Avengers World continues its look back at the time before time began running out, with this month focusing on Namor and Sunspot.
This issue is about a 60/40 split of time between Roberto and Namor, showing the initial stages of Roberto taking over A.I.M. and Namor’s early time with the Cabal. Barbiere writes both characters well and they are strong on the page, their dialogue owning the spotlight when the time is proper. I liked how Barbiere framed each characters’ decisions: both firmly believe what they are doing is right, and both will leave this time with blood on their hands. This is not an easy road for either of these characters, and I am enjoying this resurgence in prominence for Roberto.
While reading, however, a though that crossed my mind several times was “why are we heading back to this time?” Considering all the major players in this Time Runs Out event leading up to Secret Wars, the choice to head back to a time before the chaos broke loose does vex me in a sense, and this issue does feel a bit like we are looking back at something that is mildly interesting while something crazy cool is happening over in Avengers. Barbiere writes this story well, and he’s certainly building toward something in the next issue, but there is no singular event in this comic that enriched Time Runs Out for me, or made me think “oh, that’s what was going on!” These thoughts may change upon reading the next issue, but with the story contained in this issue I found myself caring about Roberto and Namor’s storylines about as much as when I started reading the issue, which is disappointing considering there was a prime opportunity to give this pair some depth outside of what we’ve seen since time began running out.
Marco Checchetto delivers rock solid work that gives this book some life, though. His strong pencil work makes this issue very easy on the eyes and I found, at several points, that even if the story I was reading wasn’t riveting, I enjoyed the visuals enough to not overly care. Checchetto pencils a great Sunspot and his Cabal is dangerous and terrifying. Checchetto’s linework has gotten stronger with each issue that he has worked on Avengers World and he is one of Marvel’s strongest artists of late. The colour work by Andres Mossa enriches the artwork immensely and gives the visuals a lot of depth. When Sunspot lights up Mossa’s strong work is apparent and the art team took a comic that confused me as to its relevance and gave me some great visuals to look at despite my questioning.
Avengers World #18 is a great look back at a gap in the overarching story of Avengers that has been occurring if you are a reader that HAS to know everything that has happened, but for readers who have simply accepted that Roberto bought A.I.M. it doesn’t add a whole lot to the overall story Hickman is telling with Time Runs Out. Barbiere’s writing is fine, and Checchetto & Mossa’s artwork is strong, but this book suffers from being faced with the task of examining a time that I’m not sure I overly cared to see examined. If you enjoyed the look back in issue #17 this will probably be right up your alley.
The Verdict: 7.0/10