortunate that you think I’m a troll, but the timing of these two events just happen to have occurred in a very short timespan.

      And yes, I am making some assumptions. But considering that Marvel’s only response to this issue is to either 1. say nothing or 2. make jokes (aka something Hickman said in response to questions about this) I don’t think it’s unwarranted to say that Marvel has little interest in addressing the matter at all. If Marvel won’t talk about it, at least somebody who is affected by this can.

      My real name is on my profile and my username is one that I commonly use. If you think I’m just some anonymous troll, then I’m sorry that you think that way. But it should be really clear just from my name that I am an Asian and any sort of racism, whether intentional or not, against Asians is something that I would feel passionately about. This will be the last comment I make on this page before I go back to my non-posting ways, so you can feel free to have the last word. But I just wanted to let you know that I’m not a troll.

    • @Eekim, surely it would be better to post this directly to Brevort, Hickman, Alonso, etc on Twitter? Rather than tossing it out on a fansite where it will do nothing. Engaging with the creators/editors might actually bring about change in the future.

    • “Racist” seems a bit strong. Maybe “ignorant” or even “insensitive, which I think is still a stretch, but “racist” implies a hateful attitude that I don’t think can be surmised simply by looking at the cover.

    • @adrianrigter: I actually tweeted both Brevoort and Hickman today. Neither has made any remarks nor replied to me, despite both having made tweets since I messaged them. I have a feeling they will never reply to me, which is disappointing but understandable.

    • @adrianrigter: Exactly. That is a great point and absolutely great advice.

      @eekim: It’s a shame you only care about racism toward Asians. I personally find racism in any form toward any group to be abhorrent. But based on all the information out there this does not seem like racism. It was a misunderstanding that accidentally lead to a culturally insensitive cover but it’s not racism. Cultural insensitivity and racism are not the same thing, not even close. If you were offended, which it seems pretty clear you were, that is unfortunate but that doesn’t make it racism.

      Here is the Merriam-Webster definition of racism: 1) a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2) racial prejudice or discrimination. I really don’t see how that cover meets either of those standards. People throw around the word racism a lot these days and it’s starting to lose its true meaning. Racism is a horrible thing that has no place in a compassionate society but simply branding anything that offends you as “racism” only cheapens the word and moves us further away from banishing the practice altogether.

    • @USPUNX: It’s a shame that you make an assumption that I only care about racism toward Asians. I just happened to be posting about this particular topic today.

      But point taken. Maybe racist is too strong a word. In my original post, I don’t use the word racist but instead the term “racial insensitivity” which is probably more accurate. However, I think it’s still fair to be disappointed by the lack of response from Marvel since the original solicits about this and also to be disappointed that so few people think it’s a big deal. Racial or cultural insensitivity may not be racism but they are still underneath and a part of a widespread cultural attitude in the United States of acting and feeling like Asians are “other”. Both racism and insensitivity should be stamped out and I don’t think pointing out either should be ignored.

      And now I really will stop posting about this. I already said I would but I felt like I had to respond to the statement that I seem to only care about racism against Asians. I’m not. I just happened to post about this today because today was when this page opened up on iFanboy.

    • @eekim1988: You don’t have to stop posting, this is a good discussion.

      But I also think I’ve made my point so I’ll just finish by saying it is unfortunate that this cover offended you but it doesn’t seem as if the insensitivity here was malicious or intentional. I don’t see this as even approaching racism.

      I also hope you see the irony of posting on here the past two days about your outrage of racism toward Asians while also writing this statement: “Racial or cultural insensitivity may not be racism but they are still underneath and a part of a widespread cultural attitude in the United States of acting and feeling like Asians are “other.” Which in itself could be considered a gross generalization of a population of 400 million people and is itself a pretty culturally insensitive statement. If you have been made to feel like an other in this country I am truly sorry but insinuating that all American’s hold that view is fairly offensive.

    • It’s not “racism”. They’re just ignorant or tonedeaf or something in this one instance. There isn’t any judgmental hate in play, so I really don’t see how this could be a vitriolic offense.

      I’m part Greek. If someone in Asia got Greeks mixed up with Italians and said, “Oh, Greece, that’s where pizza comes from, right? I love pizza! You guys are awesome!” I wouldn’t feel that was racist at all. I’d feel the person was obviously ignorant in a shocking way in this one instance, but he wouldn’t be implying that Greeks, Italians, or pizza were bad.

      It’s sort of the same deal here. Marvel are trying to do an homage of something that they clearly think is cool, but people just got mixed up as to which of two Asian countries the imagery actually came from. It’s stupid of them and their editorial (blowhard Tom “I’m never wrong about anything!” Breevort especially), but calling something like this “racist” just diminishes what that term actually means.

    • Weaver’s blog post suggests that folks at Marvel were at least somewhat aware of the problem, but went ahead because of time constraints. This indicates a cynical calculation on Marvel’s part that their bottom-line would be more affected by a delay than by offending a minority of consumers. Since there hasn’t been a massive outcry from the comic-book community at large, their gambit seems to have paid off. So as a business decision, good call. As an ethical one, no.

      Racism, racial prejudice, is the pre-judging of individuals or groups based on physical attributes. Cultural sensitivity is being aware of the diversity of cultural norms that exist in the world and attempting to be considerate of those (e.g., not blowing your nose in public in Japan). With this comic, the prejudice or pre-judging that occurred is a form that has plagued Asian communities in the West: that Asians are all alike and their cultural traits are interchangeable. The assumption of shared cultural norms is based on shared Asian phenotypic traits, and thus is a form of racism.

      Now, in this case of this comic, one may want to use a qualifier such as “subtle” or “unintentional” racism. No one is saying this is akin to a KKK rally. But I find the idea that the word “racism” may only be used for the most blatant displays of bigotry to be a form of racism-denial that stifles awareness. Who gets to decide when affected minority voices are allowed to use the word? Is it the majority, from their position of privilege, that judges when the term is warranted? That’s a dangerous path. The suggestion that the word will somehow become worn-out is just backward. Do you really think that a growing awareness of racism in all its incarnations will lead to more societal acceptance of, for instance, white-supremacist ideology? This notion seems ludicrous to me. Instead of somehow, magically fostering more racism, awareness helps individuals understand the existence and seriousness of more subtle forms of racism which non-affected individuals are often oblivious to.

    • @USPUNX: Man, I’ve got to call you out because you are using some dishonest argumentative tactics. Depending on how it suits your argument, you vacillate between obnoxious pedantry (copy-pasting Merriam-Webster of all things) to willfully misunderstanding and obfuscating eekim’s statements. Even if you had refuted eekim’s use of “racism” on some dictionary technicality, it would not invalidate the greater point he was making. But the fact is you didn’t understand the very definition you cited.

      You then gloss over the thing he actually says to concoct a twisted meaning (concluding he “only” cares about discrimination against Asian Americans). You also use the opportunity to self-righteously tout your own enlightened views on racism. I guess you don’t see yourself as racially superior to eekim, but you sure declared your moral superiority over him.

      Along with twisting his words, you attack him on a personal level. You suspect he’s “nothing more than a troll with an agenda.” His insidious agenda being the exposure of bigotry? You dredge-up some circumstantial evidence out of his user profile? Come on, that’s just weird. It’s not uncommon for people speaking out against bigotry to be accused of having an “agenda.” Such “agendas” are just rhetorical inventions of the accuser that attempt to undermine the sincerity of the minority voice and shush away their claims.

      In your final comment you point out the “irony” of eekim making note of a widespread cultural attitude in the U.S. concerning Asians. Just as you’ve exaggerated the US population, you’ve thrown eekim’s words back at him in hyperbolic terms. It’s a clever ruse (oh see, actually YOU’RE the racist here eekim!) But I doubt anyone reading what he wrote would reasonably conclude that he is indicting the entire U.S. population (even including 14+ million Asian Americans apparently?) as holding this cultural attitude. “Widespread” is a non-specific descriptor of prevalence, and if eekim’s experiences lead him to perceive that the attitude is widespread, who am I to deny him his point of view? And dude, we all have Google, so please do not regurgitate Webster’s definition of “widespread” to me.

    • @masterdestructro: I completely understand the definition I cited but based on your previous comment it seems you do not. I cited the definition to make the point that the word “racism” was being misused in eekim’s comments. Which went to the greater point I was making that racism has a specific definition and proper usage, and misusing does in fact cheapen it’s real meaning. Simply because someone is offended does not make it racist. The word has a definition and if it is not used properly it loses its meaning.

      Eekim continually used phrases like “racism toward Asian’s” which lead me to believe that was all he cared about. He used that phrase multiple times rather than just saying “racism” so it seemed he was concerned about racism toward one particular group rather than racism in general. You don’t have to believe me, I don’t care. And by the way, nice job of subtly insinuating I’m a racist in your second paragraph. Talk about dishonest argumentative tactics.

      I made that troll comment in my first comment to him because I honestly thought he was a troll. I looked at this user profile and confirmed he had done nothing on iFanboy until he started leaving these comments. If you aren’t going to use the pull list, write reviews, leave comments, or do ANYTHING else that requires a membership then it seemed odd to me someone would join? If all you want to do is read articles you don’t need to be a member for that. The evidence was circumstantial yes, but it appeared to indicate he was a troll. Again, you don’t have to believe me but it’s the truth. Also, you yet again subtly accuse me of being a bigot. If you bothered to do any evidence gathering of your own and read some of my older comments you would see that I have gotten into several debates with people on this site when it seemed as if they were defending bigotry.

      In regard to the U.S. population, I did grossly exaggerate. I honestly thought it was 400 million and didn’t realize it was much closer to 300 million until I looked it up just now. That was a honest mistake and for that I apologize. I don’t think my terms were anymore hyperbolic than those used by eekim. I also never called him a racist, that is just yet another of your continued insinuations. You can interpret eekim’s words however you want. When he said “part of a widespread cultural attitude in the United States” I took that to be an indication of being prevalent. If you didn’t that’s fine, we clearly disagree on this point. And I wasn’t denying his point of view. In my experience I have not at all seen a “part of a widespread cultural attitude in the United States” that Asians are considered “other.” If they’re bother passed on personal experience, why is my opinion any less valid? If he has personally experienced that then as I said above that is awful. I truly mean that, believe it if you want.

      Marvel clearly made a decision based on cost and deadlines rather than cultural sensitivity and that is wrong. I never defended Marvel or said this cover wasn’t insensitive. My main point throughout here was that while the cover is potentially offensive and certainly insensitive, it isn’t racism. Marvel should have pulled the cover, without question. I just don’t think a term as damning and as strong as racism should be used unless it is actually racism.

      But you are correct, I did use some agressive and potentially dishonest tactics toward eekim and for that I apologize. Eekim, I’m sorry. I initially took you for a troll which was clearly incorrect and I apologize for that and for some of the negative tactics I used. As I said before I truly am sorry if you were offended by this cover, as I’m sure many others were as well, we simply disagree where or not this merits racism. Since you are a member I hope you will continue to post on this site. If not, I say again, I’m sorry.

    • @USPUNX: A lot of this is just reiteration of naive and inane points you made before. Except maybe for the new clueless pronouncement that your perception of the experiences of Asian Americans is just as valid as Asian Americans perception of their own experiences. So ridiculous.

      Anyway, I’ve said my piece and I’m not going to bother repeating myself.

    • @masterdustructo: Jesus you are a hypocrite. Talk about dishonest tactics. I didn’t say my experience gave me more insight into the Asian American experience in this country, I said based on my experience of having lived in this country I had a different opinion. Would you like to put anymore words in my mouth?

      And who do you think you are to call me naive? You know nothing about me. You deride me for personal attacks yet you continually make personal attacks against me.

      You go on and on about how your and eekim’s opinions are valid yet continually dismiss mine because you don’t agree with them. Is that the best you can do to defend your “point?” Simply dismiss my opinions with a wave of your hand because you have nothing of actual substance to say?

      And why are even involved in this discussion? All you have done is derail it even further from it’s actual point. We are on the Avengers #11 page and we are no longer talking about the issue or the cover or even the larger point of whether or not it is racist or insensitive. You have hijacked this discussion into some personal vendetta you clearly have against me. Grow up man, make a point revalent to what is being talked about here or move on.

    • @masterdestructro: I just reread your comments and I have to say people like you really annoy me. You swoop into a discussion and make points that have no real bearing on what is being discussed, and then leave the minute someone questions your points. There is nothing worse than someone who jumps in to make some asinine points and then runs away the second someone questions those points. I wrote a pretty long post describing my positions and why I said the things I did and even agreed that I went to far in some cases and apologized to eekim. (although I doubt you see that as sincere) I also corrected my mistakes of facts when you pointed them out to me. And then for you to post that stupid little comment is just ridiculous and obnoxious.

      You are right, I clearly went too far in some of the ways I presented my points and used some immature tactics to attempt to make eekim look bad. I am truly sorry for that. I got caught up in the debate and should not have done that. I just feel like I have gotten in several debates on this site recently in which people defend bigotry in some forms (e.g. the several Orson Scott Card gay marriage debates) yet also throw around the word racism at the slightest hint of cultural insensitivity. That strange dichotomy has really bugged me recently and I unfairly took that out on eekim in this thread. For that I really am sorry to him and to anyone else I might have offended.

    • Aaaaand we’re done with this particular discussion. Further comments will be deleted.

    • Fine. Thank you for being the voice of reason. I understand if this will be deleted, just wanted to say thank you.

  6. The transition to Deodato was rough, but Frank Martin saved the day with his colors. Hoping we see improvement this time around so Martin doesn’t have to do that again.

  7. Dropped. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Hickman but this just isn’t for me. I honestly couldn’t care less about whatever this ‘System’ is or who Nightmask and Starbrand are. Everyone says that Hickman writes with a long story arc in mind and you have to wait for the pay-off, but I’m just not that interested.

    • You aren’t the only one I’ve seen/talked-to who has said this.

      And therein lies the problem for Comic Book Companies – introducing new ideas and new characters is always met with a fair amount of resistance. 🙁

    • Scarlet-Batman, you have a good point. And I totally see it. I am attached much more to the characters that I’ve been reading for years and often find myself simply not caring about new characters introduced a lot of the times.

      But I honestly don’t think that this is one of those times. My major dislike of this series so far has been the constant reiteration of ‘The System is Broken’. Maybe it’s just Hickman’s style of writing, or maybe is just need to be ‘spoon-fed’ an actual plot, but I’ve been reading this since the start and still have no idea what this ‘System’ is. I don’t want to have to buy and read two years worth of comics just to make sense of the ones I’m reading now.

      I like the origin of Nightmask and Starbrand’s was pretty cool as well, but the constant muttering and vague idea’s of whatever it is they’re talking about has annoyed me to the point of not caring. And likely placing the blame on the characters themselves.

      I really liked the villian Ex Nihilo as well. I thought he had a lot of potential. And it seems he may still yet. But the end of the first confrontation with him on Mars left me totally flat. Captain Universe tells him to ‘Stop that’ and so he does.

      It’s just not for me. And at least I still have Uncanny Avengers!

  8. I was thinking of dropping this but this issue changed my mind. Cannonball and Sunspot bring back fond memories of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle.

    • I was thinking the same thing. The addition of the Cannonball/Sunspot relationship is the best thing Hickman has added so far. Their interactions are the parts of this series I think of first.

  9. Super cool issue!

    I’m not one to scan the AR, but I strongly recommend everyone to scan the last page. 🙂

    • I think the AR app is a cool idea. Not all the videos that I have viewed have been spectacular, but it’s certainly somethign that can be built on and a good tool to combine the best of print and digital comics.

  10. Another fine dose of Hickman goodness, plus another well-drawn issue by Deodato!

  11. Quite a fun issue! I’m beginning to be trained by these short-burst tales, this is definitely a series meant to be read in sittings. If only New Avengers came out as quickly as this…

  12. Surprisingly, this would have been my pick of the week, if not for Thor coming out on the same week. The most enjoyable issue since the first 3.

  13. This was great. Almost seemed reminiscent of Hickman’s run on Secret Warriors.

  14. Really surprised on how much I enjoyed this.

    Hickman went in a couple of directions here. He went for the funny with the A.I.M guys and Cannonball/Sunspot. I mean the guys (and gals) from A.I.M. were still wearing their helmets for some reason with their tuxs. But then you get some kung fu action with Shang-Chi. Finally some nice tension with Carol and boy is she turning out to be one of the few gems since this run started.

    But Deodato impressed me the most here with a quick turn around from last issue. Now it’s not all perfect and there was some wonkiness in certain panels. But this was a vastly superior issue by him and Martin once again comes up to help with any short comings.

    I’m starting to wonder if these smaller, one and done issues are much better suited for Hickman. Cause I’m enjoying them more than any of the actual plot progression he does with Ex Nihilo or Starband to name a few.

    5/5 (POTW)

  15. consafo80 (@consafo80) says:

    I think I’m on for the long haul but the underwhelming Infinity FCBD book hasn’t got me doing backflips.

  16. Who knew Shang-Chi was such a bad arse!

    I loved the scenes with Cannonball, Sunspot and the AIM guys. Hilarious!

  17. JML (@twitter.com/JoshMLabelle) says:

    It was a light week for me, but this was totally my pick of the week. It was all Hickman’s strengths and none of his weaknesses. When Hickman sticks to writing the characters well and giving us good moments with them, he almost never fails. I find he’s also usually at an advantage when fleshing out underused characters rather than writing more iconic ones. This makes him an odd choice for Avengers, but we’re getting some great Shang-Chi/Sunspot & Cannonball/Captain Marvel stuff out of it, so I’m cool with it.

  18. I keep reading this hoping that some of Hickman’s supposed “genius” will become evident to me, but I still haven’t been able to detect it. He writes the characters all wrong, as though he is not terribly familiar with them. Black Widow soured on her experience with the KGB, but she still believes in torture? I could see Natasha summarily executing bad guys if she were on her own, but on an Avengers mission?

  19. The page where we get the flashback of Tony saying “Ever thought about using Weapons?” and then Shang-Chi pulls out the Stark Tech chucks, that shit right there is my jam

  20. That was an awesome issue of Secret Avengers, when did the title change? 😉

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