Talk about things escalating quickly. When Jonathan Hickman described this book as the dark to the ‘Avengers’ title’s light, he really wasn’t kidding. By the end of this latest ‘New Avengers’ book, things with the Illuminati propel the team into a pretty dark direction that definitely raises that age-old greater good debate.
When we last left Black Panther and his team consisting of the brightest minds in the Marvel Universe, Captain America opposed the idea of killing another world in order to save their own, so as an alternative, the group decides to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet to try to solve their worlds colliding problem. However, Charles Xavier, the man who possessed the Mind Gem needed to complete the gauntlet, perished during the events of ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men’, so the team must find a way to track down the remaining piece of their puzzle.
Now, the new issue opens with Dr. Hank McCoy, the X-Man known as Beast, opening a letter that was left to him by his mentor Xavier that acts as a trigger for a memory that was implanted deep in his subconscious by the professor. This memory leads him to the missing Infinity Gem, which in turn leads the Illuminati to him. Now with their ranks completed and the Infinity Gauntlet whole, the team initiates their plan to keep the two versions of Earth from colliding with each other.
When I got to the end of the book, the cover of the first issue suddenly made more sense to me. Others may have noticed that a character in this series wasn’t on the first cover. That’s probably because he wasn’t really a member of this team, and that is confirmed in this book. Like I said in my review of ‘Avengers’ #5, Jonathan Hickman doesn’t waste a single moment, not even in the artwork, for his Avengers books. And these things are so subtle that maybe one wouldn’t notice right away, so when you figure it out, you’re very surprised. At least, I was pretty surprised since it was one of those “Oh they’re not gonna do it… THEY DID IT!” sort of moments.
Essentially, I was pretty lukewarm on the first two issues of this series. I’m a fan of the Illuminati team and the story was interesting enough to keep me reading, but I wouldn’t say that ‘New Avengers’ was a book that I looked forward to reading like ‘Batman’, ‘Hawkeye’, or ‘Deadpool’. But after this issue, I think I’d say I’m a slightly bigger fan. The thing that really did it for me was the scene at the end in Necropolis. The pacing of the panels across the two pages was great and I loved he way it escalated to the reveal on the page turn. Excellent use of the medium, despite being something so simple.
Now that the team has gone and done what happened at the end of this issue, I’m curious to see what else they are capable of. I’m looking forward to reading the next issue because of that.
New Avengers #3
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Steve Epting, Rick Magyar, & Frank D’Armata
Cover Art by Jock