The Illuminati are in a world of trouble. In fact, they’re in two worlds of trouble! Not only are they working to save their own world, but Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Black Panther, Black Bolt, Namor, Beast, and Doctor Strange are attempting to save the one that’s on course to collide with theirs. Up to this point, they’ve been doing fine getting by, but there’s one thing that could definitely help them deal with this problem much easier: their prisoner, Black Swan.

In the last issue of ‘New Avengers’, the team had ejected Captain America from their ranks in order to do what needed to be done to save the worlds. On their first outing without their star-spangled friend, they transported themselves to the other Earth to try to recover the Infinity Gems there after their own Infinity Gauntlet didn’t work the way that they hoped. But then, once they got to the other Earth, they were met by Galactus and Terrax, who were preparing to consume the planet. In an attempt to stop them, the team engaged in battle with the herald.

Now, we pick up after the battle in the holding facility in Necropolis where Reed Richards and his teammates turn to Black Swan to find out everything that she knows. It is here that we learn her back-story and exactly what she’s capable of. Or rather, what she’s sharing that she’s capable of. Though she appears to be willing to help, Black Panther still finds that something is fishy with their new lady friend.

One of the things that I was a big fan of in this issue was the battle with Terrax. Artist Steve Epting really had a chance to play around with things in this one. It was so simple, yet it told a lot about how the battle went down. Also, I like seeing Black Bolt get his hands dirty. He’s probably the biggest gun that the team has, so when he’s let off the leash, then it’s a big deal. Beast’s thumbs up says it all about the battle to me.

Next, the page showing the interaction between Doctor Strange, Namor, and Black Swan was so great. Suddenly, I want to see more of the good doctor and Imperius Rex teaming up. I might have to look into getting some Defenders books to see that because that snarky interchange was pretty awesome.

Finally, I want to say that this story is so complex. That’s an adjective that I’m using a lot when it comes to Hickman’s work, but it’s so true. However, whereas in ‘Avengers’ it’s complex in a way that I can see all the pieces and appreciate them, ‘New Avengers’ is almost so complex that I don’t get it. There’s a lot of cool sciencey stuff going on, but it’s almost past my level of comprehension when it comes to these things. When you get all the smartest minds in the Marvel Universe, you can’t really expect anything less, but I hope that the team gets into more action in the upcoming issue so as to appease those of us who are starting to tune out all the super scientific aspects of the book. Not saying that some of it is bad because that sort of thing is like an essential part of the foundation of comics, but too much of it might make me lose interest.

Now that the team seemingly has a new ally in keeping their world alive, they might stand a chance at actually saving the Earth. Not saying that they couldn’t do it on their own, but with this time crunch implemented upon them, they could use all the help they can get. Which they might have to do if the solicits for the next issue are any indication of what’s to come.

Final Score:



New Avengers #5

Written by Jonathan Hickman

Art by Steve Epting, Rick Magyar, & Frank D’Armata

Cover Art by Jock