Review: AVENGERS #40

AVEN2012040_DC11AVENGERS #40
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Stefano Caselli, Frank Martin
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 14, 2015

The Avengers and Illuminati hash some things out, The Cabal gets a surprise and a long running storyline may have finally found resolution as Hickman throws in some very unexpected moments into the next chapter of Time Runs Out.

Hickman’s epic Avengers saga continues as issue #40 brings the fractured Avengers teams and Illuminati together to hash out some details about how to deal with The Cabal. This is a dialogue heavy issue until the last few pages, when a major event with potentially lasting repercussions slams into the title out of nowhere. Only time will tell what the effects of this curve will be, but as a long time Avengers readers I can say that this moment has been a long time comin’ and it was a very satisfying thing to read…

As I mentioned, this issue is dialogue heavy, but it is very well written dialogue. Hickman has a great handle on these characters and the gravity of the situation can be felt in every word they speak. Steve Rogers’ tone is still as firm and unwavering as when he held the shield, and every word out of T’Challa’s mouth hits like a hammer. This is a big issue for Black Panther fans, and anyone who has been enjoying Time Runs Out. Sunspot and Cannonball bring some laughable lightness to the issue at just the right times to break up any dialogue on the verge of becoming monotonous, and Hickman drives this issue home with a finale that will have you craving the next chapter of this event. This is a grand story, and grand events lie within this issue.

No matter the level of action or dialogue, Stefano Caselli delivers rock solid artwork. He handles the huge cast of this issue extremely well, nailing the personalities of those involved in such a fashion that their dialogue is strengthened by it. Steve Rogers is the best example of this, his frame may be wearier than we’ve seen it in the past, but his resolve has never been stronger. Caselli gives him a powerful presence without resorting to making him physically large, and there are a couple panels where we are given a glimpse at how entertaining having a “grumpy old Rogers” in the Marvel U can be. The jovial nature of Roberto and Sam can be seen anywhere they appear, and the stoic presence of the three kings is impressive. His pencils are sharp and this is really just another in a run of exceptional work from Stefano Caselli.

This is a pivotal issue of Avengers, and the ending will shock most readers. If you’ve been keeping up with the Hickman era, this is a must-read. You’re going to get more of what you’ve enjoyed, with some fantastic artwork from Stefano Caselli. Avengers is a top flight book right now when the art and script gel like they do in #40, and I can’t wait to see what is coming next.

The Verdict: 8.5/10


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