Anghus Houvouras reviews the latest issue of Marvel NOW!’s Avengers…
“The Avengers must scramble to deal with the threat of another Universal System. The New Adam is transformed, and his true self revealed. ? And the most dangerous hero on Earth is created.”
Jonathan Hickman has delivered the most entertaining run on The Avengers since Jim Shooter and George Perez were putting out issues farther back than I care to reference. The book has managed to be consistently entertaining and deliver a crazy hodge podge of plot twists since the Marvel NOW! relaunch.
It’s exactly what The Avengers should be: big, bold, epic, and brimming with the idea that anything can and will happen. Issues #4 – #6 introduced readers to the unfamiliar faces in their ranks with a single issue being devoted to Hyperion, Smasher, and Captain Universe. The book has blended the new and the old effortlessly. It’s amazing how capable Hickman is at working in character moments in a book filled with nearly two dozen different people.
Issue #7 kicks off the “White Event”, a plot point that should get old school Marvel readers excited. If you’re a New Universe fan, you’re going to love where this is going. If you’re asking yourself “what is New Universe?” you might need to head over to Wikipedia to get caught up.
The newest Avenger, Nighmask, informs the team that a white event has occurred, which is an intergalactic reaction to a burgeoning threat. People are chosen to defend against something catastrophic on a cosmic scale. Throughout the issue we are introduced to a variety of college students who are standing at ground zero for this oncoming event. Hickman shrewdly walks us through the story using a little misdirection and slight of hand that delivers a clever ending.
Hickman’s writing has been pitch perfect in these first seven issues. His consistency remains some of the best in comics. While the whole series has been building to a larger and all encompassing arc, the individual issues have never felt padded or poorly paced. Each issues feels like a natural progression of the story. Hickman’s Avengers is fast setting the standard for how large ensemble books should be tackled.
The issue leaves us with a great cliffhanger, eluding that the most powerful being in the universe may have been picked at random. The “star brand” in question is often chosen from the best a planet has to offer. What will happen when it falls into the hands of a socially awkward loner? It’s an excellent question and one I’m looking forward to seeing answered.
Anghus Houvouras is a North Carolina based writer and filmmaker. His latest work, the graphic novel EXE: Executable File, is available from Lulu.com.