Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Avengers #4

Well, Jonathan Hickman’s plan for the title is a bit odd, but I like it. After showing the expanded team take on Ex Nihilo and his companions in the first three issues, it looks like the follow up on Earth will showcase the Avengers in a bit more detail. In dialogue, we hear that Omega Flight and some others are tackling some of the impacted evolution zones, leaving a few for the Avengers. This issue focuses on Black Widow’s team as they travel to the Savage Land. More specifically, Hickman gives us the background of the new/current Hyperion.

Hyperion is a bit of a confusing case, at this point. There have been at least three or four versions of the character appearing in Marvel Comics so far. We’ve got the original villain from the Avengers (who died, I believe), the Squadron Supreme version, the Supreme Power version, the evil version from Exiles, the zombie version from the recent Marvel Zombies series, and now this guy. Marvel really wants to play around with their Superman, huh? Fortunately, Hickman keeps this guy’s origin fairly simple.

Hyperion hails from an alternate Earth that had the full Squadron Supreme, but they were all killed by the “colliding Earths” threat that is the main plot in the New Avengers title. After Hyperion’s Earth was destroyed, he drifted in null space until he was pulled to Earth 616 by AIM. That doesn’t seem to have lasted too long, as Cap and the Avengers rescued the guy and put him on the team.

Hyperion is sad character. He clearly has had a hard time fitting in on both worlds, and all his talk of “two Hyperions” makes it clear he is a conflicted character. (Of course, saying “two Hyperions” when he has such a convoluted past makes it a bit confusing.) I like the idea that Hype is Avenging during the workday and commuting back to the Savage Land to care for some crazy new race after work.

I also appreciate the clear effort Jonathan Hickman is putting in to re-establish AIM as a premiere threat in the Marvel U. A stutter and basic confidence is all it takes for the Savage Land AIM leader to become a memorable villain.

Adam Kubert’s art seems a tad strange on a few of the characters. His Thor looks really young, and I’m not sure I love the design on the new AIM beekeepers. Hyperion looks great, as do the other Avengers in their supporting roles. Most importantly, Kubert nails a unique and hopeful look for the weird striped race in the Savage Land. I immediately thought of White Tiger and her ties to the High Evolutionary.

Surely the High Evolutionary will weigh in on Ex Nihilo’s experiments? I can hope.


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