Rating: 4/5 – Big ideas and even bigger threats.
Much like Hickman’s issue of Avengers following Infinity, this issue of New Avengers is packed full of ideas, story, and potential. There’s a lot here. If you’ve been following New Avengers from the beginning then you’ll be able to understand a lot of what’s going on, but still be confused about some of the storylines presented. If you haven’t been following New Avengers…well, it may be a struggle to understand all that’s presented. And if you’re looking for an Inhumanity tie-in, other than the banner on the cover, there’s almost no Inhuman content making the Inhumanity banner unnecessary.
This issue opens with an Illuminati from a parallel earth dealing with the threat of an incursion. Not only does this issue tie back to the earliest issues of New Avengers, but it also has some small ties to Hickman’s Fantastic Four run. We also get to see the Black Priests for the first time who have been hinted at by Black Swan since this series first started. To say they’re a threat is an understatement as Hickman shows us just how scary these villains can be. There’s also Dr. Strange’s story that although confusing, will surely pay off down the road. I’ve learned to trust Hickman that every idea he introduces will eventually pay off.
This issue has Simone Bianchi handling the art, and unfortunately this was the weakest part of the issue. I’m not the biggest fan of Bianchi’s style, but I did like his recent work on the Thanos Rising series. Here, although some pages have a haunting feel to them, to me it’s not a style that fits with all the heroes presented. Except for the Dr. Strange two page splash, which his style is actually perfect for, the art seems to just not work on an Avengers book. His close-ups on faces look a bit weird to me as he uses lots of lines and shapes to show definition within the face. It works for the alien faces and masks, but on the human characters like Reed Richards and Professor X, it makes them look strange. Although I didn’t enjoy the art, I loved the story presented in this issue. There’s a lot to think about here and Hickman’s work on this series sometimes benefits from a second reading. And I’m looking forward to reading it again.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – firstname.lastname@example.org
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