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New Avengers #8 - What Maximus Made; Prelude to Infinity Review

5

Peace is impossible, war is inevitable, contingencies are necessary, and Black Bolt speaks without toppling mountains.

The Good

I mentioned before that Jonathan Hickman (and those he works with) walk a very thin line between superhero and science fiction and with New Avengers, they may have crossed from one into the other. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, a sci-fi story with superheroes at its heart has a ton of incredible potential, and this issue seems poised to deliver on a great deal of it. The first half deals with the over-arching story of the book, the dimensional Incursions that threaten to shred Earth every time they happen (which is, of late, more and more frequent) and how Reed, Tony and the Black Bolt are dealing with them in their own ways. The final character, in particular, has had his mad brother devise a dimensional portal that takes any who enter into a place where Black Bolt’s sonic powers are nullified, allowing the silent king to speak.

Meanwhile last issue, Namor entreated T’Challa to broker peace between Wakanda and Atlantis, but the Black Panther’s queen disagreed, demanding the blood be repaid with blood and in this issue we see that decision come to fruition. Hickman has a very distinct voice for his characters, much in the same way that Bendis or Ellis write their characters all a little bit clever, Hickman writes all of his a little bit (or extremely, as appropriate) brilliant and this works in their favor because he’s also good enough to give each one a unique voice and each one speaks with authority when they do speak.

Mike Deodato remains steadfast on pencils and inks, and this series has shown me a side to him I never knew was there. I’ve liked Deodato for awhile, though I wasn’t thrilled with him way back on Amazing Spider-Man with JMS, so it’s been interesting to see his style change and evolve over time. His characters and backgrounds are much more crisp and defined, with an amazing level of detail put into every character, particularly their faces. Colorist Frank Martin fills each panel with muted, subdued, but never boring color, bringing Deodato’s creations to vibrant, if calm, life. There’s little action in this book, but what there is definitely tends more toward the epic than the fluid, so I’m willing to give a little stiffness a pass in this case.

The Bad

I’ve said it of Hickman before, but the man does not stop for a second to explain or even elucidate in some cases what his characters are talking about or doing, which can make his books extraordinarily difficult to follow at times. Certainly the broad strokes of what’s going on are crystal clear, but the details, and the devils within, are harder to track and follow. Expository dialog can be the thing that brings a book down, but it can also elevate it by letting the audience in on what’s going on, and what’s been going on, and there’s certainly a balance to be struck between too much and none.

The Verdict

This is, bar none, one of the most fascinating, strange books on the shelf and this issue, even though much of it is grounded in politics, is an excellent addition to the pantheon of New Avengers. It’s incredible to me that Hickman has told such a sweeping, epic sci-fi tale over the course of only eight issues and the artistic consistency Deodato has brought can’t be understated either. It might be tricky to follow, but it’s well worth the effort every time.

19 Comments
Posted by Saren

No mention of that ridiculous moment with the Living Tribunal that's treated like an afterthought when it's likely more intriguing than everything else in the issue?

I mean, Hickman just dropped a bomb there and pretended it didn't matter for some reason.

Moderator
Edited by Hyper_God

@citizenbane: It really doesn't though , at least not in the overall scheme of the story , which is geared at presenting the level of threat that these incursions portray . And the context of that scene is yet to be revealed anyways . *pulls off a Brevoort* Let's wait and see , lol .

Anyways , it's been obvious from the start that Hickman doesn't give 2 sh1ts about the decades old established Marvel Cosmological Hierarchy , irrespective of the fact that he's probably one of the more knowledgeable writers in the creative staff as of now(unlike Bendis who passes fan made hierarchies as his own) . Both him and Remender . And it's honestly not that much of a problem , as long as quality storylines are written . Which is what both New and Uncanny Avengers have been so far .

Posted by darknightspideyfanboy

@citizenbane: i laugh when i saw that when the multiverse is all f-up you had to wonder the where the hell he was

Posted by windcaster

New Avengers has to be the most intriguing Marvel Now! title out there right now. I cant wait to see the implications of everything that transpires here. Great issue!

Posted by The Mast

Does anyone have a sickening worry in their stomach that Infinity is going to lead to a universe-wide reboot a la The New 52?

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@the_mast said:

Does anyone have a sickening worry in their stomach that Infinity is going to lead to a universe-wide reboot a la The New 52?

Hush yo' Mouth!jk please don't Jinx it! marvel is already a big disappointment the last thing we need is another reboot!

Posted by sparty-dbq

No mention of that ridiculous moment with the Living Tribunal that's treated like an afterthought when it's likely more intriguing than everything else in the issue?

I mean, Hickman just dropped a bomb there and pretended it didn't matter for some reason.

Was that what that thing on the moon was? I seriously had no idea. Nor do I have any idea who the hell all those people who kept popping up at the end were. This kinda goes toward the thing Corey said about Hickman not slowing anything down. Seriously, at least throw us a title card!

Posted by Killemall

Was that what that thing on the moon was? I seriously had no idea. Nor do I have any idea who the hell all those people who kept popping up at the end were. This kinda goes toward the thing Corey said about Hickman not slowing anything down. Seriously, at least throw us a title card!

The invasion most likely was The Black Order, an army of followers Thanos apparently amassed while he was away from Earth.

And that part should be tied soon, or revealed. Deeper details about who or what The Black Order is, and if they were even the actual Black Order, should be revealed when the Infinity series starts.

Hickman likes to throw in mysteries and then connect those dots after few issues in the future. Thats his style.

Edited by Hyper_God

@the_mast: Marvel isn't going down the same road as DC and rebooting their multiverse . At least not in the foreseeable future .

Edited by The Mast

The Living Tribunal's scene was odd.

Madly exciting and intriguing, but if you saw him left for dead, possibly dead (If possible at all), with The Watcher standing over him...you might think to tell someone IMMEDIATELY.

Posted by ScumDestroy

Living Tribunal? lol, I thought that was a mega-sized version of Carrion (spiderman villain). Seriously, if you read Superior Spider-man Team-up this week, look at Carrion on the last page... lookin' pretty much identical.

Edited by Hyper_God

If anyone's interested , this is the scene with the LT :

Posted by TDK_1997

The issue was great.That moment with the Living Tribunal was pretty funny for me because I knew there would be a lot of outrage but I think everything will be explained.

Posted by Killemall
Posted by SavageDragon

Once again, great issue.

Posted by Hyper_God
Posted by Killemall
Edited by kcjr

New Avengers is the book I most look forward to each month. I agree it is somewhat hard to follow at times and deserves to be read twice. The part with the Living Tribunal had me floored! I can't wait for Infinity. I wonder will the Atlantis/Wakanda war be put on hold because of the invasion, or is Namor's retaliation going to be all that matters to him.

Posted by Missaukeean

So, then, who had Richards and Stark paid a vist to and asked what to be constructed within the "three month" time frame the estimate they have?