I was pretty hard on Avengers #3, but I had my reasons. This fourth issue opens things up in a big way and more importantly, it’s starting to curve in towards a foreseeable finish. The worst thing is, it doesn’t look good for our heroes!
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
It has been a long road since Marvel Legacy revealed there was a billion-year-old Avengers team on Earth fighting Celestials. The cover reveals Thor and Hulk will be communing with Odin, the leader of the ancient Avengers, so there best be answers within.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
There are definitely answers in this issue, and while they may not deliver as far as complete answers, it’s a step in the right direction. The issue opens with the ancient Avengers too, which have been lacking in the narrative. This issue bounces around between Hulk and Thor, Doctor Strange and Iron Man, and Captain America and Loki with some added Ghost Rider scenes. Jason Aaron writes a very well paced and plotted issue with each of these characters in their respective locations building towards something. That something means higher stakes and, hopefully, even more answers. I was riveted by every page of this issue and it never let me down.
The biggest takeaway from this issue is how things are starting to make sense. The ancient Avengers continue to be a window dressing that may amount to more, but their purpose to this story arc becomes very clear on the last page.
Regardless, the might and magnitude of the Celestials are rendered beautifully and the art by Ed McGuinness and Paco Medina is great. The opening page is a great team shot of the ancient Avengers (aided by captions that help recap who each Avenger is) and there are plenty of big blockbuster style panels. The style in general is very in your face with characters more close up than usual, which actually gives it a Kirby sort of style.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Some are annoyed with how Hulk is being portrayed here since she was developed so well in her previous book and that continues here. I had some hope since the last issue seemed to hint there’s more to it than Hulk just changing on the fly, but she continues to be a rampaging Hulk. There’s also a scene with Thor that will be talked about quite a bit and I’m still processing it. Does it mean anything? Is it just flash to sell comics? I’m not sure!
Is it good?
This is one of the strongest issues in the story arc yet. Jason Aaron is crafting something that is building up to something truly spectacular. This issue plants the seeds that have so much promise I’m dying to know what happens next.