Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1: Review

Mar 2016
Nick Spencer, Jesus Saiz

Story Name:

(No title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 Review by (March 6, 2016)
Comments: The rift between Sam Cap and Steve Rogers was seen in CAPTAIN AMERICA: SAM WILSON #1-2. The Green Skull was previously seen only in CAPTAIN AMERICA (2013) #1. Among the other villains seen are Fixer, Moonstone, Trapster, and Klaw. Missing in Action: Iron Man and Thor (the female one) are on the inside cover but do not appear in the issue.

Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 Review by (March 6, 2016)
In my comments on this and Omega I'll try to make sequential sense of the whole story. For this issue I'll include all the March issues.

Avengers Standoff: Welcome to Pleasant Hill
Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier/Man On The Wall discovers that a cosmic energy spike recently happened on a SHIELD helicarrier. We learn what SHIELD is doing at Pleasant Hill. The Kobik plan uses a cosmic cube to keep captured supervillains in the town, depowered and given false memories and useful jobs. A mysterious young girl is involved somehow. But Fixer has regained his real identity, and he frees Baron Zemo. (I don't understand why the brainwashed Zemo seemed to have flashes of Bucky's memories.)

Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha
Bucky contacts Steve Rogers to tell him what's going on. The whistleblower Whisperer, who leaked info on Kobik and turns out to be Rick Jones, contacts Sam Wilson for the same reason.
Sam and Rick escape from a SHIELD raid, and Sam Cap calls on the ANAD Avengers.
Maria Hill takes Steve to Pleasant Hill where she shows him what they're doing. We learn that the mystery girl is Kobik, a cosmic cube created from fragments of others by the event Bucky discovered in ASWPH. But it turns out Fixer and Zemo have woken the other villains up. Steve tries to contact the Uncanny Avengers.

Agents of SHIELD #3
While continuing with their own plotlines, Phil Coulson sends Deathlok, Quake and Jemma Simmons after Rick Jones. He wants them to get to him before Maria Hill does. They capture him and take him back to their HQ. But New Avengers Pod, Power Man, Songbird and White Tiger turn up.

Uncanny Avengers #7
This follows directly from ASAPH Alpha.
The team are on their way to Pleasant Hill when they find Wrecker on the run from there. And with him is Maria Hill who says she's been imprisoned there as well! And SHIELD will incarcerate the Unity Squad there too. They fight some SHIELD Agents, and then Hill takes them to Pleasant Hill. Where they are attacked by another Maria Hill flying a craft which supposedly contains the ANAD Avengers.

ANAD Avengers #7
This overlaps with ASAPH Alpha and then continues from UAv#7.
Sam Wilson goes to meet Whisperer while the rest of the team fight another escapee from Pleasant Hill, Night Phantom. They defeat him but Maria Hill arrives to take him into SHIELD custody. Sam Cap calls to tell them what he's been told about Pleasant Hill, and Iron Man persuades Hill to take them there in their quinjet. They see the Unity Squad and both sides realise they each have a Maria Hill. The ANAD Hill opens fire on the Uncanny Avengers.
After the usual fight they temp up and capture both Maria Hills and try to break through a forcefield around the town. But Kobik does her thing and they find themselves brainwashed inside the prison.

New Avengers #8
This overlaps with and continues from AoS#3.
On the run Rick Jones leaves a message for Sunspot's AIM/New Avengers to be sent if he gets captured by SHIELD. it tells them about Kobik and Pleasant Hill, and Roberto Da Costa wants to go rescue him. Hulkling, Squirrel Girl and Wiccan don't think it's a good idea, but even SHIELD agent Hawkeye votes yes. Sunspot transports the nay-sayers to a desert and says *they* are now the New Avengers - his AIM will be considered traitors after this.
He sends Pod, Power Man, Songbird and White Tiger to rescue Rick, and they do so with help from Hawkeye. But before they leave Songbird whispers a codephrase to Quake which indicates that she is an undercover SHIELD agent. The military decide to send American Kaiju against AIM.

Howling Commandos of SHIELD #6
Monster team member Orrgo uncovered corruption in SHIELD and was banished to Pleasant Hill as a dog. We saw the dog turning back into Orrgo in ASAPH Alpha. But now he asks Kobik to turn him back to the dog. The team invade the prison to rescue him but Kobik teleports them away.

Captain America: Sam Wilson #7
This continues from ASAPH Alpha but interfaces with some other issues.
Steve Rogers takes injured Maria Hill to the infirmary accompanied by a priest who is secretly Red Skull. Steve goes to find the little girl Kobik and is beaten near to death by Crossbones.
Meanwhile Captain America (from ASAPH Alpha/ANADA#7) and Winter Soldier (from ASAPH Alpha) meet up in PH, and they meet SHIELD Agent Avril Kincaid who has a plan involving the local museum. After a few fights Kobik appears to lead them to Steve in danger. She's also with Steve and saves his life by restoring his youth as Sam and Bucky join him.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Aboard a SHIELD Helicarrier, a group of Agents hack into the system...to watch a football game. Suddenly the Winter Soldier appears among them and snatches away the expert hacker for a job he needs done....

Steve Rogers is investigating the incident and finds Bucky has left him a veiled invitation to a meeting and heads to the rendezvous....

New Captain America Sam Wilson defeats the eco-terrorist Green Skull and receives a message from his mysterious informant the Whisperer calling him to a face-to-face meeting; when he arrives he discovers that this unseen partner is Rick Jones, cured of being A-Bomb....

Steve and Sam are filled in on the same info: Despite promising to shut down Project Kobik and destroy the fragments of the Cosmic Cube, SHIELD Director Maria Hill instead preserved them and is using them for a mysterious purpose. Bucky and Rick have independently gotten a lead to where Hill is using the fragments. SHIELD Agents interrupt Sam and Rick''s meeting and Cap has to fly Rick to a place of safety before following up on the news. Meanwhile, Bucky heads off on his own and Steve is picked up by Maria Hill in a SHIELD airship....

Hill takes Steve to Pleasant Hill, an idyllic small town in Middle America, a paradise where everyone is happy and friendly and there is no litter or crime. Hill then takes Steve to a soda fountain for a malted and shows him that the friendly soda jerk is actually the Absorbing Man. Hill explains that the town is a prison for super-villains, using the fragments of the Cosmic Cube to change everyone''s appearance and brainwash them into believing they are ordinary people. Steve insists the facility be shut down and the Cube bits destroyed; Hill shows him the fragments: they have formed themselves into a little girl called Kobik who doesn''t really understand who she is. Dr Erik Selvig explains that Kubik naturally seeks out what is good in everyone and makes them whole. Steve knows that something in all this could go wrong....

Elsewhere, some of the citizens have reclaimed their evil identities and, led by Baron Zemo and seeing that Steve Rogers has come, decide to strike. At City Hall, local crank Roger reveals himself to be Nitro and explodes. A radio broadcast frees all of the villains from their spells and they gather to await the coming of the Avengers who have been summoned by Steve....

Jesus Saiz
Jesus Saiz
Jesus Saiz
Jesus Saiz (Cover Penciler)
Jesus Saiz (Cover Inker)
Jesus Saiz (Cover Colorist)


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Absorbing Man
Absorbing Man

(Crusher Creel)
Captain America
Captain America

(Steve Rogers)

> Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha: Book info and issue index

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