The Slow Avengers
Another pulse-pounding issue of Some Avengers Sit In Dimly Lit Rooms And Talk. And, oh joy, yet another half-baked origin story, and yet more portentous sci-fi background noise offered to create the illusion of Big Things Happening.
Many writers want to introduce their own characters. That’s fine. But if those characters remain only thumbnail sketches, and if their introduction consumes the entirety of a book, and relegates established members to the background or to invisibility, then it’s a problem.
A bigger problem still is Hickman’s pacing. We’re 7 books in, about 155 pages, and we’re still scene-setting. 155 pages gets you 80% of the way through the Dark Knight Returns, through or nearly through all the individual Sandman books, about halfway through V for Vendetta. In Hickman’s Avengers, the story has not yet begun, only been sketched out. This can work if the writing is of sufficient quality, and the characters hold your attention (Watchmen was somewhat similarly paced, although a lot more had happened by an equivalent stage). Hickman writes competent but rather flat dialogue, and the characters have little opportunity to actually interact with each other. This is what makes ensemble books work. It’s absence is fatal.
Avengers #7 is in many ways an exemplar of the problems with the series. A few Avengers talk. The half-drawn new characters offer vague and fairly silly warnings and explanations. What we can assume is another new DC-style ultra-powerful figure is introduced. Little conflict, little humor, little characterization, few Avengers, little fun.
Weaver’s art is fine. Hickman does not provide him many dramatic character scenes, but he does well with what opportunities he has.
This book is failing.