Avengers #40 (Marvel)

Avengers40

CREDIT: Marvel Comics

Rating: 4/5 – Time Runs Out is the Real ‘Event’ Happening at Marvel.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

This issue of Avengers is definitely a huge turning point in Hickman’s long and obsessively well structured storyline. I don’t like to throw around hyperbole like “opus” but that’s the only word that can fit what has been happening in the pages of Avengers and New Avengers over the last few years, an opus.  Avengers #40 opens the doors to the second phase of Time Runs Out and brings us closer to Secret Wars. Hickman has chosen to concentrate more on character interactions and the thick, almost uncomfortable, drama building between the separate factions of Avengers. These separate clans of Avengers must, momentarily, put all their differences aside as another incursion is incoming and the Illuminati see an opportunity to deal with the overwhelming struggles brought on by Namor’s out of control Cabal.

Some significant character moments happen between the covers of Avengers #40. Steve Rogers finally gets to confront members of the Illuminati Avengers about their unspeakable crimes.  Namor tries to make up for this wildly huge mistake of seeking help from Thanos and the Cabal. T’Challa is the main focus of this issue, and any more talk will lead into huge spoiler territory, but fans of Black Panther will get a great sense of satisfaction from Black Panther’s moments in this issue.

Art duties on this issue were wonderfully handled by Stafano Caselli, who is on a revolving art schedule with Mike Deodato on these issues. But for my $4.99, I’m more interested in Caselli’s issues. His art style delivers a storytelling element I like better and every one of the different members of the Avengers not only looks different in terms of their faces, but also in physique.  Though I felt there were a few inconsistencies and character placement on the page that caused the letterer to place word balloons in awkward areas of panel, I wasn’t too confused and never lost my place of which character was speaking. As nice as the Thanos cover was by Dustin Weaver it was yet another cover that was misleading and the cover image was not connected to the story at all. I always find it frustrating to think something in the story is going to happen based on the cover, to only be disappointed.

If you’re not reading the ‘Time Runs Out’ Avenger issues, then you’re missing the real “event” storyline happening in Marvel Comics. An event that will lead into the larger Secret Wars story. Hickman’s years of seeding stories is starting to bear fruit, some of those story beats were planted pre-Infinity and shows that Hickman had all of these planned out from the start. I think this issue would be a great point for lapsed readers of Hickman’s run to return and continue going forward into Secret Wars.

Reviewed by: Gabe Bustamantez
(gabe@comicspectrum.com
)
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