Comic Reviews for 9/18/2013
Comic reviews! This week we got a double does of Infinity events and I cannot stress how important it is that if you’re going to read this, please read New Avengers first before Infinity #3. Otherwise you may be a little confused. Otherwise, keep your eyes open if we decide to add more!
New Avengers continually blows me away, even only after 10 issues. By now, most series have only done a little bit to show real growth and conflict within a comic book, without showing much conflict at all. In fact, most of the action scenes have been forsaken for heavier, consequence based conversations, and New Avengers 10 is no exception.
This book really stood out to me this week as it picks up directly from Infinity 2, as the Illuminati have met, discussed the object Thanos is after, and are no dispersing to find it. Where Issue 10 really shines is at the round table before the search. The Illuminati, minus Black Bolt, have gathered to discuss their methods for searching, as many groups do. These six men, the strongest, smartest, and most prideful in the Marvel Universe sit together and brainstorm, but then they do something surprising, and bring it back to humanity. They realize that they are more than comrades in arms, but friends and have not done enough to help each other as they should have.
The tension is palpable between Namor and Black Panther, as the dialogue is cut and dry. Although they give reports of their personal lives, they hide behind their walls of pride. The question of whether their private lives matter in comparison to the Illuminati tasks is brought forth, and the largest person in the room, Beast, understands that the needs of the many come before the needs of the few.
The most striking imagery, other than Beast’s overwhelming form compared to the team, is the images of the House Black Bolt symbol throughout the world. As they search from location to location, they come across the tuning fork and remnants of the Inhuman tribes. The last of which appears to be built into a cliff face and all wear black/white uniforms.
It is important to read this prior to Infinity #3, which was also released today as it gives us an update on the Ebony Maw and what he has done to Doctor Strange. Some panels in Infinity recall this issue and without that knowledge, you may be feeling a little more lost than informed.
Lastly, the artwork in this book is fantastic. I can’t praise how the combination of story and visuals have come together to present an issue that stands strong in the face of other Infinity Tie-Ins. Beast’s large size, Namor’s face as he informs that Atlantis was destroyed, completely. It brings these characters to life and becomes near cinematic. As I like to reiterate, Avengers is good, but the New Avengers, well, is better.
Rating: 5/5 – Gotta get it.
Infinity as an event has me on edge. Jonathan Hickman has been writing Avengers, New Avengers, and Infinity, and no stone has been left unturned. Details put in place issues ago are returning, the characters are very sympathetic, and I believe that the pacing for this story has outdone any other I’ve read in recent memory. This series could easily be a movie and it would be just as strong.
Issue 3 is titled the King’s Speech, which is of course a famous thing that king’s do, they speak. The irony in the statement is that Black Bolt’s power comes from his voice, so thereby him speaking would be…impactful. Thanos has demanded a tribute from Black Bolt, which he of course refuses to give. Thanos decides to get his hands dirty, but also send his Cull Obsidian to Wakanda, place of a gem. Some gem, perhaps a beautiful blood diamond for his mistress death? Either way, the biggest, most brutish looking member (Black Dwarf) gets reprimanded by Thanos for his loss at Wakanda prior. Needless to say, he is put in his place.
The book returns to outerspace as the remaining survivors of the initial attack on the builders regroup for a last ditch effort, implementing trickery instead of full brute force. Needless to say, this battle is edge of the seat, and surprising on all accounts. We learn of the Builder’s reasons for letting some planets live, and we see some great cosmic pieces. The Starbrand finally puts himself to use and I honestly can’t wait to see where this picks up in Avengers #20.
As a bookend, it returns to Earth, more specifically Attilan, home of the Inhumans, as Thanos steps off his ship to approach Black Bolt. Through some more trickery, we find that Thanos has underestimated the King and will at least, hear him speak a single word. The page where that word is spoken is a beautiful page and will always stand out as the highlight of the first half of Infinity. Black Bolt is a favorite of ComicUI and has been for years, before an Inhumans film was even suggested at being in production by Stan Lee at Motor City Comic Con 2013. Artwork of the character will be featured in my new apartment, you mark my word.
The artwork again is something to behold, especially when you actually get to the King’s speech and Black Bolt’s brother, Maximus the mad, describing why he is mad. Even the earlier panels with Thanos and his Black Order are pretty spectacular. I can’t stop staring at the Builders, as they seem so alien, yet so vivid at the same time. I could see them come to life in a film somewhere, as I seem to always say about this series.
Infinity #3 is another great read and a satisfying way to end the first half of the Infinity Event. Jonathan Hickman again, brings forth the chapter based storytelling and is proving that he can handle himself on 3 different grounds: space with the Avengers; Earth with the New Avengers; and Thanos wherever he may roam.
Rating: 4.5/5 – Read it