For both good and ill the latest issue of Avengers is set up to allow our heroes to get caught up on the events of the previous issue. The Illuminati come back together to discover not one but two of the Infinity Gems they split among themselves have been stolen.
The conversations between the characters work well, but the story itself lacks some punch. The only action sequence we get is a flashback to Parker Robbins beating the snot out of the Red Hulk. Speaking of Parker Robbins, am I the only one who finds it strange (pardon the pun) that Dr. Strange can’t mystically identify the identity of the villain putting the stones back together again?
The issue’s final panel sets up what looks like more retreading of the same points as Steve Rogers shows up to find out what Tony Stark and his friends are hiding. That initial conflict should be interesting, but I hope we’ll get some real advancement of the plot as well.
This is actually an issue you could easily skip and not miss any big developments in the story arc. That said, it’s still worth a look for the interactions between the Illuminati, but it’s far from a must-read.