Thunderbolts in Asgard facing off against (some of) the Mighty Avengers -- sounds like a great read, doesn't it? With "Siege" serving as a backdrop while these two teams scuffle over who claims the spear of Odin, Jeff Parker is in his element. Parker serves up an astounding collection of characters that makes the "Agents of Atlas" look positively mainstream, but he does so in a way that makes the characters interesting and enjoyable.
The Thunderbolts seem to have some division creeping into their ranks, and the Avengers aren't sure what to make of all that, adding to the confusion of the skirmish. Out of it, all some fun match-ups occur like U.S. Agent going toe-to-toe with Nuke (a fight I never knew I wanted to see until I saw it), Stature and Ant-Man trading Pym-powered punches, and Amadeus Cho using his wits to boggle the mind-reading ability of Mr. X.
Save for the setting being Asgard and the relic in contention being the spear of Odin, there are a few clues and mentions that make this a sidebar to "Siege" without spoiling the main action. Unlike "Thor" this week, this crossover into Marvel's event doesn't hide the titular characters, but rather gives them a chance to shine in all of the unbalanced glory.
Wellington Alves and Nelson Pereira draw a fight like no other, rich in detail and deep in setting. My only knock on this pair is that it seems as though the Thunderbolts and Avengers are fighting in a completely deserted Asgard, which they very well may be. I haven't been mapping out the longitude and latitude of all of the battles in "Siege," so my apologies if this section of Asgard is abandoned. Alves' work is splendid. He draws a wonderful array of body types, facial expressions, and postures, with each character appearing distinct despite the added challenge that very few of these characters have masks to help with their individuality.
The art is wonderfully colored by Frank Martin, who bathes much of the issue in the warm glow one might encounter while in a city that floats above the Earth. The atmosphere would be brighter, warm, and glowing, if not from the proximity to the sun than certainly from the fires raging from battle.
Deschesne delivers classic comic lettering to this issue, from sound effect size, font, and placement, to the variance of word balloons based upon characters' speech delineations.
This team -- Parker, Alves, Pereira, Martin, and Deschesne -- blend together very nicely, and the end result is a comic that I found to be considerably more entertaining than I expected it to be before I opened it up.