Now that ‘Age of Ultron’ is finished, we can move on to Jonathan Hickman’s ‘Infinity’. While the true believers of Marvel Comics may be a little burned out by huge crossovers at the moment, signs point to this next one being as epic as the last one should have been. And if you’re wondering when and where the build up begins, the answer is right here in ‘Avengers’ #14.
In the last issue, the Avengers (with a little help from a rogue Watcher) fought to retrieve the children of one of Ex Nihilo’s origin bombs that landed in the Savage Land after they’re captured by the High Evolutionary and his Terminus. But now in the most recent issue, the team’s duties go above and beyond babysitting as the other origin bombs seem to be emitting a signal that’s causing danger and destruction all around the globe, which means the whole team needs to be called in for this one.
From planes falling out of the sky to satellites falling out of space to nuclear plant meltdowns, the Avengers certainly have their hands full in this issue. But Hickman, skilled as ever, manages to balance all the happenings very well. He doesn’t spend too much time on one thing and he weaves the threads that connect everything together so nicely until it all really comes together in the end.
One thing that’s interesting to see is Bruce Banner keeping a cool head through all this. With Tony Stark in the field, the difficult job of figuring out why all this is happening and where it’s all coming from falls entirely on Dr. Banner and his team. While I’ve often lauded the way Hulk has evolved over in Mark Waid’s ‘Indestructible Hulk’, all the writers of Marvel NOW who work with Banner have managed to sort him out for the better as well. Not only is it fun to see him smash things, it’s super fun to see him use his brain for the greater good in all the titles that he’s involved in.
Another thing that’s come to be expected from Hickman is his humor. Amidst all the craziness going on, he still manages to sneak in a joke here and there. I could be extra amused this time around because Shang-Chi is involved in an awesome gag in this issue because I love the character, but seeing the Master of Kung Fu momentarily question his teammate’s powers before immediately getting put in his place was pretty hysterical to me.
Finally, the sheer magnitude of what’s going on is extraordinary. I’ve said it before, but not a single issue of this series to date has been a wasted motion. There are things from issue one that are still playing an important role in issue fourteen. I am in love with all the details that are being scattered throughout this run. Whereas in ‘Age of Ultron’ where I wanted to know more, I’m given everything that I need to and want to know in ‘Avengers’ and it all ties together perfectly. Seriously, at this point, if Jonathan Hickman were to be in my presence right now, I’d pull a ‘Wayne’s World’ and declare that I am not worthy. Everything that the man has written so far since the start of Marvel NOW has had me hooked and now this prelude to ‘Infinity’ has me even more excited for that event to start, despite the opening shots barely being fired.
Written by Jonathan Hickman with Nick Spencer
Art by Stefano Caselli & Frank Martin
Cover by Leinil Yu & Sunny Gho