Written by Jonathan Hickman
Pencils by Steve Epting
Inked by Rick Magyar with Steve Epting
Colors by Frank D’armata
Review by Adam Shaw
Jonathan Hickman is certainly out to create big and heavy problems for all the characters involved in the books he is writing, and the heroes of New Avengers are no exception. The threat that faces T’Challa and the Illuminati is literally a universal one. If they fail, then *poof* all of existence is gone, forever. For-ev-er! (The Sandlot, anyone? Anyone?)
Right off the bat the stakes are high. It’s quite clear that there is no margin for error. All eventualities need to be prepared for, including the possible destruction of parallel Earths. There are several pages of Reed Richards explaining to the rest of the Illuminati all the science behind the destruction of the universe. Hickman and Steve Epting do an excellent job at putting all this complex wibbly-wobbly-quantum-mechanical-stuff into a nice comic panel sized power point presentation for us simpletons.
Issue #2 of New Avengers is not one of battles and destruction. Some people might find all the conversation and table talk to be boring, but I can already tell that this issue is going to be a key piece in the story Hickman has planned for us. Besides the big “end of the universe” dilemma, we are introduced to several other conflicts here.
**Minor Spoilers Here**
In issue #1 we learned that T’Challa has a distrust of the Illuminati, a secret counsel of heroes guiding/controlling the world. However, the problem at hand is too big to handle on his own; he must put aside his personal convictions for the sake of the world. In particular, The Black Panther has a personal hate towards Namor for the destruction and havoc wreaked on Wakanda during the events of AvX. Hickman did great job with the exchange between Namor and T’Challa that left a slight chill running down my spine.
T’Challa is not the only one that is contemplating and having to compromise his own beliefs. No one in the group likes the idea of planning for all scenarios. That includes those plans involving the destruction of another planet. It is in these deep discussions that Captain America lays down the law and sets the path the Illuminati will begin to take. Reed and T’Challa do not share in Cap’s optimism and decide they need to make other contingencies as well. Put your cloaks and daggers on, lads and lassies. There is no way this is going to play out well.
**Minor Spoilers End**
It is only the second issue, but Hickman has already laid out multiple angles for this story to go. Some of the issues may never arise. Some may appear sooner, and others further down the line. Folks, Hickman is laying some amazing ground work here. Oh, yeah, and through Black Swan he has given us some possible foreshadowing as well.
Epting and the art team are also doing an amazing job so far. Epting and Magyar’s ink really sell the “secret behind closed doors” meeting and impending doom atmosphere. Colorists need love too, right? D’armata’s colors are beautiful! The book really “pops” on my iPad. I’m not sure if looking at people sit at a table having a discussion has ever looked this nice!
Buy It! There is so much going on here, and I mean that in a good way. There is a lot of dialog, but it is meaningful. A lot of the foundation for New Avengers is being laid here.
In issue #1 we got to see Black Panther kicking ass and taking names. In this issue we get to see another side of him. I never knew much about Black Panther (and didn’t really care about him before), but I can tell he is a bad-ass. I cannot wait to see what Hickman and team have in store for us. This should be an amazing ride. Get on the bus and grab a seat, Gump!