We open this issue with our heroes in retreat, Spiderman has left the field of battle, Captain America's shield has been broken, and Thor is down. His broken body carried by the Avengers through the destruction of New york to their asgard portal.
This is where the sheer weight of awesome character moments begin. On the other side of the portal Captain America calls Odin out. A mortal gets right into a god's face, basically calls him a coward, and demands he heal Thor so they can get back to fighting his war.
After being flustered for a while Odin gets tired of this and banish everyone but Thor back to earth. Here we learn the bravado Steve just showed is because of his fear of loosing, things are so bad that he believes earth needs to be evacuated. Apparently even with the ridiculous amount of super science in comic books this is a daunting task.
While this is going on Peter is desperately searching for Aunt May giving us this touching page:
The elephant in the room about wither or not, Odin or the Serpent, is the real All-father comes up. Instead of Answering Odin gives Thor a Big honking sword.
We switch to Iron Man who has been working on weapons to fight off the serpent and his horde of worthy. In the forges of asgard he has made a godly weapon for each avenger... only to complete them he has to jump into molten lava? Tony says it best
The getting ready wo stand against the serpent and his remaining Worthy alone.
So I don't know how Matt Fraction concentrates such pure awesomeness in 22 pages but he does it. In this issue we have a completely Bad Ass (yes with a capital B and A) Captain America, who even though knows that this is a hopeless situation, still fights to his last. We have a touching scene with May and peter that carries such weight even though the moment was so short and then we get the heart of the book and really the story itself with the relationship between Thor and Odin. Here we have a father and son who I feel understand each other but they want completely different things. Odin is afraid of loosing everything he has and apparently Thor most of all. Thor is afraid of loosing his adopted world and willing to die for it (which if the prophesy comes true he will).