A new form of Marvel’s Illuminati has assembled for the Marvel NOW! Initiative. These bigwigs of the Marvel Universe have worked behind the scenes of some of Marvel’s biggest events. With the crisis revealed in issue #1, readers now get to see how these power hitters will interact with each other in a landscape affected by all the recent Marvel events, including the bad blood left from AvX. Away we go with a Major Spoilers review…
Previously in NEW AVENGERS: Pulled into an alternate dimension, Black Panther witnesses the destruction of Earth by a new character, the trendily named Black Swan. Taking her prisoner, the Panther realizes that the Marvel Earth everyone knows and loves could be next in line to suffer the same fate. With not other choice, Black Panther summons the Illuminati to Wakanda.
INTRIGUE AND AN OMINOUS FEELING OF DREAD
The first issue of New Avengers suffered from some misfires. The coloring muddied the book, the new characters weren’t given much time to be introduced, and the reader was left wondering why the heck these characters are getting together when they’ve spent so much recent time at each other’s throats. Issue #2 goes a long way in answering these questions and ultimately becomes a much better read than issue #1.
Fresh off his run with the Fantastic Four, Hickman once again gives voice to Reed Richards in a spectacular fashion. After interrogating the villain, Reed uncovers evidence that the entire Marvel multiverse is destroying itself. Planets from parallel universes are smashing into each other, with no apparent rhyme or reason (though the group does suspect an evil force behind the events). This brings about a great debate in the group at the morality of destroying one version of planet Earth to save another. Is wiping out a planet in such a way truly heroic? This question hangs in the air throughout the issue. What the group does agree on is that this issue must be solved immediately. Going right to the biggest guns possible, the group agrees to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet to help save the multiverse. Though the group controls most of the gems, the Mind Gem is lost due to the death of Professor X, its keeper.
Along with this clandestine discussion, this book delivers a much-needed confrontation between Black Panther and Namor, who is responsible for the destruction of Wakanda. I truly hope we get more of this in the series.
There’s no action to speak of in this book, but the tension between the characters and the dilemma they face create one fine read.
WAKANDA SURE IS A GLOOMY PLACE
I was glad to see there were no red washes throughout this book, a choice that really helped muddle the first issue. However, there’s a lot of inking going on. Since the book is mostly an accounting of the Illuminati’s secret meeting, the artist chooses to plunge them in darkness. There are no backgrounds, no furniture, nothing until the characters emerge from their secret meeting place. While I was reading the comic it didn’t bother me, as it does lend to the secrecy of the events, but it is worth noting. The characters themselves look good in the darkness…a shadowy group that is full of shadowy people. Even the brightly-colored Captain America and Iron Man look a bit sinister.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH A SECOND LOOK
If you were put off by the first issue of New Avengers like I was, I still think that this book should be read before you decide to stick around or drop the title. New Avengers doesn’t look like a title that is going to be action-oriented. Instead, it may be a title where characters must fight their own beliefs and the opinions of some starkly different heroes in order to maintain the greater good. This was a very good read and has me eagerly anticipating issue #3. And hey, if you didn’t pick up issue #1, this issue is just as good of a starting point. Pick it up! New Avengers #2 earns 4 out of 5 stars.
DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!