One of the things I have been enjoying about this series is the way that Hickman focuses on different characters in each issue. The previous issue of AVENGERS gave us a spy-thriller type of a story, whereas this one focuses on a different cast of characters in the Savage Land and carries an entirely different tone. As a result, you never really know what you are going to get with this series in terms of continuity since each issue focuses on different characters and a different problem, but that actually happens to be one of the things I enjoy. Generally, changing the direction of the story every issue isn't the best way to write a comic book series, yet for whatever reason it seems to work for Hickman and his AVENGERS title. As a result, his AVENGERS is far less linear than most comics, so a story we have been reading may sometimes pause, switch direction and then in a later issue continue from where a previous one left off. This actually helps to keep this series interesting.
One of the good things about writing the series in this way (where the plot is not linear) is that it allows Hickman the flexibility to utilize his entire roster. It would be difficult to write a story where both Shang-Chi and Hyperion are engaged in a fight in the same issue. By being a little bit all over the place we get to see different characters doing different things.
Normally when you have power house characters like Hyperion and Thor, we expect them to be engaged in a fight, but surprisingly that's not what we saw here. Rather than having them fight (which is what they normally do best), Hickman had them serve an entirely different purpose: in this issue they acted as mentors and teachers to a group of transformed Savage Land children. The result is a relatively fun story that gives us another side to these characters that we don't generally see.
One of the highlights of this issue was the dialogue. Hickman does a great job writing these characters with humor and he seems to have found their respective voices which is very important when you are writing a team book with a roster this large. His Iron Man really reads like Iron Man, and his Thor really reads like Thor, and that's part of what makes this comic fun to read.
There is plenty that I enjoyed about this comic, but one of the problems I had with the story in this issue was the way that we did not see a whole lot actually happen. Sure, it was great getting into the minds of these individual characters and exploring them in ways we don't normally, but what did we actually see? How are the things that happened here significant to the overall story Hickman is trying to tell?
One problem I had with this issue was that the pacing was a lot slower than previous issues.
I generally enjoyed this issue, although I admit it was not as good as previous issues in this series. The dialogue and the story Hickman told here is pretty good: it presented us with a different take on many of the characters we know. For example, we don't usually see Hyperion talking so much in a comic book and I personally found that this added to the dynamic of the character.
The art by Mike Deodato was great, and I definitely enjoyed seeing his work once again in this issue. I thought his pencils definitely complimented Hickman's story.