There comes a point where a hero might have to ask himself, 'to what lengths will I go in order to save myself and those I love?' This is the underlying theme of this issue. To what lengths will these characters go to save themselves and their planet, and will that mean they'll have to abandon everything they stand for? Will they allow themselves to get to that point? Where do you draw the line?
Writer Jonathan Hickman continues to throw surprise after surprise at us, making this a very interesting read. Not only is he crafting a story that digs deep into the psyche of these different characters, but the scope of the tale he is telling is tremendous. The circumstances seem larger than life and as a result, so does what appears to be the only viable solution to this conflict. The problem is, not everyone agrees. The two page spread where Captain America is giving the rest of the Illuminati his opinion on the solution to their massive problem is where things get really interesting. There is a lot of raw emotion in this scene and it is quite obvious that Steve Rogers does not take the current situation very lightly. The interaction between these characters is fantastic not only because it contains a well written monologue, but also because it forces the hand of certain characters in a really shocking way.Certain individuals might just do the unthinkable, but was it the right move? Only time will tell. Clearly, there are multiple layers to this story that make it a really entertaining read.
I think what most impressed me about this series is the way that Hickman can tell a story that is exciting and shocking without there being any crazy action scenes. The focus of this issue are the implications of ones actions. Every action has a reaction, and the things we see unfold should not be taken lightly. It will be interesting to see if these characters not only come to terms with a solution, but if they will betray their respective moral compass in order to do so.
I think the only moment I wasn't really crazy about was the scene where Beast gains Xavier's Infinity Gem and Black Bolt randomly shows up. I understand that the other five gems would lead to the sixth, but I think the entrance was more jarring than anything. Anyway, this was a really minor detail so I can't really complain.
If you are new to this series I definitely do not recommend starting with the third issue. This story is complex and the scope is too big to just dive into the third issue without having at the very least read issue #2. Issue two features a fantastic explanation of what is happening and I truly believe it is worth giving a look. Hickman knocks it out of the park with this issue. Not only is the dialogue well written and interesting, but you can really sense that there is a lot of weight and emphasis being placed on the shoulders of these characters and their actions. What they do is important to the overall scope of the story and I think that is really what makes the reading experience interesting. This doesn't feel like a throw-away story, it feels larger than life. It deals with concepts that are mind boggling and it is presented in a way that is entertaining and really organized. Artist Steve Epting returns to the third issue to deliver truly stunning pencils. There is a lot going on in this issue, and a lot of emotion, and I think Epting did a fine job capturing both those qualities in this comic. Overall this was extremely well done and I find myself anxiously anticipating more.