Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Adam Kubert
Release Date: January 30, 2013
The ink has just dried on issue 3 and Marvel is already releasing Avengers #4 seven days later. The Avengers come back from Mars to deal with the fallout and also delve deeper into the origin of one of the newest members of the roster, Hyperion.
After a surprising issue 3 that wrapped up the situation on Mars, issue 4 shows that the story line isn’t close to being finished. Focusing on a smaller cast for the issue, Hickman gives a few characters who weren’t front and center during the first 3 issues a little bit of time to shine. There was nothing groundbreaking in the dialogue, but it had a lighter tone to it that fit the crew that ventured out to the Savage Land. The Thor-Hyperion conversation stands out for doing so much with such little space. The scene had the best line of the comic and nicely set up how Hyperion sees these new heroes he is surrounded by. The supporting plot line of issue 4 shows where “All New” Hyperion came from. This Hyperion comes from no known other universe and is a brand new Hyperion unaffected by any previous continuity. The origin is lean and brings new readers up to speed on the character. I really enjoyed seeing a few elements from New Avengers show up, and I’m curious (and hoping) on if that will be reoccurring theme through the two titles.
The art starts rough but improves to end up plateuing at “good”. Page 1 is a series of previous panels from issue 3 done by previous artist Opena, and it’s on page 2 that Adam Kubert takes over. The difference is….jarring to say the least. Not only is the drawing almost a complete 180, but the color palette drastically changes. The first panel featuring Captain America was one of the worst Caps I have seen in a while. I literally spent more time staring at that panel than the rest of the comic pages combined because I couldn’t figure out if Cap was squinting or Kubert somehow managed to forget to draw the eyes. Jokes aside, the art felt more rushed than I was expecting from a AAA title. Kubert begins the hit his stride though when the team enters the Savage Land and he manages the fill the pages with some wild otherworldly designs. His Hyperion was impressive and he really captured the ‘superman-esque’ feel of the character.
Avengers is a very interesting comic book right now. I give Marvel a lot of credit because they are definitely letting Hickman tell his own unique story on their biggest title. No issue has completely blown me away yet, but the story is being told for the long term and the payoff will be worth it. This series may be the first taste of Hickman for a lot of readers and it does take some time to get acclimated with his style. Once you get acclimated though, you quickly come to realize this is the best The Avengers have been for a long time.