There aren’t many comics like Avengers and it’s that great creativity that this title uses as its greatest strength. And when I say creativity you can feel free to substitute that for “Hickman mind-bombed the S&$% out of us again”. The old Hickman mind-bomb…because just when you think you might have things figured out he drops one of those suckers on you and changes the game.
As promised this series is getting bigger with every issue, you have to love it when a writer follows through on the expectations he sets, and so far the title has managed to stay standing despite the weight of the lofty ideas being thrown atop its shoulders. Despite all of the heady awesomeness and the grand science-fiction nature of the story, Hickman hasn’t forgotten the characters either. While this issue isn’t afforded the same level of focus that the last three have provided, we get to see the each person acting according to character by their words and actions, even if their time on the page is brief. Tony being a know-it-all. Cap leading the ground team. Spider-Man being a jerk. Captain Universe being cryptic. If you’re paying attention there are a lot of little details used to allow these characters their own space in this large book. Hickman even makes light of some of his own writing by allowing Bruce Banner to drop a solid one-liner when he comments on some repetitive statements that were made throughout the book: “I can’t be the only one here that finds them unbelievably irritating.”
The answer to what the White Event is and why it’s important is a main focus for the plot. Here’s a hint: it’s very much bad. And Hickman expands on another of his creations: the being created from the first arc. He is a Nightmask and has some pretty interesting abilities. What will become of this character should be something to keep an eye on. But all of that wouldn’t be enough for Hickman as he also introduces another new creation called Starbrand, a being that possesses an enormous amount of power and who is introduced in a very clever way.
Dustin Weaver is now the third artist to work on this series and he brings with him some fantastic designs as well as very solid depictions of the regular Avengers cast. Weaver’s grasp of science-fiction is very strong and his opening pages are wicked and the bold colours of Justin Ponsor really make the initial scene pop. As the book shifts focus to a more Earthly station, the visuals come down to Earth as well. Everything looks great, but it isn’t anything that we haven’t seen before. More action and more science-fiction are what we want to see from Weaver next time around.
Avengers have become something so large and so fantastic that it seems so odd that it debuted only a few months ago. Hickman has wasted no time in building a massive story fitting of the title “Avengers” and is bringing a level of creativity to the series that it hasn’t seen in quite some time. The art is in good hands as well as the visual team transitions to the duo of Dustin Weaver and Justin Ponsor. Avengers should definitely be on your pull-list.