In this issue of Avengers, the back-story to the new Smasher is explored. After dropping out of college to help on the family farm and take care of her ill grandfather, Isabel “Izzy” Dare discovers a pair of goggles in the middle of the field. That night, they suddenly activate and a voice tells her to put them on. When she does, she transforms immediately into the Smasher. In a side story set in the present, Smasher enlists Captain America and other Avengers to help when the Shi’ar Empire is threatened.
Like the previous issue, Jonathan Hickman takes time out to introduce one of the newest members of the Avengers. He again manages to tell so much with so few pages. I can feel my heart getting warm reading this book, learning about a character I can appreciate and get behind in future stories. There is one moment I like that shows how she is able to put up with the conflict her father and grandfather have with one another and not feel as though it is a burden for her to do so. Because to her it is the right thing to do and it makes her happy to do it. Speaking of her grandfather, serious old-school comic book readers will want to pay special attention to him as the last few pages reveal the possible super hero heritage Izzy is apparently from.
Adam Kubert returns to illustrate the book. There are a few pages during the scenes where Smasher and the Avengers team up that do not look as crisp, but they hardly dampen an otherwise wonderful looking book. Adam really hits it in the scenes where Izzy interacts with her grandfather, in particular those last few panels mentioned above. There is a great attention to detail and not just with the lines, but also with the way these drawings display the emotion being projected by the characters in the scene. But what really makes the book all the more beautiful is the coloring by Frank Martin. The brightness of the colors adds another level of depth to the pages, daring the reader not to smile.
It is issues like this one that show me why Jonathan Hickman is such a highly regarded storyteller. In roughly twenty pages, he gets the most out of developing characters that a reader like myself can’t help but admire. It’s the kind of story that any one can pick up, read, and enjoy, no matter whether or not they are familiar with the content of the book. Along with some great artwork by Adam Kubert and Frank Martin, this issue of Avengers is easy for me to recommend.
Do you know who the new Smasher could be related to? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.