New Avengers #20

by mahargen on June 26, 2014

Story:  Jonathan Hickman

Art:  Valerio Schiti


Do you love your heroes?  Do you love your heroes doing horrible things?  Then New Avengers is the book for you!


Hickman’s sprawling opus has been growing and building on itself for well over a year now.  If the recent rumor mill is to be believed, we’re just around the midpoint of Hickman’s story.  Things have begun to pick up dramatically and the time to make the choices our heroes have feared they would eventually have to make has come calling.  Whereas last issue was all setup, this installment was all pay-off, with the New Avengers of Earth-616 taking on the “Great Society,” from the other earth involved in the current incursion, an obvious parallel of DC’s Justice League.  The action is tight, well-scripted and beautifully created.  The conflict I felt regarding which group of heroes I wanted to come out on top made the action quite enjoyable.  Of course I want our heroes to emerge victoriously, but what exactly would that win entail?  


The obvious star of this part of the storyline is Dr. Stephen Strange, who has stepped to the forefront.  We get the resolution of a cliffhanger from earlier in the series that does not wind up playing out the way I expected it to, which was quite entertaining.  New Avengers seems to be about the bit-by-bit erosion of our heroes, and the lengths to which they will go to keep their world safe.  We’re at the point on the path now where Captain America feared the team was headed before his unceremonious removal from the cast.  Dr. Strange is the primary representation of this creeping darkness that has overtaken the team, and he is the first to fully accept exactly what it is that needs to be done.  (That is, after last issues marvelous Namor moment.)


The team is headed down a very dark road, and the part of me that enjoys the darkness that Hickman is pushing on our heroes is quite enjoying it.




Matthew can be found on Twitter at @mahargen.  He also wonders if there is a term for enjoying seeing others go through pain.


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