The Avengers Civil War continues as Hickman and Deodato give readers a look at the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew who is hell bent on tracking down the Illuminati.
Jonathan Hickman continues his strong writing with this issue of Avengers, digging deeper into the S.H.I.E.L.D. storyline started in issue #35. Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson, Maria Hill and Susan Richards headline the issue, picking up immediately after the final page of New Avengers #25. As per usual, the dialogue in this issue is strong. Hickman writes these characters well, and it is obvious they have been pushed to the edge. Hickman purposefully leaves so many questions unanswered, including the state of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it’s current level of backing from the American government. Crucial details about the Cabal lie within this issue, and this script is a must read for anyone who has read this Avengers saga this far. There are twists and turns that keep this issue very interesting, and the battle lines get more confusing by the page. Hickman’s epic soldiers on, and we’re all damn lucky to get to absorb it.
Sadly, Mike Deodato’s artwork does not match his usual standards or those of Hickman’s writing. His pencils are seemingly rushed throughout the issue and lack consistency. At times, basic anatomy seems to be thrown out the door, and each female character looks like an awkwardly posed Barbie doll rather than a human being. The facial work for Maria Hill and Susan Richards is sub par as Deodato gives them lifeless, vacant faces that diminish their characters as much as their poorly penciled bodies do. Captain Marvel’s physique is downright offensive and, rather than looking like capable heroes, these characters look like porn stars in cop outfits. This is a far cry from the last time we saw Susan Richards and Carol Danvers on a page together, penciled by Jim Cheung. The male heroes aren’t much better in this issue, with awkwardly close face shots taking up much of the first half of the issue. These extreme closeups may have worked better had they been more consistent, but the subtleties like an ever-changing chin size for Hawkeye detracts from the story through it’s awkwardness. This is not what readers saw in Original Sin, New Avengers or so many other Mike Deodato issues, and it was greatly disappointing.
Avengers #37 is a rare oddity for a book that is this high profile and with a pair of veterans working on it like Jonathan Hickman and Mike Deodato. Hickman’s writing is rock solid, but Deodato’s artwork pulls the rug out from under this script. Avengers #37 should be read from a plot perspective, but this artwork is not up to Deodato’s typical standard, and certainly not befitting a comic that costs this much and is as high profile as Avengers. Am I still excited for time to run out? Oh, hell yeah, I am….as long as these powerful women can return to being powerhouse heroes and not plastic objects…
The Verdict: 5.0/10