The impact sites around the world have been sending out a communication signal. Nearly all of them have ended in failure, which in turn cause problems for all technological devises on Earth. But then one has gone through. It is coming from the origin site in Australia. A strike team of the Avengers heads over there, only to find themselves encountering a literal army of creatures. As Bruce Banner works with some of the best of S.H.I.E.L.D. to quickly figure out the best of action on all directions, he is informed that something has happened at A.I.M. island. The results of which are not pretty.
I find this current story arc of Avengers, written by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer, to be one that probably reads better in full as opposed to from issue to issue. The pacing, while I think works well for the story as a whole, is one that I’m sure will have readers itching for either more or for better understanding. One really has to be quite familiar with all that has been happening in the series to date, and the recap panels at the beginning of each issue doesn’t necessarily accomplish this entirely. At the same time, I actually like that this issue holds back some of the action to further explore how the team is put together to fill specific roles. In this one, we get a better idea of how Banner operates when he’s not “The Jolly Green Giant” for a while. His brain running at full speed, he has S.H.I.E.L.D. workers explores multiple scenarios and having to decide which will work best for each in a very short amount of time. I appreciate development such as this.
This book is being treated to some fantastic illustrations by Stefano Caselli. He clearly understands the scope and scale Hickman is trying to go for and proceeds to accomplish this in epic fashion. It’s like he also knows that folks are likely reading the book as a result of having seen the movie and caters to them with panels that are cinematic in look and feel. Take a page when Thor strikes the ground to bring the thunder. How Caselli illustrates that panel of Thor’s action and then the subsequent panels of what it does is a wonderful sequence that plays out like a movie, leaping right out of the page with the kind of life few action scenes in most other comic books nowadays rarely achieve. Helping pulling this off are Frank Martin and Edgar Delgado, providing some of the finest colors around.
Avengers remains a well written book that is thrilling the read, even if the present arc seems to come off better when collected as a whole. Jonathan Hickman and co-writer Nick Spencer continue to explore how each member of the team fills a necessary role while Stefano Caselli once again illustrates some amazing pages. The book offers pretty much all that one could ever want from an Avengers title and is thus recommended.
What’s been your favorite use of Bruce Banner without turning into the Hulk? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.