Comic Vine Review


New Avengers #20 - Blu-dakorr Review


Doctor Strange makes a critical decision. Hope shatters. Everything is terrible forever.

The Good

The battle between the Avengers and the Great Society has been teased, drawn out, hinted at and even, I’d say, protracted. But here we are, in NEW AVENGERS #20 and the two sides finally charge at one another. I am here to tell you: it was worth the wait. We will likely not see a JLA/Avengers (or any kind of Marvel/DC) crossover in the foreseeable future with two of the biggest entertainment titans in the world, that also happen to be bitter rivals, owning both properties so we’ll have to content ourselves with this. Luckily, this battle lives up to the incredible hype. I can’t possibly get into it without getting into spoilers, but we get a great combination of forces smashing into each other and plot points converging, mostly centered on Dr. Strange. Jonathan Hickman hasn’t forsaken the cerebral, sci-fi infused superhero story we’ve come to expect from him, but it's definitely a major tonal shift from the last 20 issues. This is an issue that comes down to some hardcore violence, but the way it plays out makes good, internal sense and the end seems clear on two or three occasions only to twist in another direction entirely. The dialog is perfect for an issue like this: it communicates exactly what it needs to and never overstays its welcome, moving the fights briskly along while still building the plot, especially when it comes to Strange.

Valerio Schiti returns to deliver some absolutely incredible visuals. This is a battle issue, and visuals are critical in such a situation, which is why it’s great that his are top-notch. The action is smooth and animated and the facial expressions are surprisingly subtle considering the subject matter. The attention to facial expressions pays off massively as it gives the fight a great emotional base, making the battle itself have some great, emotional stakes as well as the obvious, physical ones. Namor's arrogant sneer has scarcely ever communicated the insane ego of the man as effectively as it does here. Frank Martin and Paul Mounts have the colors and do an amazing job of covering everything in a dark, tense tint that occurs around Incursions. The characters come off amazingly well and detailed, but it’s the subtle sense of dread that really shines through every panel. Special attention should be paid to any panel featuring Iron Man, as there are quite a few and they all look incredible.

The Bad

There was an absolutely incredible cliffhanger a few issues back (I won’t specify to avoid spoilers) that is negated to some extent in this issue. It involves Dr. Strange, and while he’s still absolutely the shining character of this book, the way we get there is a bit more circuitous than I’d have liked.

The Verdict

This is one of the most incredible battle across all of superhero comics. It’s been over a decade since Marvel and DC crossed over and while this may not be another crossover in the most literal sense, it certainly works on every level it needs to. It’s even incredibly even-handed, though the characters who go up against one another may not be the 100% ideal ones, they’re the best ones for the plot that Hickman has built making them, as far as I’m concerned, even more the ideals.

23 Comments Refresh
Posted by Oscars94

I guess I'll pick this up.

Posted by ShadowSwordmaster

Doctor Strange is getting scary lately.

Posted by Twix_Right_Side

This book reminds me why I love it with each issue

Posted by kasino

I'll be picking this up. Wonder if DC will do an Avengers version.

Posted by micah

Can't wait to read. As I said before this series never disappoints.

Posted by dondave

All I have to say is that I lol'd.

Edited by i_dont_like_comics

stevie aint f!"£$n' around

Posted by saucygiraffe

This was an awesome issue, made the build up worth it.

Posted by MannEffest

I love how Hickman is slowly delving The Illuminati into madness, each of their characters have grown leaps and bounds in only a matter of issue. I mean, once Namor accepted the fact he would be a world killer to save his people last issue, you knew crap was about to hit the fan.

Posted by iSummers

illuminati vs justice league

Posted by mysoulz

I definitely need to pick this up. I've been missing more than a few issues. It's definitely one of my favorite marvel titles so far.

Posted by victorcheenoanleu

That punch though.

Posted by Spideysense44

Fight scenes in this issue were great

Posted by Owie

Great fight, good too see the Illuminati spanked (at least in general); they're more of a prep team and they didn't really prep for this event. I don't know what Namor was talking about when he said he could take the Jovian down because he had studied him; obviously a trident is not going to beat a shapeshifter. To me this was one of the only annoying things: Hickman had the Society talk like they were winning because they kept their moral compass, while the Illuminati didn't, but really they just out-powered them. The moral lesson was superfluous to the battle, even if true.

Read the Annual for more insight into what's going on with Strange.

Posted by Killemall
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I wonder if this is a statement of Hickmans feelings towards the Avengers and the Justice League

Posted by Blackice709


Posted by Grimoire

Didn't care for the Hulk to be taken down by a wannabe Superman clone just so they could get the ending for this issue.

Posted by E1000

I feel like everyone is excited about this story because the great society is loosely inspired by the JLA. That doesn't seem right, you should enjoy it for what it is, not just because you recognise DC characters in it... just sayin'

Posted by ShadowJax

Everybody should by rooting for the Great Society at this point

Edited by Teerack

This issue was so amazing. I wasn't expecting Ironman to be paired up with their Flash, and Blackbolt to go for their Lantern, but damn it all worked out so prefect. Doctor Strange is so cool, how has it been over 5 years since he had a solo book?

Posted by JSAVen

lovely crossover

Posted by Tolliver_Trask

This was the fastest comic I've ever read, I was just hooked from first page to last. Now I'm on pins and needles waiting for the next ish! Nuff said.