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New Avengers #6 - Blue Hell

4

Although it has its flaws, this continues to be a stellar Marvel series.

The Good

Between Hickman's NEW AVENGERS and his AVENGERS series' at Marvel, NEW AVENGERS seems to be the better of the two books, and this week's NEW AVENGERS #6 continues to live up to that statement. Although this issue is really good, it still has some minor problems.

As usual the issue opens with a brief overview of some of the events that have transpired over the course of the previous five issues, and the tone of the story has moved from one of complete hopelessness (which was prevalent early on in this series) to hosting a sort of glimmer of light at the end of a very dark tunnel, but not without some serious consequences. In this issue it is revealed early on that our heroes may have found a solution to their problem, but that the solution in question might ultimately make them villains, not heroes.

The conflict that our heroes have encountered in this story arc is the fact that they must save their own planet at the expense of another planet just like it. Hickman uses these characters to essentially beg the question of whether these heroes can still be heroes if they are also made to eliminate an entire planet full of people. Not only that, but are they playing God and do they even have that right? Although I do feel that this idea could have been further explored in this issue (which I mention below), there is one very powerful moment in this comic that addresses the conflict. After Black Swan gives readers an explanation behind the "mapmakers" and what will essentially happen to the world if the heroes don't act quickly, Black Panther hesitates. Namor asks "what are you waiting for?" To which he responds by saying "I'm not waiting, I am remembering who I used to be." This is one of the most powerful moments I have seen captured in a superhero comic in a long time because it very eloquently sums up the moral and ethical conflict of the plot. In "remembering who he used to be" Black Panther is acknowledging that by destroying the other planet these heroes are no longer heroes, they are changed men and no better than villains.

The Bad

The question posed in this series about whether or not these characters should be playing God by eliminating another parallel planet is a big one. Is it self defense? Is it murder? Do the means justify the end? After all, the "other" planet parallel to their earth isn't really the adversary of the story, they are simply victims of the same conflict. Or are they? I think that this idea could have been explored much further being that it really delves deeply into the idea of the morale of these heroes. Although we get the perspective of Black Panther, what do the other heroes think of what has transpired? I hope that Hickman addresses their sentiments individually in some way in the coming issues.

It seems that Reed is too trusting, and I almost feel he should know better. Also, it was great to see Latveria in this issue, but if you're going to bring the story there then it would have been nice to have seen more of Doom.

The Verdict

The last couple of pages will absolutely leave you excited about the future of this series. Although it would have been nice to see Hickman address the moral conflict in the plot (does eliminating an entire world make these heroes villains?), and Reed did display a moment of weakness when he underestimated Black Swan, this did leave a window for things to get really interesting in the future. Artist Steve Epting does a fantastic job illustrating this issue and the story will definitely leave you wanting more and excited about what is to come.

29 Comments

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Mucklefluga

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Edited By Mucklefluga

What an awesome creative team, and they work so well together on this book!

Just had to say it.

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ptigrusmagus

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I wish this was biweekly for the team alone but the story is great. The concept is just not too complicated for me, if its our Earth and all our lives at risk I'd expect the Avengers to do what must be done. Was happy when Cap got shut down for not seeing this simple truth.

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jaybefre

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Great issue!!! Does anybody else want Dr. Doom to join this team? I think he'd bring a different dynamic to the team.

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the_stegman

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the_stegman  Moderator

Best Avengers book out hands down.

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The Mast

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"You dare to attack Doom in his HOME?! The worst of men know better. GODS know better."

Unfff.

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Iron Fist Angel

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Best Avengers book out hands down.

I just deleted it from my sub today, lol. I am buying way too many comics and I seriously had to trim it down some. This was a casualty of wave one unfortunately. Kind of sad as I own every issue of New Avengers up to now but this book was just boring me.

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the_stegman

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the_stegman  Moderator

@the_stegman said:

Best Avengers book out hands down.

I just deleted it from my sub today, lol. I am buying way too many comics and I seriously had to trim it down some. This was a casualty of wave one unfortunately. Kind of sad as I own every issue of New Avengers up to now but this book was just boring me.

Nah man, it's understandable, I'm heading to my local store today and dropping three titles, I pick up 30 a month and can't afford it anymore, this title isn't perfect but I find it much more enjoyable than the main Avengers title or Uncanny Avengers.

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sasquatch888

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Best Avengers book out hands down.

Really ? because I've been reading avengers for decades and it seems to me that all of the avengers books besides uncanny avengers have been boring as hell since the whole marvel now thing...especially Hickman's books....alot of people were dissing Bendis but look how exciting uncanny and all new x-man are right now, at least to me

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millennium

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Edited By millennium

@jaybefre: maybe his that secret member of the team thats going to get reviled in july since someone is joining in that issue

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Arkhamc1tizen

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Edited By Arkhamc1tizen

awesome love it

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spinningbirdcake

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@sasquatch888: Yeah I suppose I feel almost the opposite of you. I think Uncanny and All New are boring titles whereas Avengers and New Avengers are pulling me in more and more with each issue.

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JamDamage

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Had to be done. What happens, had to be done, and puts them on hero level that you would put a soldier. Kill to save. It's that simple, and I'm sure Hickman will show that in the future. This title is very very good so far. Like the Avenger title it's a bit slow, but if you know Hickman then you that the reason he's so great, and that people really dig him is because this is just a piece of a bigger puzzle that should knock us off our feet. I'm really enjoying pretty much most of the writer switches on Marvel Now. It's working out great, and stories are all so damn good.

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sasquatch888

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@sasquatch888: Yeah I suppose I feel almost the opposite of you. I think Uncanny and All New are boring titles whereas Avengers and New Avengers are pulling me in more and more with each issue.

I guess its all a matter of perspective and preferences ....avengers and new avengers have really great conceptualization and I will see them through because I love the avengers. I just feel like the stories and tones of those two books are slow...I wonder if these avengers stories are plotted out from an issue by issue basis or if the story is plotted out for a trade and then broken up into issues after. new avengers has such an earth shattering concept , so huge in its scope it feels like it should have been an event almost but yet issue to issue i feel life half each issue is spent in a dark room talking with black swan...maybe it will pick up its pace. The action with the exception of the battle with terrax have been lackluster to me ..I can say that I appreciate Hickman writing stories for comic fans using advanced concepts ...I just feel like his pacing could be a little better action wise . Avengers has so many characters maybe too many new ones...its hard to develop new characters , introduce new members like cannonball and sunspot and focus on the established avengers so he's got his work cut out for him.

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MadeinBangladesh

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@sasquatch888: @iron_fist_angel:

I feel the same way about the avengers book. The x titles have been my favorite. The both Hickman Avengers, I gave them a try but they really bored me. Even Uncanny Avengers. I think Hickman's writing isn't for everyone.

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owie

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owie  Moderator

I feel like the review sums up my own positive and negative feelings perfectly.

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spinningbirdcake

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Edited By spinningbirdcake

@sasquatch888: Oh they're absolutely moving slowly, but that's generally the type of story I like; one that lets me settle in before it takes off. In some ways I consider Avengers and New Avengers solely as lead ins to Infinity. He's written a couple single issues dealing with Hyperion and Smasher that I thought were some of the better of his run so far. Hopefully he does something like that with Cannonball and Sunspot. They're pretty left field choices to be on an Avengers team if Hickman didn't have a story to tell to flesh them out a bit.

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victorcheenoanleu

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@the_mast said:

"You dare to attack Doom in his HOME?! The worst of men know better. GODS know better."

Unfff.

this!

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victorcheenoanleu

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So excited for the next issue. This is by far one of my favorite books out right now, & I have to disagree with whoever said this should be released twice a month. It takes away from the excitement the last page of a book should leave in the reader, at least from my point of view. It also makes for sloppy writing since it's being pushed through so quickly.

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Fenderxx

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Edited By Fenderxx

Great issue, and I totally agree, the panel with black panel was heavy.

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etamogrey77

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black panther and black swan end up doing it i'm calling it

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SavageDragon

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Edited By SavageDragon

@the_mast said:

"You dare to attack Doom in his HOME?! The worst of men know better. GODS know better."

Unfff.

this!

"FOOLS!!"

I want Doom in the Illuminati.

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hectorsquall

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Best Avengers book out hands down.

this title isn't perfect but I find it much more enjoyable than the main Avengers title or Uncanny Avengers.

No Caption Provided

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ScumDestroy

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and my favorite panel of the week...

No Caption Provided

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Extremis

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In most of the issue all that was addressed was the fact that what they were doing may in fact be wrong. They were in quite the moral pickle. But given the situation and time alotted to them it's the only decision really. So I'm not liking that gripe that they didnt address that as this entire series reflects on the moral ambiguity of the teams' actions. The whole point is that they are put in impossible situations that no living being should have to decide on. I don't just like what they've done so far, I love it. Hickman's pushing how long it'll be, or how far these men have to go before we no longer consider them heroes.

Amazing, amazing issue. Best Marvel book for sure. That last panel was brilliant. Epting kills it, Hickman kills it. 5/5

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tomlikesfries

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Edited By tomlikesfries

and my favorite panel of the week...

No Caption Provided

Word. That panel was super-duper-mega epic.

This is my favorite Avengers book currently published by FAR. Man, it's probably my favorite Marvel NOW! title. This issue, as well as X-men #1, were hands down the highlights of the week, in my opinion at least.

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Praetor_fenix

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Edited By Praetor_fenix

Doom is just Badass. On a different note it's obvious that Namor is not as concerned with the whole hero/villain tag thats the way his character has developed for 70 years or so...

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Shieldbearer

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Unfortunately I am not sure why this was such a moral issue for the Illuminati or for any other that could have been tasked with this. The parallel earth during the blue incursion was dead and no more than a rock. Blowing it up felt weak. Had the parallel earth been a fully populated (or even a partially populated) world that was about to crash into 616 I might have felt T'Challa's words ring true and perhaps feel the pain that would come from such a deed. I went back to this issue after reading Infinity. The Illuminati were mentioned and the destruction of a world was recapped, and it got be excited for this series. This feels like a missed opportunity for a morally ambiguous group dealing with "big" problems no other was trusted to handle.