Rating: 4/5 – No rest for Hickman as he starts the next big story.
For an issue that comes right after the big Infinity event, you’d think you’d get a slower and more laid back issue. Not so with writer Jonathan Hickman. He takes this issue to set the stage for the next big storyline and packs this issue full of material. For as much material as there is in this issue, it’s matched with just as many artists. Four different artist’s work can be found in this issue including Esad Ribic, Salvador Larroca Mike Deadato and Butch Guice. This is the first issue of Avengers under the “All-New Marvel Now” banner so it’s a new number one (which can’t be missed on the cover), as well as being number 024 as well…more on this numbering strategy in a bit.
The story kicks off in the year 3030 and right off the bat there’s a LOT of story in just the opening few pages. There’s a new Iron Man that’s both a Stark and a Rhodey, a mysterious old man who looks to be wearing the rings of the Mandarin, and an appearance by Franklin Richards. All that in just the opening pages. And then there’s time travel, and literally a rogue planet that is headed right towards earth that Hickman cleverly and creatively explains. It’s a packed and really lays the groundwork for what can potentially be another great Avengers story. He left a lot of unanswered questions in this issue that I can’t wait to see the answers to in the upcoming months.
In regards to the art though, the story suffers a bit without the one artistic vision. Ribic’s art is of course beautiful, and when his pages end you’re left wanting more. Although I’m usually a fan of Butch Guice’s art, his pages although limited, seemed rushed. I know this is becoming the norm for a lot of Marvel books and I can see the reasons why you’d have different artists that can draw two different timelines in the same book, but when you have four artists in one single issue, you can’t help but notice the art styles changing throughout. Also, on the cover Ribic’s name is the only artist listed so it leads you to believe that his work would be the only work seen within and that’s not the case.
Finally, in regards to the numbering of this issue mentioned above, just for simplicity sake, I wish Marvel would just choose to go one way with the numbering of their series rather than try to please so many. When looking at the cover, it’s not only a number 1, but it’s Rogue Planet #1? And then when looking at the bottom right hand corner, it’s also 024.NOW… As they attempt to gather new readers, that can be confusing. Looking at this month’s issue of Uncanny X-Men for example, it’s number 015 with a .INH underneath that, short for Inhumanity. Again…just confusing for a new reader looking to jump on board and something that can easily be avoided by simplifying. It’s a minor complaint that has no affect on my enjoyment of this issue. Hickman looks to be starting another epic story and I’m eager for the next part.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – firstname.lastname@example.org
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