Disappointing end to what was a great story arc
This series has been all over the place in terms of quality some issues have been nigh on perfect and others have been pretty average bordering mediocre but this story arc showed improvement over what we have had and I hoped it would continue this level of quality after the few bumps it had at the beginning as I have been enjoying it as of late.
Starbrand and Nightmask are on Mars talking to Ex Nihilo and Abyss about what has happened to them after a heated argument Ex Nihilo reveals that the origin sites on Earth were created to make the Earth a sentient being.
I am very disappointed in this not only does it go back to the massive plot hole of issue three that I really didn’t like but this whole thing like the end of the last arc feels quick and one of the most interesting plot points of this issue just feels shoved away quickly so that we have a Star brand and Nightmask centric issue where there was a lot of potential for another plot to be explored. There are quite a few positives with the book though that make for some interesting developments and this book is clever at several points and the reveals are smart and unexpected especially the early twist in it. I also liked the touch at the end that connects it to New Avengers more it’s not the most obvious connection but it did stand out to me at least.
The first scene of this book is both good and bad it’s good because of the fantastic and intelligent twist it has in it which we see the true meaning of the Origin sites and what Ex Nihilo was doing the reveal is perfectly executed with a clever choice to base the twist around and this has been something I have liked about this arc where the big twists involved have been clever like in issue 7 where the new Starbrand was chosen it was nice to see this type of twist used again and you can tell Hickman thought this out. Then of course there is the negative to the twist which was the massive flaw in issue 3 which (this time I won’t do it in Capitals) why didn’t anyone complain about leaving gods alone on Mars? Seriously also didn’t they try to find out more about the Origin sites and why didn’t they ask Ex Nihilo more about what he was doing and didn’t they I mean this is a team with some very intelligent people on it didn’t anyone think hang on? Because the twist basically comes out of the Avengers ignorance letting Ex Nihilo do his thing so while the execution of the twist is amazing how it came to be is just forced.
We then get a Starbrand and Nightmask scene and that is another thing this centres on them for the whole issue they are the stars of the book the Avengers basically only appear proper until the end I mean come on the cast is 25 odd or something and instead it is centred on two characters that aren’t even Avengers I mean I like that Hickman is showing all these different characters building up his own little world for the Avengers and I have no doubt this will all come to a head at some point but I want less side characters and more Avengers but by the look of it the next few issues seem to do that.
Yet the most interesting point of this story the twist is washed away (Okay spoilers for the rest of this paragraph) the Earth grows a Brain and becomes sentient I can understand why this was washed away so quickly because Starbrand is so volatile a character but seriously the Earth becoming sentient this may not be the end but in this issue it literally happens and then it is gone I was massively disappointed as this could have made for an interesting plot point in this issue but it is just washed away and considering what is set out in this issue with the origin sites I don’t think this particular plot points is going to come back it might I don’t know but I doubt it.
The best part of the story is the action scene at the end which is a series of splash pages for part of it this gives the full effect of the destruction going on here and the power of the characters as the Avengers heavy hitters go up against Starbrand (as seen on the cover)as well as the other Avengers the scene does looks spectacular with plenty of light effects going on the narration helps to make the scene feel important like everything was building up to this (which it was) but this still was a nice scene and I did like it.
The art oh…boy the art no matter the faults in the writing the art is something else it is split between Dustin Weaver who does the majority of the book and Mike Deodato did the action scene and this probably is the best artist switch-up in a long time Deodato doing the action works because let’s face it his art works so well on action scenes it just looks so dynamic and electric Weaver did a fantastic job on the action scenes in the last issue but if he was going to stop at any point this was the best place as Deodato gets to draw some fantastic splash pages and especially with the smaller jagged looking panels scattered around the splash pages it just makes everything look really impressive. Weaver does an excellent job on the quieter moments in this issue and does on excellent job showing emotion and does a really good job drawing Mars and the world Ex Nihilo has created I shall miss him off the series as he was the best artist it has had (so far) and he stops doing covers on issue 12 it’s a pity but at least he’s doing Infinity which at least is a bit of a compensation.
This was very disappointing for me I loved this arc before but the ending I just felt that the series biggest flaws came out in this issue especially the plot hole and the Avengers not being the main characters anymore and there was some unexplored potential in this but luckily I wouldn’t say this is bad the art is something else entirely (in a good way) but this was a disappointing end to what started out as a very good arc.