Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Leinil Yu
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 9, 2014
An old Hickman favourite returns to break your mind in half as the time travel gets really intense in Avengers #32.
I’m not gonna lie, I think Jonathan Hickman might have given me a nosebleed with this one. Avengers #32 throws Cap, Starbrand and Black Widow further into the future, and a whole new confusing situation and while it was an entertaining read, make sure you’ve got your wits about you before starting this comic. Captain America has laser focus with respect to the actions of Tony and the Illuminati and Hickman does a great job of taking Cap’s intensity about the betrayal to a fanatical level. Mind blowing events are occurring around the super solider in this issue, but his goal is unwavering, setting up a feeling very reminiscent of Civil War.
When Cap gets back into the current timeline, there is gonna be hell to pay and there is no doubt about it. Hickman tempers this rage by bringing in a fan favourite character that he writes extremely well. This character is the perfect addition to this issue and he gives this time travel story a lot of authenticity. His inclusion just makes things make more sense, and when readers are going through a time travel story as intricate as this one, things that make sense are welcomed.
Hickman is taking Avengers to a crazy epic level that may lose some readers with this story, but for fans of large-scope stories that deal in the macro with character moments used as side notes rather than the focus of the story, you’ll feel right at home. While much of the focus of this issue is on the current conflict of Captain America having had his memories of the Illuminati restored, Avengers #32 is still very much about the big picture and what the incursions mean for the future of humanity. This is heavy stuff and Hickman doesn’t shy away from it or dumb it down for readers at all, and I applaud him for it. Stories like this are risky, but he’s making it work and, considering his body of work, you can’t help but be excited for what this is all going to amount to.
Leinil Yu handles the fantastical future in this issue well, his hyper detail keeping readers feeling on edge throughout the story. His sharp lines make things feel like they are constantly unstable and shifting, and the darkness in the eyes of many characters throughout cements the gravity of this situation. Yu pencils the guest character well, highlighting his emotional side, wisdom, and immense power. The grand scope of this story is captured well by Yu, with some rather amazing cosmic scenes showing up throughout the issue. Yu is showing with his work on Infinity, Avengers and all the way back to Secret Invasion, that broad scope cosmic stories are his jam, and that is certainly what he and Hickman are telling right now in Avengers.
Avengers #32 is a heavy issue that is very Hickman-esque, for lack of a better term. This is time travel with all it’s excitement and, depending on your tastes, pitfalls, but I will say that Hickman is doing time travel right. The inclusion of the guest star makes this issue soar for long time Hickman readers, and there are small moments in this comic that will make you laugh despite yourself. Get your thinking cap on and give this one a read, Avengers is most definitely building toward something big.
The Verdict: 8.5/10