NEW AVENGERS #10
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Mike Deodato
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: September 18, 2013
The word epic has been used so many times it is starting to lose meaning with respect to the Infinity event as a whole, but what I’ve enjoyed about Hickman’s New Avengers is how he uses this title to slide backward a bit from the extreme scope of the two major battlefields in the event and focus on the primary players in New Avengers: the six Illuminati. From the beginning, New Avengers has been a ‘big picture’ book, with six extremely powerful and characters doing what needs to happen to save the planet…at times at the expense of their friends, families, and consciences. This change in focus, from the macro scale to these six powerful characters gives readers an excellent change in scope. While this issue is dealing with massive concepts and sets up huge situations in the primary book and both Avengers books going forward, it doesn’t hit readers with a massive amount of characters like the other books, which is a nice shift. Hickman’s characterization in this issue is excellent, nailing the voices of the Illuminati members and building on an already menacing Thanos that he has introduced earlier. He also maintains the New Avengers tradition he has started in these 10 issues of weaving multiple storylines through the book, dealing with the constant tension between Atlantis and Wakanda, the manipulations of the Inhumans, new revelations about Thanos, and the constant threat of incursions. Issue #10 does act as a setup issue for these storylines more than some of the other issues in the event, and it definitely slows the breakneck pace of Infinity down. Hickman has planted the seeds for some huge payoffs during this event that I think outweighs the setup factor, nonetheless.
Mike Deodato’s art in this issue is absolutely fantastic. His work on New Avengers has been strong and he took it up one notch further with this issue. His layouts are fantastic, especially with his use of huge frame shots of a menacing Thanos. There is very little action in this issue but Deodato’s work drives the issue forward and keeps dialogue heavy pages visually interesting by using different angles to keep conversations engaging. The colour work by Frank Martin is excellent, adding a huge punch to art and making it just that much better. Martin’s palette blends perfectly with Deodato’s art and the tone of this story, especially with respect to Thanos and his Generals. These are brightly coloured characters but Martin handles them in a way that keeps them from looking cartoonish and counter to Deodato’s style, and their dangerous nature.
New Avengers #10 is another extremely strong issue in this Infinity event from a very skilled creative team. It is a must read for any Infinity readers, even as a setup issue, as it lays the groundwork for things that are going to be huge going forward. Quite simply, another win for Hickman.