Review: AVENGERS #23

AVENGERS #23
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Leinil Francis Yu
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 20, 2013

AVEN2012023_DC11_LRHickman is driving this story down the home stretch as the final Infinity issue of Avengers brings the space faring troops home to join the battle against the forces of Thanos…

And Hickman brings them home in style. After a very slow 22nd issue, issue 23 of Avengers picks up the pace dramatically, filled with tension of whether or not the Avengers will get to their home planet in time (or in one piece). Hickman’s pacing of this issue is excellent, delivering some big moments and giving the story a very strong “here comes the cavalry” feeling. This issue acts as a solid wrap up to the space theatre of war that has been one half of the Infinity equation, giving each of the Generals a moment in the sun, and establishing one character in particular as one of the biggest badasses in the cosmic game. Considering the role these characters have played in the Galactic Council throughout this event it was nice to see Hickman unleash them upon a foe, supremely powerful beings cutting loose and asserting their galactic dominance once more. Moreso than ever before Hickman closes this issue with the feeling that these cosmic characters are going to be major players in the Marvel U and fringe powerhouses no longer. We also get some solid Avengers moments, with Tony and Cap finally getting to have a fairly entertaining conversation about the status of Earth, and with her mightiest coming home to help out, the stage that has been set for Infinity #6 is absolutely huge. You can feel it in the pages of this issue that this massive event and all the threads Hickman has been weaving are about to blow the roof off the joint, giving it a great amount of energy. His writing is simply excellent in this issue, and he’s got me dying to read Infinity #6.

Sadly, though, the artwork in this comic does not live up to the script at all. Leinil Yu has done some amazing work in his Avengers issues, but it appears that he may have been worn down by the work load as this issue appears to be rushed and, at times, quite sloppy. The art, at many times in this issue, drags the story down rather than enhancing it, with some very awkward anatomy at times and a lot of visual confusion during large battle scenes. What looks like it should be detailed, intricate work in a typical book by Yu is loose and looks like it wasn’t even inked in some places. There is an overall lack of definition for some characters and during one defining moment of power the page looks like an absolute mess rather than a jaw dropping splash page. This is certainly not the way Yu wanted to go out of this event as his earlier work on Avengers was masterful at times and his previous work makes this issue stand out as clearly sub-par.

One heck of a script, brought down fairly dramatically by some extremely inconsistent art makes Avengers #23 a difficult comic to classify. The energy going into issue #6 of Infinity is extremely high and Hickman’s writing is strong so this is definitely a must read for anyone who has been keeping up with Infinity.

The Verdict: 6.5/10

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