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New Avengers #22 - We are not Brothers Review

5

The fallout of last issue’s monumental choice sends shockwaves through the Illuminati.

THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN BLOCKED SPOILERS FOR NEW AVENGERS ISSUE #21

The Good

Hot on the heels of one of the grandest, most intense issues of any superhero comic I’ve read, we get some immediate satisfaction and results of what happened. And there’s no way out, no last minute save, no deus-ex machina: the Illuminati’s anti-matter bomb was detonated by Namor’s hand and obliterates a world in order to save Earth 616. This issue picks up moments later and Jonathan Hickman doesn’t lost a step, finally having Black Panther and Namor crash into each other in a conflict that’s been brewing since Atlantis went to war with Wakanda. No punches are pulled and, after the mostly-conversational last issue, it seems like Hickman decided to give these characters, and us readers, some catharsis.

Kev Walker steps in on art and, as much as I’ve enjoyed him on AVENGERS ARENA and AVENGERS UNDERCOVER, I wasn’t sure how he’d match up with a more epic, sweeping book but Walker has an incredible versatility and his style fits perfectly. He’s got a much more exaggerated style than previous artists on the book, but at this point and with where the team is, that actually winds up being exactly what’s called for. The emotions running as white-hot as they are, the unceasing action, everything about this issue is cranked all the way up, and that now includes the art. Frank Martin remains on colors and that’s a huge part of how the visual language transfers seamlessly from one artist to the next. The tone may be dark, but the colors are alive with visual flair and an explosive palette befitting the knockdown, drag-out brawl within the pages.

The Bad

As much as I think the art fits, there are a few panels where the heads and faces get a little too elongated and makes the features look indistinct and communicating the wrong kind of emotion for the context. We don’t get a great look at the people of the destroyed Earth which, while we know they’re there, disconnects the reader emotionally to some extent. I’m not saying we need to be treated to a horror show, but even a few panels just before the destruction to remind us that yes, this is a horrific thing about to happen would have driven the point home.

The Verdict

Getting a follow-up to last issue’s spectacular cliffhanger hasn’t reduced the anticipation nor the impact of either issue. The fact that this one ends with yet another one that is just AS impactful speaks volumes to how well paced and well thought out this series has been. Taking the focus and suspense off of whether or not the characters will survive and putting it on their emotional and mental states, whether they'll be able to endure, and asking the question of how far they’ll go has made this a breath of fresh air on the shelf as that is a question with a less definitive answer. Whatever’s coming next has me almost wishing this weekly schedule was a permanent change.

29 Comments
Posted by micah

Just to be clear, do Black Panther and Namor physically fight in this issue?

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Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Sweet.

Posted by i_dont_like_comics

@micah: yes, but it's pretty bleah, lame and not realistic.

Posted by micah

@micah: yes, but it's pretty bleah, lame and not realistic.

Okay, I still can't wait to see who comes out on top, or if it's a tie. Which I hope it's not.

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Posted by micah

@micah: yes, but it's pretty bleah, lame and not realistic.

Okay thanks, I still can't wait to see who wins. I hope it's not a tie.

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Edited by ssulti

the fight was okay but t'challa's new power was so cool

Posted by dondave

@micah said:

@i_dont_like_comics said:

@micah: yes, but it's pretty bleah, lame and not realistic.

Okay thanks, I still can't wait to see who wins. I hope it's not a tie.

T'Challa had the upper hand but Reed stopped him from finishing him off

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Posted by GrenadeFlow

BP went hard on Namor.

Posted by micah

@dondave said:

@micah said:

@i_dont_like_comics said:

@micah: yes, but it's pretty bleah, lame and not realistic.

Okay thanks, I still can't wait to see who wins. I hope it's not a tie.

T'Challa had the upper hand but Reed stopped him from finishing him off

Ohhh okay thanks.

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Posted by LiveForever

Man, that art really bothered me. Odd proportions galore.

Glad we finally got to see the Panther/Namor fight we've been waiting for, but this issue went by in no time. I literally read it in maybe 5 minutes at the end of my lunch break.

Great series though.

Posted by boschePG

So basically every Black Panther battle user has just gotten more ammo for going against Namor (a 85 plus tonner)

Posted by The Stegman

Ugh, I wish BP would just kill Namor already.

Edited by HushoftheWind

Yep I'm avoiding all the BP battle threads from here on out lol

Posted by Novemberx2

once blown away with the art. but that ending sent shivers down my spine...

Posted by sophia89

I liked how namor said the truth,even though they didn't want to hear it.

Edited by chaos911

Is it only panther and namor who fight or everybody like in the cover (I know I shouldn't trust a cover alone but I want to see this)?

Posted by Owie

I was out of town and didn't realize there was a New Avengers last week, so I just got this one, dammit. But I have to say the fight and the art did not live up to my desires. BP's abilities were a basic tech MacGuffin with no explanation, and Namor never really even threw a real punch for BP to have to survive, so nothing really interesting came out of that.

Posted by sparty-dbq

@chaos911 said:

Is it only panther and namor who fight or everybody like in the cover (I know I shouldn't trust a cover alone but I want to see this)?

Physically, it's just T'Challa and Namor. But there are also harsh words said amongst the others.

Posted by chaos911
Edited by Wardishy

Saw a panel from the fight. Proportions were odd, and the angle and stance that Black Panther threw a punch from were really weird. I don't have the other panels for reference, but it just struck me as off.

Posted by RenaissanceMan

I liked the fight myself. Panther is a beast.

Posted by LiveForever

Did it bother anyone else that everyone but Namor started to talk like Steve Rogers, who they kicked out of the club for such thoughts?

Posted by spacemanspiff85

I did think it was pretty hilarious that Reed asked Namor "When did you become such a monster?". Namor's always been an arrogant jerk, and I think for a good chunk of his history he was a villain more than a hero. Plus, he's constantly tried to seduce Reed's wife.

Posted by New_World_Order

Awesome

Posted by Mezmero

Grrraaaagh! This book is so good! Hands down one of the best ongoings in Marvel. This series has had my favorite characterizations of both T'Challa and Namor in a team book. It clearly depicts them as what they really are, not as heroes but as kings. While Black Panther doesn't rule over a kingdom anymore even the dead have turned their backs on him. I think the best thing about that development is that it was indeed because T'Challa gave Namor mercy against the wishes of the dead Panthers that spared Wakanda and 616 from destruction, even if it produced such a horrific result. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Posted by Tikbaz

This book, man.

This book...

New Avengers and Ultimate Spiderman are the best Marvel books out at the moment in my opinion.

I'm glad T'Challa and Namor finally came to blows, but I'm upset that the entire confrontation wasn't resolved in this issue. But when they do fight again, I hope Black Panther puts in THAT WORK on Namor!

Great read, weird - ish art.

Posted by andreww154

This is a stunning issue of an already great series. I loved Kev Walker's art on Avengers Arena and his style really works in this issue. He is so clear and concise, you can tell exactly what's going on and the emotions on display. Together with the Avengers main book, Hickman is telling a fascinating story - I've got no idea where it going..but I'm enjoying the ride anyway!!

Posted by Teerack

This book is at a point now where every issue just blows me away. Since Bruce is new to the team I really hope there is a moment where he has to go world breaker and destroy a world himself.

Posted by Spideysense44

Black Panther vs Namor

Marvels best rivalry