If you're a fan of Jerome Opena, chances are you will love what he has done on this issue. The comic is absolutely stunning, beautifully illustrated and organized incredibly well. Opena's attention to detail in his panels does not go overlooked. His skill is incredible and I have to say that in my opinion, this is some of his best work yet. I love everything about the art in this issue; from the way the characters are designed, to the creepy and eerie way the planet is laid out, it's beautiful.
In the first issue we saw the way Captain America and Iron Man worked together to get a proper team together, and here we see everything unfold. Here we learn why it is necessary to have more characters on this enormous team. Although we haven't quite seen them all in action, we get a sense for the scope that this series is going to be dealing with, and that's really the most interesting part.
Beyond that, this issue is just interesting. I really loved the story. I love the huge scope of the concepts that Hickman is dealing with: life, death and the destruction of entire universes. It's fascinating, and the way he writes the story is engaging and interesting. Yet, even though this brief story was on this huge scale, it was neat to see the end of the third issue circle back to a scene we saw in issue one where Captain America and Iron Man decide to build the the team.
Just when things were starting to get really interesting and cerebral, they just come to a very neat and organized end. When this series first launched three issues ago I thought for sure Hickman was preparing his readers for a really incredible, bigger than life sci-fi story. We did get that. We were presented with a trio of omnipotent and equally destructive characters whose sole purpose was to destroy the world and recreate it the way they wanted to. What we got was a relatively bizarre ending. I understand that the purpose of this story was to establish that these characters will be dealing problems on a much larger scale. That idea, that premise, is evident here. The only problem with that is the fact that we didn't really see how or why all the Avengers needed to be there. It's true, the team is facing bigger problems, but I am not convinced it is absolutely necessary to have so many different characters on one team. That still remains to be seen.
I love the grand scope of this story, the way that the issue deals with life and death of whole universes but the way that it ends the same way the first issue in this series begins; with the creation of a team. Artist Jerome Opena and colorists Dean White, Frank Martin and Richard Isanove knock this issue out of the park. This issue features some of the best, most beautiful line work I have ever seen for Opena; it's just visually breathtaking. I think this could have been a much bigger story because the scope of it is so huge, and I am only sorry Hickman didn't save it and flesh it out, but I have a feeling this isn't the last we have seen of these characters. This is a beautiful issue that is well written and gorgeously illustrated.