Though ‘Avengers’ was initially set to be released bi-monthly on the weeks that ‘New Avengers’ didn’t ship, one can’t really complain about getting two issues of Jonathan Hickman’s excellent story in the flagship book for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It definitely beats sitting on the edge of your seat for a whole month to find out what happens next in a comic that you don’t want to put down.

In the last issue, we met the all-new Hyperion that stands among the ranks of the new expanded roster as one of the strongest beings in the universe. We learned of his otherworldly origins while the team dealt with the aftermath of Ex Nihilo’s thwarted plan of recreating the Earth according to his designs.

Now, in ‘Avengers’ #5, we’re introduced to another new member of the team, the Imperial Guard member known as Smasher. In this issue, we discover that her real name is Isabel “Izzy” Dare, a college student and astronomer from Iowa that becomes Earth’s first member of the Imperial Guard after finding a pair of high tech goggles in a cornfield that belonged to the first Smasher, Vril Rokk. We follow Izzy on a mission with the Avengers in another galaxy that sees her advance in the Imperial Guard ranks from Guardian to Superguardian thanks to her courageous acts in a battle against an alien armada.

Hickman is doing a great job of balancing all his storylines so far. Even though they’ve moved on from the first arc, there are still repercussions from that event resonating in the following issues. At the same time, he’s using these origin stories for Hyperion and Smasher to advance the plot and introduce the world to these new team members while simultaneously foreshadowing future storylines that will hopefully (and probably) be addressed again in the future. I’ve read in many articles that the writer has the next few years planned out for this title, but I didn’t think that everything would be so intricate. Right now, there’s three parallel stories taking place with the Avengers in this book. It’s likely that another one will be added in the next issue. It’s cool that the team became so large or else these stories would be ridiculously hard to juggle.

Basically, there’s no wasted moment in this series so far.  Hickman is not only delivering an interesting story that gives us a whole new chapter for this massive team that clocks in at a magnitude that we haven’t seen before, but he’s showing immense skills as a storyteller by not stepping on his own toes while he has so many dishes slowly cooking on many burners.

Though the story is complex, there’s still a lot of emotion in the Avengers machine. Smasher’s family history, her connection to Captain America, and her exchange with Dr. Bruce Banner are just a few of those moments that remind you of the great deal of emotions contained in this well-crafted story.

Whether we’re getting this book weekly, bi-monthly, or tri-monthly, I’ll still anticipate the following chapters with the same excitement as long as they follow this trend of excellence.

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