Shang-Chi, the Master of Kung Fu, has been asked by Captain America and Iron Man to uncover the mysteries of the new Captain Universe. More specifically, to figure out who she really is and why she has been chosen to assume the mantel. Meanwhile, Iron Man continues his attempt to decipher the language of the new Adam. At the same time, Cannonball and Sunspot have an awkward encounter with a seemingly superior Spider-Man.
Avengers #6 introduces the new Captain Universe, whose identity is revealed to be Tamara Devoux. The story behind Tamara is very sad, resulting in sympathy for a character who would otherwise be considered a deus ex machina due to her near-limitless powers. Part of the appeal is Jonathan Hickman’s decision to use Shang-Chi to converse with her. The Master of Kung Fu hasn’t been relevant since the 1980s and its great to see him being utilized as part of the Avengers. Everything else involving the “superior” Spider-Man comes off as mere filler, until the last few pages when Hickman reveals quite the surprise that fans of the New Universe imprint and Warren Ellis’ newuniversal series will enjoy.
Adam Kubert continues to be a fine choice for illustrating the exploration of the newest members of the Avengers. This is the kind of issue where it is essential to nail the facial expressions because of the story being told. Kubert does a great job getting the emotions across when Tamara slowly begins to rediscover more about herself, including a possibly tragic revelation about the last thing she could remember. Looking in her eyes as this happens and its difficult not to start tearing up myself. The coloring by Frank Martin is excellent, hitting all of the right tones to make each scene flow swimmingly from one page to the next. Great drawings can enhance a story, but when combined with a story that is great in its own right, it becomes majestic.
The more I read Avengers by Jonathan Hickman, the more excited I become. And the more chances he gets to explore characters both new and old, the more I see it as an event. This issue unravels the story behind the new Captain Universe that is interesting and heartbreaking, while at the same time quietly revitalizing a fine character in Shang-Chi. The illustrations by Adam Kubert succeed at displaying the emotional impact Tamara feels as tries to remember herself in a masterful way. So of course I’m going to recommend picking up this issue of Avengers. It may lack action, but it certainly doesn’t lack heart.
When was the last time you read a comic featuring The Master of Kung Fu Shang-Chi? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.