Comic Vine Review

33 Comments

New Avengers #9 - The Cull Obsidian Review

5

Thanos has another thing coming if he thought he’d just be able to stroll up to an undefended Earth. But is there already division in the ranks of its protectors?

The Good

Even before Infinity became a thing, Jonathan Hickman had a good thing going with New Avengers. The book was, in addition to juggling extra-dimensional Incursions and the fate of the Infinity Gems, dealing with the fallout of Namor drowning Wakanda while in possession of the Phoenix Force, and dealings were not going well. So as much as I’ve been enjoying Infinity, there was SOME trepidation about this amazing B-plot being relegated to the back-burner, and even forgotten. Jonathan Hickman, in this issue, lets readers know that he doesn’t intend to forget a single moment. The Cull Obsidian, Thanos’ elite five lieutenants, descend upon Earth searching for the one unbroken Infinity Gem: the Gem of Time. While Black Dwarf assails Wakanda with a small army, the Ebony Maw immobilizes and attempts to control Dr. Strange. Meanwhile Supergiant and Corvus Glaive attack the Jean Grey School and Proxima Midnight delivers an ultimatum to Namor. These seemingly disparate threads all certainly serve a greater whole and they call come together in a shocking way by the end of the issue. And don’t think Hickman’s left Black Bolt out of the fun because he has what might be the most important role to fulfill. Like so many issues before, these characters could all feel like they got short-shrift, like they’re being passed over for the sake of plot expediency, but Hickman balances everything perfectly, pacing the book immaculately and never letting the grandiose scope get away from him.

Mike Deodato remains steadfast on art and brings an absolutely amazing vision and tone to the title. He brings a truly unified and fascinating look to the book, whether that be through action or interaction. Deodato uses very earthy colors and keeps the entire look of the book very subdued and grounded, which is why it’s so amazing that it looks as great as it does in a book involving intergalactic invaders. It keeps the book feeling appropriately dark, though never feeling entirely grim. The only real action takes place on the ground in Wakanda and, briefly, in the skies over New York, but it all looks fantastic. Deodato captures the fluid, deadly grace of the Panthers as well as the overwhelming power of the defenses Tony Stark and Reed Richards provide.

The Bad

I have no complaints about this issue. Even if you haven’t been following New Avengers, but are interested in Infinity, you can jump onto this title.

The Verdict

Hickman is officially three-for-three on his Infinity titles. There’s absolutely nothing to dislike here between his incredible pacing and characterization with Deodato’s pitch-perfect panels. Over the last several years, since the very first Annihilation books, Marvel has refocused on their cosmic characters and settings, but they’ve been writing them like more grounded books: characters first, and this issue is one of the best examples of that. The problem with so many cosmic comics, and cosmic media in general, is that it feels detached or removed from real events or consequences, but that’s no longer the case. This issue illustrated that characterization is a number one priority for this upcoming event. Even if you’re sick of Marvel’s giant, world-shattering events, even if this event reverts back to the status quo and doesn’t really change anything, it’s well constructed enough that the titles are, so far, very much worth picking up.

34 Comments
Posted by HillbillyMorangie

Great review thanks

Posted by Hawkguy

It feels like 2 different people are writing new avengers and avengers. One seems cluttered with too much going on and the other is so clear and beautiful. Either way, awesome issue.

Oh and I really really really dislike namor...

Posted by Ando123

WHat a great book, really enjoyable

Edited by G_Money_Christmas

I wanted and need to get this because it's the next issue in Infinity but my LCS didn't have this one. It didn't have 7 or 8 either. I don't know what's up.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

This has been my favorite team title since its release. Has a mature tone with an awesome cast and story.

Edited by KingdomCome

@hawkguy: I find that with "Avengers", Hickman try's too hard to be convoluted. He's self-aware, plays to his reputation. People expect a multitude of plot points from Hickman, some lasting years. However with "Avengers", Hickman seems incapable of hiding such plans, with plot points blatantly establishing others, yet none of them directly impacting the titles characters progression.

On the other hand, with "New Avengers", despite similarly utilising an epic scope, the core characterisation is kept integral to its stories progression, making it a much superior title...

Posted by The Mast

Everything Hickman is doing is nothing short of excellent.

Namor? Namor's not dumb. He's got something brewing. It's Black Bolt who worries me. What's Strange up to? UGH! So pumped.

Posted by Cavemold

Great issue.5/5

Posted by comicbookfan93

I haven't read previous issues and was slightly confused but what exactly did black bolt do at the end of the issue?

Posted by Kerrigan

This was fun, Infinity has been great so far. Would have liked to see more of the Black Panther-Black Dwarf fight (what, are we beyond gratuitous violence now?), but that's a small thing. I'm probably going to get Inifinty in individual issues and in trade when it comes. Very good so far.

Posted by Spideysense44

want to see what the black panther will do now

Edited by timelord

This book is amazing every month I feel like I have to read 2 or 3 times just to get the full scope of what's going on. If I didn't know any better I would think Avengers and New Avengers are being written by two different writers.

Posted by GrenadeFlow

Great issue

Loved the Black Panther and Wakanda parts. I really think its time to kill off Namor

Posted by Spideysense44
Posted by The_Titan_Lord

Can't wait to read this.

Posted by Fenderxx

O wow, I love the pace of this event in all 3 titles, everything is moving along but doesnt feel rushed, I even enjoyed the tie ins !

Posted by Nefilim927

Great issue, great review...I got a grasp on everything except whatever that machine Black Bolt's brother built and how it ties into everything

Posted by RageEx2

@comicbookfan93: he activated the emergency signal used only by the Illuminati

Posted by knighthood

These issues are just a breeze to read through. Solid, though. Good story telling. I can't wait for the next one.

Posted by TimeLordScience

@hawkguy said:

It feels like 2 different people are writing new avengers and avengers. One seems cluttered with too much going on and the other is so clear and beautiful. Either way, awesome issue.

Oh and I really really really dislike namor...

I actually don't blame Namor for his actions at the end. He tried to make peace and was rejected by the queen of Wakanda. He did act vengefully, yeah, but do you blame him?

Posted by Hawkguy

@timelordscience said:

@hawkguy said:

It feels like 2 different people are writing new avengers and avengers. One seems cluttered with too much going on and the other is so clear and beautiful. Either way, awesome issue.

Oh and I really really really dislike namor...

I actually don't blame Namor for his actions at the end. He tried to make peace and was rejected by the queen of Wakanda. He did act vengefully, yeah, but do you blame him?

No but it's stupid of him to do it when the woman clearly says THANOS is coming to town... Does he really think they'll have mercy on him? If he does then Atlantis deserved to burn.

Posted by GrenadeFlow

@hawkguy said:

@timelordscience said:

@hawkguy said:

It feels like 2 different people are writing new avengers and avengers. One seems cluttered with too much going on and the other is so clear and beautiful. Either way, awesome issue.

Oh and I really really really dislike namor...

I actually don't blame Namor for his actions at the end. He tried to make peace and was rejected by the queen of Wakanda. He did act vengefully, yeah, but do you blame him?

No but it's stupid of him to do it when the woman clearly says THANOS is coming to town... Does he really think they'll have mercy on him? If he does then Atlantis deserved to burn.

Burn hahaha

Posted by sparty-dbq

Can we start classifying Namor as a villain now, please? He's been a pain in everyone's ass the whole series so far anyway.

Posted by Mezmero

This book is never not incredible. I'm not exactly chomping at the bit for these huge cosmic events but Hickman has me hook, line, and sinker with what New Avengers is doing. While people might still crave a solo title for Black Panther I don't think he has ever been so badass in recent years as he is in this. I like that they even manage to rope in Maximus for a quick cameo. Fully agree with this review.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

Did Namor just betray the illuminati? WUT. I loved how BP just told Dwarf that he was gonna beat him. I'm still a bit confused in the whole Dr.Strange situation.

Posted by blkson

Really enjoyed this issue. The fighting sequence wasn't really fleshed out like I'd wanted but good issue. Nice Review!

Posted by comicbookfan93

@rageex2: thank you that's what I thought but I wasn't sure

Posted by QuantumVertex

Thus far Infinity has read like a grand scale movie and kept me constantly on the edge of my seat wanting more. This is how an event is written! Its the only thing truly worthy of the title event in Marvel this year!

Edited by Dernpool

New Avengers is the best Marvel title to come out in years, and I love the dynamic between the most intelligent, and powerful, characters in that universe, and the moral ambiguity that they struggle with. The art is dramatic, but not over the top, and sets a serious tone, making it all seem believable and real. I hate however, that Marvel constantly jobs out its most powerful characters, like Dr. Strange and Thor, for expediency of story. Dr. Strange constantly monitors numerous dimensions and has an incredible early warning/defensive capacity when he's written to his true power set. You don't walk into the Sanctum Sanctorum without a scratch, no matter what vague cosmic power you have, again, if the character is written to his true power set. The same applies to Reed and Tony Stark, who have also been caught seemingly unawares by the invasion, and have not been able to prevent or defend against the invaders until they were right in their faces. I did like though that T'challah seemingly took Black Dwarf down a notch, and I think this would have been a more interesting and believable story if Marvel's most powerful and intelligent characters weren't made out to look like B-listers, just to raise the stakes and add drama. That said, this is miles better than anything Bendis does and has done, and thank god this is Hickman's, and not his, event!

Edited by TimeLordScience

@hawkguy said:

@timelordscience said:

@hawkguy said:

It feels like 2 different people are writing new avengers and avengers. One seems cluttered with too much going on and the other is so clear and beautiful. Either way, awesome issue.

Oh and I really really really dislike namor...

I actually don't blame Namor for his actions at the end. He tried to make peace and was rejected by the queen of Wakanda. He did act vengefully, yeah, but do you blame him?

No but it's stupid of him to do it when the woman clearly says THANOS is coming to town... Does he really think they'll have mercy on him? If he does then Atlantis deserved to burn.

I didn't interpret it as Namor trusting the woman of the Black Order. He's just using Thanos's army to devastate Wakanda out of revenge. He could probably care less about Thanos's arrival with how much red he's seeing.

Posted by smcienrn

great book. Great read. At the end, had to "study" the characters names and attributes of the Cull Obsidian like I did when I was a kid.

Lots of fun. Wish the book started earlier in the summer, like Infinity Gauntlet did, but that is a small complaint for a great ride!

Posted by WaveMotionCannon

Great issue! Hickman hasn't disappointed me yet, although I wish the Black Panther/ Black Dwarf fight was shown on panel ( to further illustrate how really badass BP is) the fact he sent them packing says it all. Namor is either a great actor or the A hole I always knew him to be, can't wait for the next issue.

Posted by evilvegeta74

Great issue

Loved the Black Panther and Wakanda parts. I really think its time to kill off Namor

Never!