Black Swan, Doctor Doom, where Tony’s been and more highlight New Avengers #26, a dialogue heavy issue that helps shed some light on what has occurred during the time leap forward in the Avengers books.
Hickman slows the pace of the series a bit, action-wise, with this issue and it works. New Avengers has often been somewhat less explosive than its sister series, but that isn’t a complaint. Big action needs to be complimented by some slower dialogue and that is what we get in this issue. The aforementioned dialogue, though, hits like a goddamn hammer.
Readers who have been wondering about the whereabouts of Tony get a good long look at things in this issue, showcasing the character in his Superior Iron Man glory. Hickman’s interpretation of the character oozes arrogance, and it works. Through discussions with Black Swan and a pair of notorious spies, we get some glimpses into what has happened up to this point, and how the world at large views Tony. Is he the saviour or the most dangerous man alive? We don’t know that….but I can assure you every page he appears on is entertaining as hell.
Hickman balances three angles in this issue well, and gives each story beat enough of a check in to tantalize readers. His take on Doctor Doom is brilliant, with just the right amount of god complex, arrogance and evil madness. I’ll openly admit any page with Doom had me clapping and excited, so if you’re a Doom fan, this is your book to check out.
Kev Walker’s art is solid, it tells the story and captures some solid moments between characters. While I was never particularly blown away, Walker keeps things interesting enough for how little action is in the issue and his layouts are solid. He handles a lot of storytelling with the eyes of the characters and, in that respect, some impact is lost when masked characters whose eyes are covered are involved. This is a minor quibble, but it is evident in a couple grid layouts where there is a lot of back and forth dialogue. Overall, though, his take on the characters is solid and the issue works, visually.
New Avengers #26 slows things down a bit heading into Avengers #38, but gives readers some very important information about what has occurred, and what is on the horizon. We’ve got some solid plot progression and great character work here, and that’s a win.
The Verdict: 8.0/10