Hickman goes full-on high concept craziness as Hank Pym recounts what he found in the deep reaches of time and space…
But does he go too far? Perhaps, but in odd ways this issue still works. Pym’s journey is one that chronicles the death of, well, everything and contained within his tale are some absolutely massive events as far as the Multiverse is concerned. With Secret Wars coming this issue does feel like it is setting the board for some of the events within that major event, but, if nothing else this issue drives home the fact that time is running out. The Beyonders Pym mentioned at the end of the last issue of Avengers are sure as hell not the Beyonder we know from before and a threat unlike any of the other apocalypse level threats this Avengers world has faced thus far. The very fabric of reality is under attack and I applaud Hickman for having Hank Pym tell this tale. The frantic nature of Pym’s dialogue throughout the issue and the fact that this big brain could not understand much of what he saw brings credence to the events while not taking someone like Reed Richards off the board for several issues. As we get closer to time officially running out there is a ton of converging details and this issue is full of them. That is what really works in this issue: Hickman pulling so many threads together for massive events and reveals.
What doesn’t work is much of how the issue is presented. While Dalibor Talajic had a serious challenge in front of him with bringing this story to life with visuals. While he delivers some absolutely crazy images throughout the issue (emphasis on crazy – we’re talking forces of the universe battling between space and time), there is some subpar art with respect to the “regular” characters in the issue. With much of the madness, for lack of a better term, that is occurring, I couldn’t help but feel that the artwork wasn’t fully representing the exposition coming from Pym. This is such high level conceptual stuff that I can’t imagine it would be easy to accomplish, but I often found it difficult to rationalize the imagery in front of me with the text being presented. Some images hit like a hammer, their impact obvious, but those that where a disconnect existed greatly disrupted the flow of the story. The net effect is a mixed bag where there are some impressive visuals and some that don’t seem to fit the script, leading to an issue that doesn’t seem to know where it is, visually.
New Avengers #30 is a mind melter featuring big concepts and some pretty hefty continuity. If you’ve followed Hickman’s epic saga this far, you’re already in, but I’m not sure this issue quite hits the mark it should. Heading into Secret Wars the stakes are extremely high for…everything and while this issue left some things to be desired for me, I can’t wait for the next installment in this grand story.
The Verdict: 6.0/10