Captain Marvel and Hulk Fastball special from space!
I’ve said this in previous reviews but this series is a bit inconsistent some issues it’s really good (last issue) and some issues are borderline mediocre (issue #4) but overall this series is pretty good and with last issues strong start to this story arc I was very interested to see more of what Hickman has planned.
The Avengers try to take Starbrand back to Avengers tower but he gets upset when he sees all the people he has killed and the Hulk attacks him but he blasts the Hulk into orbit the Avengers then attack Starbrand.
This issue is amazing literally it like last issue isn’t perfect and doesn’t earn 5 stars but well this story arc is shaping up to be a very strong 3 issue story arc hopefully the last part will be just as good or better as I’m really happy that this series is back on track and has got to the level of quality I had hoped it to be. Now let me get my problem with this issue out of the way quickly for half of the issue it’s an action sequence and the overall story doesn’t progress this is fairly common for this series as it happened last issue as well but it’s a minor problem considering how good everything else is.
The way things were left off last issue you knew something big was going to happen and that was part of what made last issue so good it ended it an intelligent and clever way. The continuation of it is not disappointing at all it’s one of the best fight sequences in this series it’s a mixture of humour and pure fun to read and see. The first part is well executed it’s not a forced way to get into the fight it’s emotional in fact. Starbrand sees what he has done and well has a nervous breakdown of sorts, this scene is done in a natural way it progresses slowly but it has a nice build up to it with the situation for Kevin (Starbrand) getting harder and harder for him until he breaks. Yet really the proper trigger is a certain green behemoth that comes charging at Starbrand and I have to say what Hickman tries to do is get a natural way to get Starbrand to attack but also to give us a very funny sequence but I won’t spoil it. Really what makes this great is the execution of it and how it happens because he’s there and then he’s not there and then well I won’t spoil it.
The fight itself is explosive and well done I have to admit it really is the heavy hitters of the Avengers’ team vs Starbrand. The fight itself is only 5 pages but what happens is epic with every character and we do get to see the power of Star Brand and what he is capable of and even when he gets hit by Thor’s hammer it doesn’t hurt him. Also Fastball special from space! (not colossus and wolverine the other Captain and the green behemoth) this fight maybe short but the content of it is fantastic and made the whole sequence special and I’m glad Hickman didn’t decide to be generic with this fight.
There is then some development with Starbrand and Nightmask, we find a little bit on the background of both of them and how the universe is broken this scene is important to the overall story which Hickman is constructing it’s not the most exciting part of this issue but it is put together in a way that people can understand even with the large concepts that Hickman is using so yeah kudos to Hickman for making it as easy to understand as possible.
At the end of this issue one of Hickman’s characters that he created earlier in the series reappears while I feel it’s a bit soon the reasoning behind it makes sense especially with what nightmask says. I always liked the character anyway so I really couldn’t complain but I still feel it is a little soon.
The dialogue in this issue is very strong and the characterization of each character is spot on and there are some great lines in this book my favourite being ‘Captain Marvel please retrieve our Hulk’ there are plenty of good lines in this book and well after some dry dialogue in issue #4 I am happy for that Hickman has a good handle on the book and its characters.
Dustin Weaver’s art is great as usual and he really is the highlight of this art can I wish he was doing this series for longer but at least he’s doing the covers up to 12 but he will be missed from this series. I love everything he excels in this issue with the action sequences but also the more emotional scenes in this issue and there are a few of both. I especially liked the way he drew the Hulk as he looked incredibly powerful and strong but also very quick and agile even for his size and Hulk in space is a sight to behold literally it looks so amazing. The action in this issue is dynamic and explosive with Weaver on art and some artists sacrifice emotion in fight scenes for it just to look dynamic but Weaver doesn’t and for an emotional/ action orientated issue Weaver is perfect. Justin Ponsor handles the colours perfectly with Weaver showing some spectacular light effects and his colours have a certain vibrancy that not many other colourists have.
This issue even though it was a little slow and the appearance at the end feels a little soon was fantastic this series has rapidly improved in quality with this new arc and Weaver handling art duties. I highly suggest to anyone who dropped the series earlier on that they try this arc out as I’m really enjoying it and this is now my 3rd favourite Marvel Now! book with this arc.
4.5 stars (if that was allowed)