Or – “We’ve Got Nearly Half A Dozen Hyperions To Choose From…”

The Marvel Universe is a long-lasting and diverse place, which means that certain characters have had a LOT of divergent takes.  Hyperion, for instance, was introduced as a villain, whom we late discovered was based on an extra-dimensional hero, after which a third Hyperion appeared, and then we’re cha-cha-ing.  When the latest H-Man appeared as part of Captain America’s latest Avengers team, I was intrigued and now it’s time to see what’s up with his backstory as he faces off with the villainous Ex Nihilo.  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

Avengers4CoverAVENGERS #4
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor(s): Tom Brevoort with Lauren Sankovitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in Avengers:  When the villainous Ex Nihilo took down the core seven Avengers, Captain America alone escaped back to Earth.  With his team down, Cap called up a second squad, a hand-picked Avengers team prepared for a whole new level of super-heroing, including seasoned heroes from our world and beyond, including Captain Universe, Smasher (formerly of the Imperial Guard) and the man known as Hyperion.  Or rather, one of the men known as Hyperion…


Last issue, Ex Nihilo’s attacks on Earth left several cities in ruins, with strange jungle-like Gardens growing at each of the impact points.  After those impacts (which, to be frank, remind me quite a bit of an arc of ‘The Authority’ a decade ago), the Avengers have broken up into teams to address and contain the damage.  To that end, Thor, Hawkeye, Hyperion, Captain Marvel, The Black Widow and Spider-Woman are dispatched to the Savage Land (a site that is, importantly, only identified because of Hyperion’s own superior intellect) to investigate.  Hickman’s Avengers are still a little bit shocking to me, as the team operates as an efficient, professional unit in this issue, contrasting with Bendis’ years of quirky personalities bumping into one another and cracking wise about it.  This isn’t to say that there’s not personality on display in this issue, with Spider-Woman, Hawkeye and Captain Marvel bantering, befitting their long friendship, while Hyperion and Thor have some fun interactions as well.  (Thor offers Hype a drink, advising that it’s “like vodka, only for men.”  Heh.)  The team quickly discovers that they’ve been beaten to the site by the beekeepers of A.I.M., who are coincidentally the same ones who retrieved Hyperion from his alternate universe.


The narrative this issue intertwines back and forth from the story of the Avengers’ investigations and Hyperion’s flashbacks to his own life as a hero in an alternate dimension.  This issue makes it clear that we’re dealing with a whole new Hyperion, whose world resembles Mark Gruenwald’s old-school ‘Squadron Supreme’ in many ways, but has several key differences (in his upbringing, as well as the horrifying death of his world) from that Hype’s world.  The biggest worry that I have with Hyperion being a member of the Avengers is the comparison to the Justice League of America’s Superman, a worry somewhat lessened by this issue, but (importantly) not yet fully put to rest.  That said, the story of how Captain America found and recruited him is a fascinating one, with unanswered questions that I expect will play into the long-term story.  The biggest issue that I take with the book is that we’re four issues into a major relaunch arc and it feels like not very much has happened.  I’m worried that the scope of the stories and the massive size of the cast is going to play against Hickman in the long run, but this issue still has a lot going for it, including clear and well-constructed art by Adam Kubert, and an unexpected moment from Hyperion himself.


Things in the pacing department are a little bit odd for me, but this issue is still a clear sign that Marvel intends to take their not-a-relaunch seriously in terms of changing things up.  There are echoes of The Authority here, yes, as well as a couple of other stories (including Gruenwald’s old ‘Squadron Supreme’ and it’s world-changing scope, ironically) but this isn’t a carbon-copy of what has come before.  A.I.M. comes across as intimidating and competent, the last page reveal promises more intrigue, and the art never dips below remarkable.  All in all, Avengers #4 keeps up the streak, delivering another strong issue, albeit one going a bit slower than #1 or #2, but still holding my interest in the Avengers New World Order, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  It’s my favorite of the relaunched Avengers titles, and the only one that has solidly nailed the landing in showing us a whole new world for Earth’s Mightiest…

Rating: ★★★★☆


Reader Rating

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. JacinB
    February 2, 2013 at 7:16 pm — Reply

    Interesting to see that this Hyperion is at the heart of the story going on in New Avengers, too.

  2. LemmyCaution
    February 2, 2013 at 10:37 pm — Reply

    So, yeah… I was glad at first that Hyperion would be around. But I didn’t get that it wasn’t Greunwald’s Hyperion as I was first reading it. Then I was disappointed that it wasn’t the Squadron Supreme I used to love in the flashbacks and that this was some other Hyperion clone. But he seemed kinda interesting. Then, after his “odd” actions in this issue, I was glad again that it wasn’t the Hyperion I grew up with. I am fine with him so far tho. Kinda likable.

    I had been a bit disappointed in issue #3 because it seemed to end so abruptly. I guess I had the opposite reaction to Matthew this time (kinda rare for me, actually) in that I thought way too much happened in that issue and far too quickly.

    But my appreciation of that book has grown now that I have read #4 because the previous story arc continues in a very logical and intriguing way (plot-wise). I now view those first three issues as brushing off decompressed storytelling with a new “de-decompressed” storytelling that has a big setup smushed into the opening credits of a bigger movie about to come (like the voiceovers at the beginning of Dune). With Hickman, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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