When we last saw the Avengers in their last ‘Infinity’ tie-in, things were looking extremely bleak in their war with the Builders. However, it was Thor to the rescue as Captain America sent in the Asgardian to “negotiate” with the captors of the Kree home world, Hala. With that battle proving to the galaxy that these aggressors can be beaten, the remaining Galactic Council forces spread out to dethrone the other Builder strongholds throughout the universe. But with the good news of their intergalactic victories came the bad news of Thanos’ siege of Earth as he looks for his son. Now that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have received word of their home being under attack, a number of their allies are more than happy to join forces under the leadership of Steve Rogers for one more battle.
That leads us to ‘Avengers’ #22 where we see the various ways that the team is preparing to enter the final battle. Some keep their minds occupied with romance, others form battle plans, and a few even question why they’re fighting. No matter how they prepare themselves, these are the final moments before the main event that pits the Mad Titan’s armada against a whole mess of Avengers Worlds.
For starters, the beginning of the issue with Cannonball, Sunspot, and Smasher was great. Jonathan Hickman previously stated in interviews before this title came out that he added the two New Mutants to the massive Avengers roster because he is a fan of the duo. With all the seriousness going on with the war with the Builders and the attack from Thanos, there hasn’t been much time to throw in some comedy with these two, but this reminds us how much fun Hickman can have with a few of his favorite characters. Also, it let’s us get to know Lizzy a bit better because other than her origin issue a while back, we haven’t gotten to know very much about her.
Next, I’m not sure that I’ve said this before anywhere else, but Falcon’s space suit freaks me out a bit. The fact that the helmet is a huge bird head is really creepy. I always forget that it’s Sam under there when he pops up on panels. Sure, it’s functional and goes with his whole motif, but it’s seriously freaking me out.
Finally, my favorite part about this whole issue is the different approaches to war. Though I may not know from first hand experience, I feel like this book reflects many reactions that soldiers would have in real life when they’re gearing up to return to war. Like I touched on briefly earlier, you have the old veterans making plans, the young guns squeezing a bit of romance, and then you have the people who aren’t really ready to go back yet. These are the ones that aren’t even sure why they’re there in the first place. Since this title started at the launch of Marvel NOW, Hickman has done a great job of juggling many different stories at once in one issue. With such a large cast, it has to be done and not only does he prove to be a master at it, but he shows just how great of a craftsman he is with the written word. He evokes such great emotion from his books, which is why I keep coming back for more.
The finale of ‘Infinity’ is just over the horizon and the next chapter takes place in issue 23 of this series, so I can’t wait to get my hands on what’s coming next.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, & David Curiel
Cover by Leinil Yu & Laura Martin