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Avengers #29 - Infinite Avengers Review

4

Captain America remembers. Captain America remembers everything.

The Good

This storyline has been brewing for some time. Ever since the beginning of the Incursion story arc in the pages of New Avengers, in which Captain America was brought into the fold of the Illuminati both as a tactical consultant and to ensure that the group had a strong moral core. He was mind wiped the moment he didn’t agree with their direction so...mistakes were made. Dr. Strange did the mind wiping and if there’s one thing comics like to remind us, it’s that magic is unstable and unpredictable. Jonathan Hickman brings together his two Avengers team on not-so-friendly terms as Cap demands answers from Tony Stark. And he's brought some serious muscle to help "negotiate." This is a very centralized issue, the rest of the team is almost incidental, but the writing is strong enough to sustain it, making the rest of the team still feel fleshed-out. Stark, especially, comes off well in this, as he seamlessly transitions from jocular dismissiveness into deadly serious seemingly at the drop of a hat. I'm also a big fan of how both sides are written with good points. Much like in Civil War, you may not agree with one side, but both make good sense.

Leinil Yu provides the pencils and I’m absolutely thrilled to see him back on an Avengers book. The jagged, ultra-detailed style suits the hard-edged tone and the use of shadows by he, inker Gerry Alanguilan and colorist Sunny Gho provide further stylistic and tonal choices, communicating the moral ambiguity surrounding the entire story. The colors are dark and sharp, even the ones that take place in well-lit areas seem to have a pall or malaise hanging over them. Alanguilan’s inks really tie the whole issue together visually, crisply defining the characters and backgrounds, bringing order without sacrificing impact, to the jagged pencils.

The Bad

This is a $4.99 book and a LARGE swath of it is taken up by a recap of the events from New Avengers. Eight pages, in fact. Nine if you count the standard Marvel recap page, which seems completely unnecessary this one time. The good news is that we get to see those events through a new stylistic lens of Yu’s visuals, and they DID take place in a different book, so it’s worth bringing them up for people who perhaps pick up one but not the other. The problem is that it goes on for almost a third of the issue, and while there are some panels inter-cut, it’s almost a word-for-word recreation, so anyone familiar with New Avengers is paying extra for content that is somewhat redundant. It also makes a very cool fight scene seem abrupt and cutoff.

The Verdict

This issue is about answering the question of Cap’s memories, but it sneakily slips in another unanswered question from the pages of New Avengers at the very end, and it’s that moment that leads to a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. One that takes the book in a potentially bizarre and completely different direction. I’m fascinated to see Marvel as a company taking risks with things like continuity and setting and this book is another example inline with that idea. While some of it might be familiar territory for some readers, it’s still very, very much worth looking into for both fans of this series and a MUST for followers of New Avengers.

38 Comments
Posted by Twix_Right_Side

I loved this issue. Although I didn't exactly like the huge recap for 5.00,but still,great issue and great book (as usual). I love what Hickman is doing. I'm so stoked for this! Things are catching up to Tony!

Posted by 8008S

Captain America remembers. Captain America remembers everything.

House Of M Wolverine called, he wants his one-liner back.

Posted by UltimateSMfan

Same complaint from me regarding the recap, And for that price...Damn those were 9 wasted pages.

The rest of the issue was enjoyable thankfully.

Posted by LiveForever

OK, OK. I'll give you that much of this is a recap. BUT HOLY CRAP WAS THIS ISSUE AWESOME.

Posted by Twix_Right_Side

OK, OK. I'll give you that much of this is a recap. BUT HOLY CRAP WAS THIS ISSUE AWESOME.

Agreed.

"This isn't just my home...It's also where I go to work"

Posted by dondave

Ehh, they shouldn't have had Cap join the Illuminati in the first place.

Posted by kivatt

I honestly don't know why they were so mad. He saved their lives countless times. If they did it Caps way, they would've all been dead by now. This issue made me realize something, Caps way sucks. So, Beast is cool with killing other planets to save the world, but when Cyclops "gambles" on the world to save mutants, and ends up only killing one person there is a problem. Makes no real sense to me.

If I were he other Avengers, I would be thanking Tony.

Posted by kivatt

@dondave: Wasn't he one of the founding members?

Posted by dondave

@kivatt Nope. Tony allowed him to join after they stopped the Hood from gaining the Infinity Gauntlet.

Edited by Twix_Right_Side

@kivatt said:

I honestly don't know why they were so mad. He saved their lives countless times. If they did it Caps way, they would've all been dead by now. This issue made me realize something, Caps way sucks. So, Beast is cool with killing other planets to save the world, but when Cyclops "gambles" on the world to save mutants, and ends up only killing one person there is a problem. Makes no real sense to me.

If I were he other Avengers, I would be thanking Tony.

He's upset because:

  • All of those people on those other worlds are people. They are innocent,like you and me. Cap wouldn't advocate the killing of 1 innocent human being,let alone billions. He knows that this is a life/death situation,but he believes and wants to find a better way,especially because he feels that they haven't exhausted all of their options. So his way doesn't really suck. He's just trying to do this to the benefit of EVERYONE (literally,hence the caps....no pun),not just 616 earth. What Beast thing are you referring to? He,along with the rest of the X-men (except those that know what it was like to be corrupted by the Phoenix or understand that fact) hate him,especially because he killed Xavier. I don't remember Beast condoning his actions,especially considering that he still currently hates him based off of recent X-men comics
  • Not only that,but they then mindwiped him,and Tony manipulated this entire lineup of Avengers (including Cap) without telling anyone,and acts as if everything is honky dorey....so you can see why they would be mad. Even T'challa has an issue with killing innocent people,and he's a member of the Avengers. Put simply,the Illuminati is looking at things from a more survival standpoint,while Cap is looking at it from a more moral/ethical one. The Illuminati doesn't WANT things to be this way,but until they find a better option (which they believe that may not,especially not before another incursion),then they must act for their survival.

So that's also why they are upset. :)

Posted by LiveForever

@kivatt:


@twix_right_side said it well. Cap also has a problem with such a small group keeping this to themselves and declaring themselves the defenders of the Earth, in secret. Sure, they're a group of the smartest their universe has to offer, but that's shutting out A LOT of other intelligent people. Maybe if the Illuminati didn't exist, and brought this to the attention of the greater superhero and scientific communities, they could find a better option.

Posted by Twix_Right_Side

@kivatt:

@twix_right_side said it well. Cap also has a problem with such a small group keeping this to themselves and declaring themselves the defenders of the Earth, in secret. Sure, they're a group of the smartest their universe has to offer, but that's shutting out A LOT of other intelligent people. Maybe if the Illuminati didn't exist, and brought this to the attention of the greater superhero and scientific communities, they could find a better option.

Also true. Very good points. I believe that there might be other things that I may be missing,since I missed a few issues of New Avengers.

Not only that,but Black Swan,whom the Illuminati have captive,has the most experience with incursions (well,at least more than them) and she tells them that the destruction of the other earths along with the killing of those billions (essentially being villains) is the only way.

Posted by kivatt

@liveforever: But wasn't apart of them though when they reformed. So he's kinda be hypocritical about it. I'm sure he would have stayed on if they didn't wipe his mind. All in all they're doing the right thing.

Posted by LiveForever

@kivatt: He was a part of it, but was clearly uncomfortable with the idea still. In fact, when they mind-wiped him, it sounds like he was ready to walk out on the whole thing and very likely expose it. He was an ill fit for that group from the start because I'd argue he's the only one with a greater moral standard than survival instinct in that bunch. It's a bunch of scientific minds whereas Cap is led by his heart, emotion, and desire to do good.

Posted by kivatt

@twix_right_side:

But he killed Professor X while under the Influence of the Phoenix, you can't really blame him for that, and just hate him forever. Give the guy some slack.

He did all of that? I haven't read any of the Avengers books, except for the Infinity tie-ins. But I think Caps way would have gotten them killed. I think they would have ended up like the other Earths the Illuminati looked at, and their heroes would have died the same way. I know they are killing people, innocent people, but they are doing it at the cost of their world, and universe I believe. They're making the hard decisions that no one else would do.

Posted by Twix_Right_Side

@kivatt said:

@twix_right_side:

But he killed Professor X while under the Influence of the Phoenix, you can't really blame him for that, and just hate him forever. Give the guy some slack.

He did all of that? I haven't read any of the Avengers books, except for the Infinity tie-ins. But I think Caps way would have gotten them killed. I think they would have ended up like the other Earths the Illuminati looked at, and their heroes would have died the same way. I know they are killing people, innocent people, but they are doing it at the cost of their world, and universe I believe. They're making the hard decisions that no one else would do.

That's where the debate lies.

The Illuminati (as Dr Strange says) basically believe that Cap's way rests on hope,and they cannot put comfort in that.

However,Cap believes that there can be a better way,especially one where innocents don't have to be killed,and those hard decisions don't HAVE to be made. While the Illuminati would leave to hear that suggestion,they presently cannot wait on it to magically appear with the risk that another incursion would just randomly happen,so until then....they must kill.

Posted by kivatt

@liveforever: Yeah, he was looking for someone to agree with him, so he could convince them that there was another way. He didn't want them becoming people they would hate I can see that. But their only other way just got destroyed. So what else can they do? I have to agree with what Dr. Strange said though, Cap was just believing off of hope, he was just hoping there was a way that they could stop it without killing. But rationally thinking about it, going with that train of thought would have gotten them killed. Sometimes, the necessary evil is the right thing to do.

Posted by LiveForever

@kivatt: Yup, I think that's exactly right. Right or wrong, Cap wanted to believe that these brilliant people could come up with something non-lethal. Hoping against logic. Like @undeadpool said, both sides had their points, just like Civil War. And it looks like we may be getting another one!

Edited by kivatt

@twix_right_side: Yeah, it is really all up to what you think the right thing in that situation is. Do you hope that you can stop them without killing, and risk the end of your universe, or do you forsake your own personal beliefs for the greater good of the planet? I personally agree with the Illuminati. What about you?

Posted by Twix_Right_Side

@kivatt said:

@twix_right_side: Yeah, it is really all up to what you think the right thing in that situation is. Do you hope that you can stop them without killing, and risk the end of your universe, or do you forsake your own personal beliefs for the greater good of the planet? I personally agree with the Illuminati. What about you?

Well,I definitely see Cap's point of view regarding the Illuminati situation (especially as to why he's upset at Tony for manipulating him,which is a bit unrelated),but it's basically:

Do the morally right thing/ethical decision (Cap)

Downsides: There are currently not many other options for the survival of their universe in the face of another incursion.

It basically relies a bit on hope in the fact that,in the future,they will be able to find a better option for the benefit of all. Basically,if they put enough time/resources in it.

Go the realistic/survival approach (Illuminati)

Downsides: Billions will die

They basically become villains.

It's hard to say,and with the Illuminati/Incursion matter,time is of the essence.

I think I agree with the Illuminati,but Cap's argument is definitely a valid one,too.

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

Captain America: zzzzz *wakes up* Oh my god! my teammates are a bunch of @$$holes!

Posted by KEROGA

Oy. .4.99?....damn.

Posted by kivatt

@twix_right_side:

Wait, isn't when the Earths collide, or if Earth is destroyed the whole universe is gone as well?

Posted by Twix_Right_Side

@kivatt said:

@twix_right_side:

Wait, isn't when the Earths collide, or if Earth is destroyed the whole universe is gone as well?

Yup.

If the Incursion isn't stopped,then both Earths will collide.

Posted by GrenadeFlow

New Avengers #3 pages being added to this annoys me

I collect both books now I feel like I paid the extra $1 for nothing

Posted by HumanRocket

Tony's response to Cap was true. But if you remember Avengers #!1 then you should already know how this ends for Tony. It's literally in the first pages.

Online
Edited by Teerack

That was amazing! :O

Technically Tony hasn't done anything wrong yet since the earths he's killed were just dead planets. I really like how Steve figured out what was up with Bruce to. I was going to be sad if they all just went on thinking he was back to being an out of control monster.

Tony's response to Cap was true. But if you remember Avengers #!1 then you should already know how this ends for Tony. It's literally in the first pages.

You also need to remember that the time gem sort of throws a wrench into how things were supposed to happen since they just got thrown into the future.

Online
Posted by Jphu8414

So this is pretty much paving the way for Civil War 2 huh?

Edited by Maddpanda531

I really wish this story played out in New Avengers, rather than in Avengers. That and the unnecessary price bump and recap are my only gripes, however, since this was a seriously awesome issue.

Posted by Fenderxx

I really enjoyed this issue, and I did not mind the recap at all, helped me to get into Caps head space, with flashes of the past, that also fills in new readers. You can always use some re-cap with Hickman ! Still fantastic issue !

Posted by IDontLikeBirds

Ah, the Illuminati, always doing what they think is best for their world. Let's all ask Hulk how that went down when they shot him into space and accidentally destroyed a planet he grew to love and make his home, Sakaar. Oh right....he came back, very, very, VERY angry.

Posted by Rubear

I wonder how Hiperion - himself sole survivor of incursion - will react when he will hear whole story.

Ah, the Illuminati, always doing what they think is best for their world. Let's all ask Hulk how that went down when they shot him into space and accidentally destroyed a planet he grew to love and make his home, Sakaar. Oh right....he came back, very, very, VERY angry.

Banner/Hulk is now part of Illuminaty himself. Last issue. Also it was't Illuminaty who destroy Sakaar. ;)

Posted by feargalr

Damn I love this series, although I really feel bad for anyone that isn't reading New Avengers and this, it would be so easy to get lost.

Posted by evan_dalton94

I, myself loved the issue, but can someone tell me why this was an "Original Sin" tie-in?

Posted by asjmooney

I did not get the original sin link here. I thought the person who holds the watcher's eyes was going to be revealing secrets not events being seemingly naturally discovered? Don't get how this is a cross over. I find Hickman's story telling too grand, convoluted and unnecessarily complex.

Edited by Ms-Lola

I loved everyone's depiction in this book. I too picked it up because of its tie-in with Original Sin and also because I don't know what's going on with Doctor Strange. I still don't but it gave some good insight as to what is happening. I am curious why the Illuminati haven't reached out to their counterparts in the other universes and get their takes on whether their realities should be destroyed.

I am not comfortable with self appointed decision-makers determining the fate of any world, let alone universes.