Rating: 3/5 – Requires References and Rereading, Read the Collection!
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas
I’ve been loving the Avengers and New Avengers series since they’ve been relaunched under the creative mind of Jonathan Hickman. He’s been bringing big ideas, a huge cast of characters and universe altering concepts to the two books that will all culminate in a massive overhaul to the Marvel Universe in a few months in the already announced Secret Wars event. But we’re not there yet. In issue thirty of New Avengers, we get the sense that things are going from bad to worse, but I can’t seem to recall as to how.
I read a lot of comics each and every month. A lot. Unfortunately reading the Avengers monthly is becoming more of a challenge in remembering just what happened, and who’s where and when. New Avengers for the Marvel Universe can be a complicated book, and this issue proves to be a great example. This issue is all about Hank Pym’s journey through the multiverse and his encounters with the all-powerful Beyonders. Hickman references multiple ideas that he’s introduced throughout his run and trying to remember how they all fit together was a challenge and had me wishing I was reading this series in larger chunks rather than month to month.
In a particular one-page scene towards the beginning, Hank Pym explains to Captain America and the Avengers the overall concept of what he saw and finishes by asking “do you understand it now”? Captain America replies “Not one bit Hank. Start at the beginning”. I felt the same way. I felt as though this issue could have been enjoyed more if I was reading this in collected edition form, or had re-read previous issues immediately beforehand as concepts introduced over a year ago become such an important part of this issue. New Avengers has been weaving a complicated story that I have enjoyed tremendously since issue one, but here I felt a bit lost, and felt as though the Beyonder’s powers were too conveniently omnipotent as we head towards “Time Running Out” in the Marvel Universe.
To be fair, I may have enjoyed this issue more if I could remember everything and everyone Hickman has introduced so far, but reading so many different titles per month, there are too many comic stories and characters taking up space in my head to properly recall every little detail of everything Hickman has been laying out. I think this issue would read much better as part of a collected edition, or when rereading this series as a whole, but on it’s own I felt a little bit overwhelmed with thirty issues worth of those big ideas being referenced all in this single issue.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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