Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Leinil Yu
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 30, 2013
Sadly, I’ve just summarized the entire issue of Avengers #22 in a single sentence. This issue is to be read after the grandiose Infinity #5, and I’m sorry to say this issue is pure filler. Hickman fills one of the thinnest Avengers scripts in this volume with dialogue that isn’t written poorly, but doesn’t say much of anything. The primary characters in this book spend much of the time recapping the events of the past few issues, which may be helpful for readers who are keeping tabs on Avengers only, but is completely redundant for anyone following the entire event. This leads to a very quick read that left me feeling like I’d read about 6 pages worth of content before the comic got cut off. This comic will make readers feel exactly like the heroes within it: biding time before the action begins. An entire issue of biding time is not an enjoyable read by any means and for the first time in this entire event I have to admit that this comic really added nothing to the overarching story.
Given that most of the issue is heroes waiting to head to battle, Leinil Yu has very little to work with to keep this one visually interesting. His fleets look imposing, but his line work loses some sharpness by the end of the issue and the emotion on the faces of the characters just doesn’t work. This issue, more than any other of Avengers during this event, needed rock solid facial work to show the tension building in these characters and it fell short. In one panel a character will look like he is on the verge of passing out due to nerves, and in the next he’ll look almost elated. These inconsistencies bring down what was already a fairly thin story and the combination of the two causes Avengers #22 to limp along and end in a less than grand fashion.
Avengers #22 is a filler issue that feels like it was less than 10 pages of story stretched to make a full issue. This is neither creator’s strongest work, by any means, and the issue doesn’t add a lot to the event. Maybe down the road I’ll be proven wrong and some plot points will build from the dialogue in this issue, but on it’s own Avengers #22 doesn’t have a lot going for it.