comicbookcoby's Avengers #34.1 - The World In His Hands review

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Hyperion Shows Superman & Batman How Things are Done

{see the original with pictures at http://cobyscomics.blogspot.com/2014/09/avengers-341-review-hyperion-shows-up.html}

Avengers #34.1 Review: Hyperion Shows Superman & Batman How Things are Done

"The World in His Hands"

Writer: Al Ewing

Penciler: Dale Keown

Inker: Norman Lee

Colorist: Jason Keith

Letterer: Cory Petit

Coby's Rating: 10/10

I know nothing about Hyperion. I've read all 34 Avengers comics up to this point, and I've seen him sort of in the background here and there, flying in with his super-strength to punch a badguy, but I really have no idea who he is or what he's about. According to the "PREVIOUSLY IN AVENGERS" opening page of Avengers #034.1, Hyperion's world died and he floated in nothingness until A.I.M. pulled him into the 616 Universe, where he joined the Avengers and saved some children from the Savage Land. Maybe I read this in some previous issues, but I really don't remember.

I also don't know why Marvel decided to number this comic 034.1. Maybe because they were deadset on having Avengers #35 be the start of the "Time Runs Out" 8-months in the future thing? They could've just called this thing Hyperion One-Shot, but then nobody would've bought it because nobody buys anything without "Avengers" or "X-Men" in the title (hence therenaming of AXIS to "Avengers & X-Men Axis").

But none of that matters. The only thing that matters is that this Hyperion One-Shot is pretty much a perfect comic. I know you haven't been paying attention, but I tend to be a pretty harsh reviewer (unlike the mainstream comics reviewing websites). I don't have an agenda, I don't get free review comics from the publishers, and I don't hope to work for one of the Big Two someday. I call things like I see them. When I was doing the Coby's Top 5 Comics of the Week thing, I gave only two comics a perfect 10/10 score: Moon Knight #5 and Chew: "Warrior Chicken Poyo". Well, here's a third perfect comic in Avengers #34.1.

It starts just outside of Rosemont, California, where we see an Irish guy singing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" to a distraught-looking little boy as they drive down the highway in a pickup truck. A motorcycle cop pulls the truck over for doing 70 in a 55 and gets his face blasted off.

In the suburbs of Rosemont, we see Mr. and Mrs. Morris telling a couple of cops their son Bobby got abducted. Hyperion randomly shows up in their house and offers to help. The cops freak right the heck out because "with these super people, things... things escalate...". Despite their protests, Hyperion helps anyway, by taking a close look at their carpet.

It's at this point that I realize I'm reading something very special. Dude just zoomed in to a dead skin cell in the carpet fibers and analyzed the DNA! That's freaking incredible. That's... hey, can't Superman do that? I'm pretty sure he did something similar in All-Star Superman, but I don't really remember that one and I'm too lazy to look back and confirm. But I get the feeling I'll be remembering Avengers #34.1 for a long time. That means... oh, snap! Hyperion just out-Suped Superman!Hyperion realizes Bobby's adopted because his DNA doesn't line up with the Morrises'. He flies off, promising he won't be long.

...and the world recedes. Houses become toys, then flakes of skin. People become ants and then bacteria.
I have to be careful with metaphors like that. It's too easy for me to take them literally.
I am so different from these people... my experience of existence is so unlike their own, the gulf between us so great...
This isn't my home. I'm not from here.

And with those thoughts on one page, Al Ewing made me care more for Hyperion and understand him way more than I ever did Superman.

We then get a little bit of Hyperion's backstory. After his world blew up, he meets up with a new father, who teaches him the principles by which he wants him to live his life:

TRUTH WITHOUT COMPROMISE. THOUGHT WITHOUT ERROR. ALL THINGS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE WHOLE.

This is the part where I wish I knew a little bit more about just what the heck is going on. Is this "new father" of his an A.I.M. scientist, like it said on the first page? I'm not really sure. But the lack of understanding doesn't hurt the comic at all.

Hyperion's father asks him, "What are you for?" and Hyperion ends the flashback, cutting to the present where he asks himself, "What am I for?"

And then Hyperion puts Superman to shame again, by scanning the entire planet from space and simultaneously pondering the inter-connectivity of it all while looking for Bobby Morris.

Deep stuff.

Hyperion flashes back briefly to some painful times as his planet blew up and he was lost in the void. He cries in the void, asking himself, "What was I for?" He then snaps out of it and finds Bobby, matching his DNA, from space! and zooms to the rescue.

Hyperion stops the truck. The Irish guy gets out and introduces himself as "Doyle. Brendan Doyle. But most folks...

Hyperion's not impressed, and neither am I. Neither of us have ever heard of this "Mauler" dude before. There's a note on the previous page about the Mandaran having "a go" with Mauler's Blaze Cannon in Invincible Iron Man #513, but I didn't read that one.Hyperion imagines tearing the Mauler's suit to shreds. But he remembers his father telling him to be a teacher, not a bully. So he just stands there and lets the Mauler take some aggression out on him.While getting blasted, Hyperion informs Mauler that he's read his DNA and he's not the boy's father. Mauler reveals his boy died in a bus accident. He was driving by and saw Bobby playing in the yard and snatched him up because he reminded him of his son. Heart-wrenching stuff here.I recently read Batman Annual #1, where Mr. Freeze makes his New 52 debut. In it, Mr. Freeze is trying the whole time to get his wife Nora back from Wayne Industries (a plot I was familiar with from Batman: The Animated Series). But then, towards the end, Batman reveals that Nora was never Freeze's wife. She was actually the first cryogenics experiment and had been frozen for years before Victor Fries ever started working there. Fries developed an unhealthy obsession with the frozen woman and delusionally convinced himself they were married. When Batman dropped that bomb, I was like, woah. Mind-blowing stuff, man. But this here, when Hyperion informed Brendan Doyle that Bobby wasn't his son... that was even heavier. Such a beautifully paced, wonderfully done twist. You know what that means? Not only did Al Ewing's Hyperion out-Supe All-Star Superman, he also out-Batted the Batman!Hyperion goes back to observe the Earth from space and remembers his father's code: "Truth without compromise, thought without error, and all things for the betterment of the whole. And he was right. And he was wrong." Hyperion takes some of the consequentialism out of his father's motto and boils it down to its true essence. As he looks down on Bobby Morris being returned to his parents, Brendan Doyle in handcuffs, and Thor checking in on his Savage Land kids, he realizes, "the whole is made up of many parts".Hyperion declares all the world his children, and promises to try to teach us all. And I, for one, can't wait to see what happens next. I know Marvel doesn't really do letters pages anymore, but if they did, I'd encourage you all to send them this: Dear Marvel, Give Al Ewing a Hyperion ongoing!

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