Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Dustin Weaver
Release Date: March 6, 2013
Jonathan Hickman has been dealing with some intricate concepts in Avengers & New Avengers, and the puzzle starts to come together in issue #7. There is a lot going on in this comic and it is very dense with dialogue, but Hickman manages to cover a lot of territory in the pages of this single issue. Nightmask is now fully translated, though he and Captain Universe are seemingly speaking a different language than the other characters in the issue at points. Hickman’s voice for Nightmask is strong and determined, as are the voices of most of the characters in this issue, though Spider-Man stood out like a sore thumb. This version of Superior/Ock is the least superior of any revision of the character and completely unfitting of the character Dan Slott is writing in Superior. His dialogue doesn’t break the issue by any means, but it did hurt the flow of the story with its awkwardness.
The epic scale of this comic bleeds from the pages and Hickman is doing what Hickman does best: telling the grand tale, the slowly unfolding epic that may not translate to the best single issues, but will be looked back upon fondly by those who read the run in full. This is my polite way of saying this particular issue is rather slow and heavy compared to previous issues and while a lot of info is passed along to the readers, I think it could easily be argued very little occurs until the final few pages. The cliffhanger is great and definitely has me wanting to pick up #8, but it does leave issue #7 feeling somewhat hollow.
Weaver’s art is solid throughout the issue, and at times phenomenal. His Captain America is the first I have seen that doesn’t look awkward in the redesigned costume, and each character is penciled with precision and care. Weaver is an artist who can pull off the grand plans of Hickman, as proven in S.H.I.E.L.D., and the huge moments in this issue are well represented by his art. If the final pages of this issue are any indication, the New Universe will be well served by Dustin Weaver. Sadly, his extremely strong artistic efforts were somewhat dampened by the dialogue and pacing of the issue, and kept this comic from getting top marks.