Writer: Alan Davis
Artist: Paul Renaud
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Covers: Paul Renaud; Alan Davis & Morry Hollowell; InHyuk Lee
Release Date: January 29th, 2020
Diablo is collecting heroes like a man-child collects action figures. Will anyone be left to stop him before he gets the full set of Avengers and Defenders? Let’s crack open TAROT #2 by Alan Davis and find out!
The issue begins with the majority of our heroes under Diablo’s control, a few down for the count, and only Valkyrie and Hulk still themselves, battling a brainwashed Thor. If anyone missed the first issue don’t worry; Diablo is monologuing like a mofo throughout and sure to catch you up to speed. When he’s not quoting Sun Tzu that is. Seriously dude, have you never seen a Bond movie? This is not going to end well for you.
While Valkyrie is being all badass fighting Thor with Hulk, Diablo breaks out his college sketchbook and draws the rest of the heroes not under his control. In a good bit of business, Doctor Strange telepathically jabs at Diablo for tracing, not drawing. Good luck getting inkers in the future Alan Davis! Diablo soon grows tired, literally, and sends Silver Surfer out for coffee, while readers grow tired of Diablo’s nonstop dialogue.
We get some fun little cameos of other Marvel superheroes who have noticed something was amiss at Avengers Mansion, but hey, it’s the Avengers, they probably have it under control. Paul Renaud handles the new characters just as well as the ones we’ve had to this point and must be having a blast drawing damn near every major Marvel hero. Renaud does especially great work with his close-ups, and really nails the maniacal Diablo.
Back at the mansion, in a nice twist that makes complete sense, Bruce Banner stumbles away from the pack and finds the out of commission but coherent Vision. No longer the Hulk, Banner is not under Diablo’s spell. He helps Vision to Hank Pym’s lab, where the two suit up.
Meanwhile things get really cray-cray when Kang the Conqueror shows up with a warning, followed by the Watcher. As with the past issue, this one suffers from character overload. It’s no wonder that the dialogue again at times feels generic with this many people involved.
After some fighting and a couple of cool character crossovers that won’t be spoiled here, Diablo loses his control over the heroes and beats feet, tearing open the Beyond in the process. Doctor Strange heads in and seals the rip from the other side— he gone. All damage to the mansion and heroes is also gone, but old memories are returning, including Cap remembering fighting Oberfuhrer Okkulte. Hey Cap, we feel your pain; totally forgot about that too. The book finishes with a Strange cliffhanger, and oh my, next issue looks like it’s gonna be the weirdest yet.
TAROT #2 improves upon the first issue. It still has its flaws, chiefly Diablo Exposition and again an overabundance of characters. Paul Renaud’s art is more than up to the task though, and there are enough interesting pieces to keep reading.