I think Jonathan Hickman’s take on the Avengers might be the most cerebral approach I’ve seen. I find myself absolutely loving some of the issues, but then there are issues where I finish the book and I feel like I didn’t quite get my $3.99 worth.
This issue contains two recap/title pages and 5 pages featuring alien strangeness. That only leaves about 15 pages for the actual Avengers, but they aren’t even the focus of most of those pages. Instead, we are seeing potential matches with the Star Brand. Now Hickman’s little trick with the Star Brand is a pretty good one, and it sets things up nicely for next issue, but the cost is an issue where the Avengers don’t do a whole lot. I’m sure this type of thing reads much better in trade, but when I’m anxiously awaiting an Avengers fix, this doesn’t quite scratch the itch.
Dustin Weaver is back on art, and I remain impressed. He is one of the few artists who really sold me on the current Captain Marvel costume; his Carol Danvers looks like a daring leader type (which is how she’s supposed to look). There are a fair amount of panels with no background, but then the detail in others is wonderful, so that’s a wash. I’m not sold on the Nightmask redesign yet either. A bit too post-modern for my sensibilities. I like that collar on the original design!