Oof. Jonathan Hickman’s eternal story of the colliding Earths continues, and now he’s added a new wrinkle that is affecting my opinion of the story. After years of turning Reed Richards, Black Panther, Iron Man and the rest into almost villains, the contrast to real heroes seems even more obvious. About halfway through this trade, Hickman introduces us to another world that has battled incursions and the Justice League-like team that protects it.
I am 100% cheering for the fake Justice League. I can only assume such a turnabout is Hickman’s point, to show that he’s essentially turned us against our normal lead characters. I don’t think that is a good thing.
As we tour different realities in each issue of this collection, we meet different versions of the Illuminati. Some face incursions, some face the Black Priests. Some face Mapmakers. (I’m still having a hard time telling everyone apart.) But in almost every case, I find myself more interested in the one-and-done protagonists than in the cast we’ve been following since this book started.
The glacial pacing has a great excuse here; we are touring a bunch of different worlds, so of course our main story isn’t continuing yet. It feels like we are treading water. Stalling only works when the detour is so interesting you don’t realize that nothing is happening. That isn’t the case here. I actually have to go back each month and remind myself what is going on with the book (thank goodness Marvel Unlimited makes that easy.)
Mike Deodato, Leinil Francis Yu, and Simone Bianchi are top notch artists. I’m glad to see the Avengers getting such top tier talent. I wish I was seeing their art in books I love reading.
I know some folks love this EVIL book. Me? My Avengers are over starring in the Mighty Avengers series.