The High Evolutionary has teamed up with...is this right The Evolutionary? They weren’t ALWAYS together?...okay, if you insist. Chris Yost has brought together some of Marvel’s best B and C-listers (seriously, how is Darkhawk NOT on this team??) to take on the beings that are, apparently, keeping the Celestials at bay. That’s right, this issue we learn that the Evolutionaries are killing the few to save the many, but since the few haven’t actually done anything wrong, are they even close to in the right? This issue gives us a great fight that’s seemingly been building since the first issue, and it’s quite the brawl, involving everyone using their extremely diverse and interesting power set in a cool way. And, of course, Scarlet Spider being called Spider-Man is always a treat for his reaction.
There’s some incredible linework in here from artist Marcus To, giving everything a cartoonish, kinetic feel. Cartoonish doesn't mean lacking in detail, however, and there's a tremendous amount of small effects and characterizations that makes each panel stand out. Of course the colors by David Curiel are a massive part of what makes the visuals pop off the page and set the tone of bright, animated action. This is another book that uses tinting on panels to set a tone with incredible economy.
I enjoy this book, but it feels somewhat paint-by-numbers, especially with what’s going on in other Marvel titles. This book feels very much like it’s going through the motions, even despite the sharp dialog, though there's been very little character development so far, which I'm hoping changes as the team coheres and we need less exposition. Also I can’t emphasize this enough: there’s a faction called the Evolutionary and a man called the High Evolutionary and they’ve never even heard of each other until the few months before this issue. That's not necessarily this book's fault as both factions existed beforehand, but It feels like if Kirk Langstrom had turned himself into, and called himself, Man-Bat without having heard of or met Batman. This specifically didn't affect the score, it's more a personal gripe.
The action jumps around a lot from page-to-page, and even panel-to-panel, at one point Speedball seems shocked to see Namorita, but it’s never made clear as to why and the action on the next page shifts entirely. That's just one example but are other times like this when it feels like dialog or even entire panels are missing. Ultimately this feels like two issues were hastily compressed into one.
This isn’t a bad issue by any stretch, and the good parts outweigh the bad to the point that I’m very much looking forward to what next issue brings. I think it’s a great shift to see a cast of also-rans taking on a massive, world-ending plot where none of the A-listers are even aware of it as it lends some really fresh, interesting perspectives to the whole thing. This isn’t the strongest issue of the four, but based on the other three, and the parts of this one I like, I'm optimistic there’ll still be plenty to look forward to in this book.