Time is running out for the New Avengers and apparently, the entire Marvel universe. Let’s see how it goes down. Is it good?
New Avengers #29 (Marvel Comics)
So, the Illuminati and the Avengers have put their differences to the side for the moment and now need to focus on the task at hand. How will they fix this whole Incursion problem? Time for a lot of talking!
To be honest, the real thing I’m looking at here is Captain Marvel’s horse mane and Mr. Fantastic’s giraffe neck.
I have had plenty of problems with New Avengers (and also Avengers) over the course of these past two years for a variety of problems. Just check out past reviews and my Worst of the Year for 2014 list for more details. I wasn’t really expecting much coming to this issue, but to be perfectly honest, it managed to surprise me. New Avengers #29 wasn’t all that bad. Sure, it’s not particularly great, but it’s not bad either. There are only two things that really hold it back, but let’s focus on the good here to start things off with.
Writing-wise, Hickman does an alright job. The characterization is okay. I mean, there’s absolutely no development or growth here, but the characters seem fine for the most part outside of some crabby attitudes. The dialogue isn’t actually bad or dry as hell. It does dip a bit into that college text book dryness at points, but it quickly pulls back from it. It’s extremely heavy on the exposition (seriously, this issue feels like basic setup for the big event, Secret Wars), but it’s not intolerable. There’s nothing really that sticks out about it, but its fine. The pacing is slow, but the book never feels like it drags at any point. It’s structured fine, there’s an interesting development with Tony Stark and someone else, and for fans of the original Secret Wars, they’ll like the ending.
Geeze guys, won’t you get over the fact we mind wiped your friend and committed genocide in the past like a normal person?
Now let’s talk about where the comic does slip up. The first area is the fact that issue itself is fairly uneventful and forgettable except for the opening and ending. The entire issue just has the characters talking, recapping previous events, trying to fill in plot holes, and checking in on what Dr. Doom is up to for a brief scene. Not a lot is accomplished and it really feels like this and past few issues could have been better paced so that the comic could have a bit more meat (considering how easy it was resolve their differences for the moment, did we really need the entire SHIELD Avengers Vs. Illuminati storyline as well?). Story-wise though, the issue did address a problem I have been having with New Avengers during all of this talk and that was the Illuminati did seem to be trying to approach other solutions to solve their problem besides blowing up worlds. That’s good honestly and solves a plot hole, but it seems a little too late at point. I don’t quite get why we couldn’t see them doing this in earlier issues (especially when there were issues where little happened), especially with how rusehd and contrived it felt when they explained how their plans failed.
The second part that hurts the comic is the artwork. Kev Walker stepped up to do art duties and honestly, it really doesn’t click well. In a comic where it had the characters just mostly talk a lot and not much was going on, you need an artist with creative visual storytelling to help elevate the issue and keep it looking appealing (kind of like with Bendis’ Powers, Scarlet, or Alias series). Walker’s artwork is not capable of that unfortunately, due to the fact his art is rather cartoonish in areas and his characters look really bad at points. The body physiques look off, the characters’ hair look silly, they sport long and inhuman necks in some panels, some are inexplicably chubby-looking, some look far older than they should be, and others exhibit below average facial expressions. The artwork was so incongruous at points that it took me out of the moment and made me chuckle. I really hope they get a different artist on this book quickly, because Walker isn’t doing the story and serious nature of the comic any favors.
Damn, these past few days must have been hard on Sunspot. It looks like he’s aged 20 or 30 years. On the plus side, he’s really been getting nice weightlifting gains in his cheek muscles.
Is It Good?
New Avengers #29 is perfectly okay. There’s nothing really too bad about the book, but nothing all that great either. The writing is fine, but the lack of progress and weak artwork really holds it back a lot. With the end coming in a few months, the book should really pick up the pace a bit for its own sake… unless it’s just biding time until Secret Wars — which would be rather frustrating.
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