Comic Vine Review

Comments

Avengers #16 - To The End; Prelude to Infinity Review

5

A new threat reveals itself and even the Avengers may be hard-pressed to handle it. But will SCIENCE come to the rescue? Or will the epitome of brute force be unleashed?

The Good

Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer continue to plume exactly how strange and mind-bending a superhero comic can be before it’s just fully reclassified a sci-fi comic. These two have written something that is absolutely on the level of Isaac Asimov or Harlan Ellison. This is hard sci-fi, it just happens to feature an unfrozen super-soldier draped in the American flag, a diminutive, fast-healing Canadian with claws, and a man dressed in spider webbing. But the ideas they put forth are absolutely on the same level as the ‘70s-style hard sci-fi they’re channeling, and that’s not to say that they don’t have their own voice, this might be the same breed, but it’s nothing like what those writers would’ve done...well maybe Ellison, but he never DID! I have a hard time describing what’s actually happening in these issues, because it would require an article, not a review, but suffice it to say the Avengers are facing an enemy unlike any they’ve previously encountered, and I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen next, isn’t THAT something of a feat in this day and age? Obviously, everyone is going to make it through this book, that’s not where the suspense comes from, the suspense comes from not knowing the hows and whys of their survival.

Stefano Caselli, and I think we ALL know how I feel about his art (spoiler alert: I love it. I love it so much), is oddly appropriate for this title. Usually he sticks with more grounded, low-power characters and books, but in this case, his attention to detail and emphasis on facial features is absolutely what the strange concepts and bizarre ideas need to remain relatable and personable. It’s important for a book like this to never lose sight of its audience and to always give them a lifeline to connect to, and that’s precisely what Caselli’s art provides. If pencils and inks are that important, colors are as well and Frank Martin makes things muddled, subdued, bizarre and absolutely beautiful, setting a tone that will, again, communicate with readers when words might be overreaching. This is one of the strangest, most beautiful books on the shelf and I’m absolutely ecstatic to see where it goes from here.

The Bad

The book can be hard to follow. I actually understood a great deal more of this issue, and it helped me understand past issues but it, like previous ones, should be read more than once. This is a very heady, strange book and it requires an absolute metric ton of thought and comprehension. While there is a lot of action, it’s almost all futile, so this is a book dependent on your enjoyment of characters talking, for better or worse.

The Verdict

I can’t think of a reason to mark down a superhero book for trying something new, interesting and different. This is a book well worth reading, well worth investing in and well worth getting absolutely lost in. I haven’t even mentioned what happens to Banner in the S.H.I.E.L.D. base (another fake spoiler: it’s on the cover) and I absolutely can’t wait to see how that plays into the entire story. A.I.M. Island is still in the mix, with the Scientist Supreme seeming to have, or at least thinking he has, a handle on the situation, but who can tell for sure? One of the things that makes this book amazing is, as I previously said, a complete lack of knowledge of where it’s going or what will happen and I think that’s great news for people growing weary of calling plots a mile off. This is a great book for neophytes or old-timers alike.

24 Comments
Posted by Raw_Material

Nice review, love the cover of this issue!

Posted by Z3RO180

This issue is awesome

Edited by The Stegman

Yeah, this is a main reason I don't like this title, I'm not a fan of SciFi

Online
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Yeah, this is a main reason I don't like this title, I'm not a fan of SciFi

I love sci fi it just feels super weird having it on Avengers, it just doesn't feel right. Hickmans style is tailor made for the Fantastic Four or the Guardians of the Galaxy and I would much rather have him on them books instead

Posted by Kerrigan

This was good, although too much New Universe stuff--if marvel want to play with Starbrand and Nightmask, can't they get their own book? One of the problems with Hickman's Avengers is that the Avengers themselves too often seem ancillary to the main story. For all that happens in this issue, the Avengers' involvement is pretty much one brief fight (and Hickman's overplayed the new-thing-arrives-and-kicks-Avengers-butt card during his run).

Still, good issue, great art. Still lacking the human involvement that makes group books fly.

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

Hope starbrand and nightmask get their own ongoing (or even a limited series)... they seem awesome. Infinity is sounding cooler and cooler, the more i read about it. So can't wait.

Also, love this book's art rotation team... all are crazy talented, next in line Leinel Yu!!!

Posted by LiveForever

@the_stegman, @jonny_anonymous, & @kerrigan pretty much nailed my opinions on this comic. Too hard sci-fi when I want a superhero book, not focusing on the core characters I'm reading Marvel comics for, and surprisingly inaccessible for a flagship, main Avengers book. Uncanny Avengers is getting that (more) right but I'm still not even crazy about that book.

I'm glad I'm enjoying the X-Men corner of Marvel right now because I'm not enjoying the Avengers' corner.

Posted by patrat18

nice

Posted by IDontLikeBirds

I don't care for most team books in general, but I do love me some sci-fi (always was a fan of Robert Silverberg and Isaac Asimov). I might actually check this out.

Online
Posted by mrpolonog

I'm trying to write a review at the moment, but I don't know how to lay it out. Is there a template so I can get the creator/character box, as well as the good stuff bad stuuf

Posted by manwithoutshame

I'm getting excited for this Infinity event. This issue was a super fast read that delivers.

Posted by The Stegman

@the_stegman, @jonny_anonymous, & @kerrigan pretty much nailed my opinions on this comic. Too hard sci-fi when I want a superhero book, not focusing on the core characters I'm reading Marvel comics for, and surprisingly inaccessible for a flagship, main Avengers book. Uncanny Avengers is getting that (more) right but I'm still not even crazy about that book.

I'm glad I'm enjoying the X-Men corner of Marvel right now because I'm not enjoying the Avengers' corner.

Yeah, I'm actually enjoying the solo corner of Marvel myself, both Daredevil and Hawkeye have been GREAT and I'm looking to start reading Scarlet Spider when I can find the trade.

Online
Posted by CaptainHoopla

I really enjoy this title and can't explain why. I do hope at some point there is a huge mind blowing jaw dropping payoff. Who knows with Hickman, it could come in a few issues, or a few years.

Posted by Owie

Somehow, while I keep getting drawn in by specific characters I like, like Star Brand and High Evolutionary, I have had no interest in following this book month to month. It's overall plot just doesn't keep my interest or make me feel like I need to read the next issue. Each one I read is fine; I just have no pull to buy the next one, until some random thing gets me to buy it. But the weird thing is, even though it's obviously intricately plotted, I also don't feel like I'm missing anything when I skip a few months. I'm sure I am, but it doesn't seem like it.

Edited by Hawkguy

I love what Hickman's doing, and I love that I have to look back a couple issues at times to remind myself of certain details.

And the art... oh how I love the art.

Also noticed that Spidey has his new Superior costume on... before the actual reveal in the Superior Spider-man book. Sneakers? What?

Posted by blkson

Just read it. So this robot is kinda like Amazo? I'm not that knowledgeable of Marvel comics. Is this character a Marvel Now creation or is it pre-existing?

Edited by WaveMotionCannon

This book keeps getting better and better. I love the epic scale of Hickmans writing and multiple stories all building to something great.

Online
Posted by Widestance

An entire review and eighteen replies so far, and not a single person mentioned the best thing about the issue? Spaceknights! Galador! Starshine, Ikon, Terminator, Firefall, Pulsar! They teased a spaceknight in the last issue of Age of Ultron, they teased the planet Galador and the Spaceknights in Avengers 16. Please, baby Jesus, let Marvel bring back the greatest superhero ever: Rom, Spaceknight!

Posted by dead_again

I loved this issue. It seriously took me twice the time because I was hypnotized by Caselli's art.

Posted by Zoch81

Good issue I liked it, the art was great looking forward to Infinity

Posted by bradicalism

"These two have written something that is absolutely on the level of Isaac Asimov". Woah. Let's just calm down with the hyperbole. I know CV gives nearly every comic 4-5 stars, which is problematic enough, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here.

I like this site, but I find it hard to visit a site that "reviews" comics, when in fact they just gush over them 95% of the time, give them 5 stars and move on. This site needs some writers who will actually critique and examine a comic.

Posted by EnderWiggin

Why does spiderman have a new costume in the avengers book? Is that superior or a different one ? Did I miss something ?