This series started off very good, with a brilliant first issue, but unfortunately this issue isn't has good as the first. Jonathan Hickman has however done a decent job of introducing his sci-fi style to this series, and I expect that this slower issue will have a purpose later in the series.
This issue sees most of the Avengers trapped on Mars at the mercy of Ex Nihilo. The issue also shows how Captain America and Iron Man discuss expanding the Avengers, and that other superheroes, and past Avengers including Hyperion, Captain Universe, Smasher, Cannonball, and others should be considered for the team in case anything happens to the bigger members.
This was a decent issue, but after what happened in the previous issue I expected more answers than showing how the Avengers were expanded. Don't get me wrong I like the idea of expanding the Avengers, but it could have been done in the first issue, although I'll talk more about that later. Hickman did however do a decent job on this issue, and although it was nowhere near as good as the previous issue I am still very interested in what's about to happen, which is a good thing. I'm still not entirely sure if Hickman's style will suit the Avengers, but I hope it does, and with him also writing New Avengers, which is out this week it will be interesting to see if they are similar, and if they'll ever interlink. I do however hope that the next issue drives the story further on, and that it doesn't continue to drag, like this issue did.
The art is phenomenal, and Jerome Opena continues to amaze me. I've always liked Opena's art, and mainly since Uncanny X-Force. There aren't many artist's the now that put as much detail in their artwork as Opena does, and no matter what he's drawing, he always makes it look amazing, beautiful, and realistic. The only thing artistic wise I'm not to sure if I like in this series is the title page at the front, as it reminds me too much of Hickman's FF series, and although it's a good idea to make the connection, I personally think it would have been better to make the series look more unique. This however is a very small detail, and doesn't take anything away from my overall opinion of the art in this series, so far. He also get's the emotions spot on, and it's easy to tell whether a character is curious, smug, shocked, happy, or infatuated.
It was revealed in last issue that Iron Man and Captain America wanted to expand the Avengers in case the main teams out of commission, and Avengers are needed. This issue however expands on that showing how certain members were chosen, and why. As I said I liked the idea of expanding the Avengers, and was happy that it showed how certain members joined the team, but this could have been done in the first issue. The reason I felt this came at a bad time was that the last issue left so many questions opened, and before showing the formation of this larger Avengers group more questions were asked, rather than all the previous questions answered. I am however looking forward to seeing these new Avengers in action, and what they bring to the team. Another thing I liked about the formation sequence was how each person they asked to join was asked in a similar way, but unique to their characteristics.
There is also a conversation in this issue between Thor and Ex Nihilo. Once Abyss realises that Thor isn't mortal, it is obvious to them that he is a god, and in their mind like them. Ex Nihilo wants to know a bit about Thor's mythological background, and asks him if he knows about creation stories. Thor then introduced himself, but Ex Nihilo stops him saying that he's more interested if his people have a resurrection myth or simply an apocalypse. This was an interesting turn of events as no one's talked to Thor as brashly as Ex Nihilo has in a while, and most people who have at least know who Thor is, and has a little respect for him. I will however now be looking out to see if Thor is able to retaliate to this, and if Ex Nihilo is as much of a god as he says he is.
During Ex Nihilo's conversation with Thor he also talks about how he and his sister Abyss were born. He says about the history of his creator Aleph, and how he went from world to world deeming them unworthy of life and destroying them, until he found one planet that he deemed worthy, and created Ex Nihilo, and Abyss on. He then stated that he has decided to continue Aleph's work, and that he want's to make the Earth a better place. I thought the story of how Ex Nihilo, and Abyss were created was interesting and was happy to read it. I did however think that it could have been a bit more exciting, and that there wasn't as much imagination put into their creation as Hickman has done in the past. It does however leave questions of how powerful Ex Nihilo, and Abyss truly are and whether anything is able to stop them. I hope that some of the questions asked over these two issues are answered in the next issue, and that there is a bit of action as well.
A decent issue, but not as good as the previous. I would still recommend this issue, but mainly to Avengers or Hickman fans. Otherwise I would recommend waiting to see reviews for the remainder of the story before buying, and either getting back copies, or the collected trade paperback, if you think it's for you.