I said in my Infinity review that Jonathan Hickman had done the seemingly impossible and put out six quality issues that told a great beginning, middle and end to a massive, publisher-wide event, and that was true. But it wasn’t the entire story. Because across Avengers and New Avengers, there have been 16 issues total, all of which make very good, solid stories that focus on those books’ respective casts, but together paint an incredible space opera of such epic scope that I can’t believe how character focused it all is. This issue gives us one of the best interactions between T’Challa and Namor yet, some legitimate fallout from the events of Infinity and even goes so far as to answer a plot thread that was only vaguely hinted at in the pages of that event. It wasn’t a major thing, so I understand not wanting to explain it there, but I’m glad it got some attention here. We get some excellent finality on each member of the Illuminati, but before any of them can catch their breath, we’re teased with some incredible future storylines. Particularly for Dr. Strange.
Mike Deodato continues his string of delivering some of the best quiet, character-heavy, dialog-rich moments in the last year in the pages of this title. It’s an incredibly versatile style that suits the action (of which there is next to none in this issue) as well as the more introspective times. It’s also equally suited to the undersea, floaty look of Namor’s Atlantis as well as it is the surreal, mind-bending Sanctum Sanctorum of Dr. Strange, making him a true rarity of an artist able to handle one of the most diverse teams in the Marvel U.
If there’s anything to complain about, it’s that this issue crams in too much content without allowing our heroes (and lately that term can be used more and more loosely around these guys) to truly take in all that’s happened to them. The teases we get for future storylines are tantalizing and intriguing, but after all that’s happened, a breather feels like it was called for.
It feels odd complaining about too much good stuff, but it has been known to happen from time to time (anyone who’s ever eaten an entire pizza knows what I’m talking about), but that’s a minor point in the grand scheme of things. This is a fantastic read from cover-to-cover, a great New Avengers title and the perfect epilogue to the Infinity event. There’s little reason not to check it out.