NEW AVENGERS #13.INH
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Simone Bianchi
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Hickman calls back to one of the most interesting parts of his Fantastic Four run in this issue of New Avengers, opening up the process of incursions and upping the stakes of this threat dramatically within this issue. I’ll say right now the .INH numbering is a little vexing considering the very, very loose involvement of Inhumanity in this issue, so if you are looking at the cover and hesitant to be sucked into Inhumanity by continuing with New Avengers, don’t worry about it at all. This is a pure New Avengers story, with the aftermath of Infinity in full effect but the ongoing issues of the incursions back to centre stage. Hickman has a fantastic handle on these characters and their lust for knowledge and their need to preserve their own existence, despite the consequences that will be coming from them venturing further down this rabbit hole. His story definitely increases the tension caused by these ongoing incursions, and the threat that Black Swan has been alluding to for a year shows itself to be a worthwhile foe for the most intelligent characters in the Marvel U. New Avengers has been a slow build and Hickman continues to prime this title for a massive explosion that he is dangling before readers brilliantly. The writing in this issue is the same strong writing we have seen for a year now, and New Avengers readers during the Hickman era will be quite gripped by what they are reading in this comic.
The script is where the positive aspects of this comic end as the art collapses what could have been a fantastic issue and drags it down to being mediocre at best. Bianchi’s pencils are sloppy to say the least, with iconic characters unrecognizable at times and the story being lost in sub-par art. The harsh line work on characters’ faces worked during the Thanos Rising mini-series due to the nature of Thanos’ face, but these jagged lines cause human characters to look scarred and inhuman. Characters look as though their faces are cracking and fracturing, with absolutely no emotion conveyed in some rather intense circumstances. Random panels feature hyper detailed backgrounds with muddled foregrounds and the issue has no visual flow whatsoever. At many points I found myself completely ripped from the story trying to figure out what the art was attempting to convey, or what was even going on in the story as the script and visuals did not gel.
New Avengers #13.INH is the sad victim of one half of the comic book equation failing the other. New Avengers readers will want to read this issue for the information regarding the incursions and some huge details for the story going forward, but the art will most likely disappoint, especially when compared with the strong work from Mike Deodato.
The Verdict: 5.0/10