The beginning of this trade included the two issues that convinced me to drop the Avengers from my subscription. When the team is in the Savage Land, and the book involves the High Evolutionary, Garokk, and Terminus(!!!!!), I need more pages of fighting and less pages of Thor talking about having children.
I’m happy to say Jonathan Hickman did pick up the pace a bit in the next few issues. The different builder zones come into play a lot more, including a faction of awesome stone multi-face dudes. Hickman also gets some more mileage out of AIM Island when Superia and the Scientist Supreme unleash a super-powered creature on the already exhausted Avengers.
In fact, after the breather in the Savage Land, there is a lot of action and character based drama. Captain America, Bruce Banner, and Thor all get some respectable page time, along with Hyperion and a few others. I must confess I’m still not interested in the new Star Brand or Night Mask, but maybe they’ll get killed off during Infinity! My confusion on how those two got on the team is dwarfed by the handful of pages where Ex Nihilo and Abyss join the team. What? Again, I’ve got high hopes that Infinity can address this problem. When Sunspot, Falcon, Spider-Woman, and Cannonball can’t get lines, I don’t need to see more faces filling the panels. Hell, I’m starting to really like Manifold, the new teleporter who graduated from the pages of Secret Warriors.
Hickman really plays up the sense of impending doom, constantly hinting at just how horrible things are going to get for our heroes. Infinity was a big deal, I guess, even if I pretty much skipped it. I will say that reading all these issues right in a row gives the story a sense of momentum I really didn’t feel when buying the book twice a month. I’m actually excited to get to Infinity on Marvel Unlimited now.
Mike Deodato can do very strong comic book work. I really like his take on Captain Marvel’s new helmeted space-suit/uniform; she looks like she belongs hanging with all the big dogs making decisions for the team. I also really liked the modernization of Superia’s look. The AIM super-villain roster is pretty spectacular, and Superia comes off like a great boss villain, in large part because of her look. But the artistic high spots have to be the creatures that Ex Nihilo has seeded on Earth. From the tiger-striped kids in the Savage Land to the sonic bugs in Australia, the villains’ look really sells the danger of the varied foes. Those three-faced stone men… man, I want to see them again.
This comic is FAIR. It’s not what I want from my Avengers (see Mighty Avengers or Uncanny Avengers for that) but this isn’t bad.