Comic Vine Review

29 Comments

Avengers #18 - Avengers Universe I Review

5

Infinity continues as the entire universe assembles its fleets against the Builders. But are they even capable of being stopped?

The Good

Jonathan Hickman is leading the charge on Marvel’s latest event, and calling him the tip of the spear is inaccurate as he’s the architect behind all three of the main titles, even if he doesn’t wind up writing all of them. This issue of Avengers is not just a tie-in, it is integral to the entire tale, which is why it is great news that it’s also incredible. The Builders, beings that are cosmic beyond telling, are obliterating entire worlds across the galaxy, and it’s time for the major empires to put aside their differences and unite. Sure, it sounds pedestrian on its face, but this time they’re going to places they never dared before: the Shi’ar can’t just pretend this doesn’t affect them, the Brood have to be considered as shock troopers and even the Annihilation Wave in the Negative Zone must be mentioned as allies. This one truly is for all the marbles and Jonathan Hickman has eschewed much of his grandstanding philosophizing (which certainly has its time and place and has been excellent in previous issues) for good, old-fashioned military tactics and planning. This issue also focuses on the Skrulls, who are at an all-time low after a combination of the Annihilation Wave and their failed Secret Invasion bringing their empire to new depths, but by focusing on their fascinating warrior culture, the characters become compelling, and even heroic under their new leadership, all over again.

Leinil Yu takes over pencils from Stefano Caselli, and if ever there was a balm for that particular loss, it is he. Yu’s razor sharp linework, highlighted and contained by Gerry Alanguilan’s incredible inks and brought to life by Sunny Gho’s moody, crisp colors, are an excellent match for Hickman’s hopeful yet grim, sci-fi tone. The colors in this book truly are a treat with shining vessels and beams, massive explosions and the gorgeous backdrop of space. The action is spread throughout the book and it’s all fantastically paced where even the speeches and marshaling of forces are thrilling and moving. Which makes what happens at issue’s end all the more heartbreaking and shattering. I truly cannot wait for the next issue of Infinity OR New Avengers.

The Bad

There’s very little to dislike in this book. It does pick up directly after Infinity, so if you’re just a fan of this title and don’t care about the event, you’re out of luck, but since both are being written by Hickman, I have a hard time imagining who that would apply to. If it’s a budgetary concern, however, that could be problematic. Two of pages are title pages, and while they’re lovely and ornamental, they’re extremely light on content.

The Verdict

This book doesn’t seem to be a tie-in as much as a continuation and a critical part of the event. This is an interesting tact to take as it essentially turns a 6-part story into a 16-part one, but we’ll see how necessary it is for Infinity #2 (or New Avengers #9). Marvel’s even included a very simple chart in the back of this issue explaining where the tie-ins and off-shot issues land in the continuity. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds, trust me, there are only three main titles. Regardless, this issue does stand fairly well on it’s own, but as a continuation, it’s spectacular. It’s good to see the Skrulls again, Kl’rt in particular, and seeing them try to elevate themselves is actually very moving, but this book is definitely about bombast and action and it accomplishes it beautifully.

29 Comments
Posted by cfrehse

Awesome issue

Posted by cincyducksfan35

What an awesome issue. Hickman does such a great job of giving every story that epic feeling. This issue might have been better than Inifinity #1 which I loved. So many pieces in play, this story could go in so many directions

Posted by Kerrigan

This was good: a high-paced space action comic, and I am fond of those. It's very much a chapter in a larger whole, so if you're not into Infinity this book will be weaker.

The fast pace and setting does help disguise Hickman's weakness in character interaction and human warmth: can't help but wonder why he hasn't been doing more of this in the Avengers till now.

Posted by Meteorite

...So Infinity is basically Annihilation but with classic superheroes and the Builders instead of the Annihilation Wave?

Posted by Cavemold

Space !!!!!!! Loved the art here!!

Edited by RageEx2

IMO, this issue really sold how massive the danger and scale of this story is.

Posted by WaveMotionCannon

THIS IS AWESOME!! ( claps 5x). This is like reading an epic movie.

Posted by BIGALWILLIAMS

Avengers in space-like they used to be in the 70's, 80's and 90's.I hated it when Bendis left them earthbound. Hickman brought back the old school!

Posted by slimchin23

so do you guys recommend this comic cause i wasnt thinking about getting the tie ins.

Posted by blazinasian112

awesome review for an awesome issue....I love how everyone is collaborating (Skrulls, Shiar, Ronan and the Kree...heck even the Brood and Annihilus)

Posted by cincyducksfan35

@slimchin23: recommended for sure, it is a piece of the whole, not just a side story

Posted by knighthood

Regardless, this issue does stand fairly well on it’s own, but as a continuation, it’s spectacular.

It think it works following Avengers 17. The "Previously In" page sets up everything it needs to. At the end of Avengers 17 we already knew they were going to assemble against the Builders.

btw...

I'm trying to gather as much info in this discussion thread for people who think the story is a little dense or don't feel like picking up everything...

http://www.comicvine.com/forums/infinity-1526226/the-infinity-discussion-thread-1488407/

Posted by tigerkaya

So good to finally see Klr't take over it was long over due. Can't wait to collect the whole series in trade.

Posted by slimchin23
Edited by Hawkguy

Not a bad issue but I seem to be getting more confused with every issue... In New Avengers 8 they showed fleets invading earth and multiple cities in it, but now in this issue we see the fleets being encountered in space. I think its a little unfair and weird, I'm not sure how New Avengers in tying in with this stuff if its ahead in the timeline. Maybe I'm just confused...

Anyway, I'm really enjoying the scope of this event! Its so epic, so Hickman, so great!

Posted by BIGALWILLIAMS
Edited by Cap10nate

Might have been the best drawn Skrulls that I have ever seen in that issue.

Story was great. It was nice seeing the Avengers just as part of the whole and not even a say in the planning considering that they are only of one planet when the other leaders command thousands.

Posted by Kerrigan

@hawkguy said:

Not a bad issue but I seem to be getting more confused with every issue... In New Avengers 8 they showed fleets invading earth and multiple cities in it, but now in this issue we see the fleets being encountered in space. I think its a little unfair and weird, I'm not sure how New Avengers in tying in with this stuff if its ahead in the timeline. Maybe I'm just confused...

Anyway, I'm really enjoying the scope of this event! Its so epic, so Hickman, so great!

Different fleets. The one in this issue is the Builders. The one in New Avengers 8 is Thanos, taking advantage of the Avengers' absence. And yes, the timeline's a little weird, the end of NA 8 evidently jumped ahead further than the end of Infinity 1.

Edited by Hawkguy

@kerrigan said:

@hawkguy said:

Not a bad issue but I seem to be getting more confused with every issue... In New Avengers 8 they showed fleets invading earth and multiple cities in it, but now in this issue we see the fleets being encountered in space. I think its a little unfair and weird, I'm not sure how New Avengers in tying in with this stuff if its ahead in the timeline. Maybe I'm just confused...

Anyway, I'm really enjoying the scope of this event! Its so epic, so Hickman, so great!

Different fleets. The one in this issue is the Builders. The one in New Avengers 8 is Thanos, taking advantage of the Avengers' absence. And yes, the timeline's a little weird, the end of NA 8 evidently jumped ahead further than the end of Infinity 1.

Ah yes, you're correct, my mistake. But yeah, it's been a little weird like that. All the confusion really makes a mess of things for me (the fleets is a prime example)

Posted by manwithoutshame

5/5! This was so epic. Hickman knows exactly what he's doing.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Just read it. You just gotta the possibility of traveling space. The issue was good. I enjoyed reading it.

Posted by kid Apollo

'It’s good to see the Skrulls again'

i guarantee thats the first time thats ever been said

Posted by Fenderxx

really enjoying this event, but to me it really doesn't feel like an event in the sense of like a new story or separate arch, more like a culmination of what hickman's been doing in his 2 Avengers books, which makes it feel very organic and fresh.

Posted by Angelo2113

I can't believe this is the same Hickman who wrote the previous issues of Avengers. This issue was freaking awesome.

...So Infinity is basically Annihilation but with classic superheroes and the Builders instead of the Annihilation Wave?

It's strangely looking like that. While I read this issue, I thought of the Nova Corps destruction like in Annihilation Prologue. Hopefully Hickman will change things around to detach the similarities. I was upset that they mentioned Secret Invasion but I can't remember if Kl'rt mentioned Annihilation in any way. I'll have to re-read the issue.

Posted by blastaar

This event is awesome so far. It's so cosmic!

Posted by TheManInTheShoe

Best issue so far. I was more excited for Forever Evil, boy, have I changed my mind!

Posted by The Mast

Hickman just basically said, "Remember how great events used to be? Let's...do that again. Like, let's just do that. It's not hard."

"JONATHAN! *Slaps* CALM DOWN WITH THIS MADNESS! YOU CAN'T JUST WRITE A GREAT EVENT! YOU HAVE TO BUILD FOR THE FIRST THREE ISSUES AND THEN...."

"Nah, I did that in the two other books I write for you that are consistently excellent. Now everything's set."

This actually feels SO high-stakes, SO dangerous and SO threatening. I KNOW good will win, but even I am engaged in this event so deeply. I have enjoyed Infinity #1 more than pretty much every whole event in a long, long time. If this wraps up having only gotten better, it WILL be Marvel's best ever event. Not just because every other event has fallen flat. It's not amazing by comparison, it is OUTSTANDING.

I said this on the Infinity #1 review. Because Hickman has given us a book of riveting dialogue-based story, and a book of the same but more action, he's already got us used to BOTH styles. So now they don't feel crowbarred. This was a mix of Avengers (Which it is anyway) and N.A. The scene where the empires all convene and discuss the plan was the selling point. It's almost like the Mass Effect 2 of comics.

Just outstanding.

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Posted by SavageDragon

Fun issue. This event is very compelling thus far.