The feel-good story of the year!
I've enjoyed a lot of the covers in AA so far, but this might just be my favorite. It's more understated than some previous covers but Johnson really gives us a compelling image here. The tournament brackets illustrated by the blood at Hazmat's feet seemed like something unique that I wouldn't normally see from other artists. I would have given it a 5 but Hazmat doesn't really feature prominently in this issue.
There's not much dialogue in this issue. Though there is a significant amount of talking, about 90% of it is Apex's insane(-ly annoying) villainous rants and monologue. Fortunately someone puts and end to her chatter in an extremely memorable way. For me, this was probably the most satisfying issue so far. I feel like its rare in this post civil-war era to see a truly unsympathetic villain like Apex get exactly what they deserve. But that's exactly what we're treated to in this issue.
And in related news, over the last 2 months fans of a certain character have increased global precipitation rates by about 25% with their tears, but those fans can finally smile again. Their favorite character is back on the scene in a pretty dramatic way.
At the end of the issue we're even treated to an honest to goodness surprise twist! For someone like me, who reads way too many comics, it was a rare and pleasant surprise. I definitely can't wait until next issue.
I'm pretty sure I speak for most people who read this series past issue #4 or #5 when I say that we've really been too busy crying to notice the art. But now that I take a good look at it, it's not bad. I wouldn't use phrases like "exquisitely detailed" here. But it's detailed and organized enough so that the sequence of events is clear. I think it fits fine with the tone and characters and I especially like how one character is drawn in this issue.
Overall: 4/5 (rounding down)
A beloved character rejoins the battle in the most bad-ass way possible. A villain gets served a nice helping of righteous fury. And it's all wrapped up with an interesting development that moves the plot along and makes the reader wonder "what's next?" Plot-wise Hopeless has done his job here. But the art, while not subtracting from the story, didn't really add much either. So this comic falls just short of a 5.