Avengers #34 (Marvel)

Avengers 34

CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 4/5 – An Exceptional Character Piece Focusing on Captain America.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Hank Johnson.

On the old television show the A-Team, John “Hannibal” Smith used to say “I love it when a plan comes together”. I think Jonathan Hickman watched a lot of A-Team because his planning and plotting always seem to come together in exquisite precision.  Avengers #34 is the conclusion of an arc, and it really delivers on the promise of the earlier issues. What I liked about this story arc, and in particular this issue, was Hickman’s creative take on Captain America. Hickman paints Cap as an uncompromising man of vision with an unwavering moral code, as do most other writers. However, Hickman also shows Cap has leadership of his own soul. There is a short response from Cap a few pages after the center of the book that is the best representation of Cap I have read in the last 15 years.

This issue is Hickman at his plotting best, and the last page of the book has me anticipating the next issue. Hickman has crafted the Avengers titles so well, each issue feels like it is part of a universe spanning event.  It is not only Hickman’s plotting that is amazing, but his dialogue is thought provoking. Each character has their own voice, yet Hickman turns those individual voices into a harmonic symphony on each page. While Yu’s art style is not to my liking, it does its job in the issue. There is definitely a high degree of craftsmanship and design in each page.

This was an exceptional character piece focusing on Cap, yet it never lost track of the story, which could have easily happened given the time travel nature of the story.  Hickman did an exceptional job keeping this story tightly focused and moving forward through time. Hickman’s run on Avengers could be some of the best Avenger’s stories in the franchise. With the last page, it looks like the next arc will be equally as compelling.

Reviewed by: Hank Johnson
(hank@comicspectrum.com
)
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