A storyline nears its end as the deep exploration crew faces The Beyonders face on in an epic showdown with major consequences.
Jonathan Hickman hasn’t visited this particular crew for a few issues, but the timing is right considering the revelations that have come to light in the past few issues of the Time Runs Out storyline spanning Avengers and New Avengers. In this issue, Hickman checks in with Thor, Hyperion, Ex Nihilo, Abyss, Starbrand and Nightmask, showing the might of this expedition and the sheer power of this ultimate threat to the galaxy. Hickman builds this story well, pacing it for a dramatic finale that pushes the throttle to the max heading into the final issues of Time Runs Out. The Marvel Universe(s), as currently known, are coming to a close and after this issue, I believe it. This felt like the beginning of a send off for some major players in the Marvel Universe and Hickman executes his half of the equation brilliantly. His work in this issue is primarily with Thor and Hyperion and their relationship is given its just due. If Hickman is burning the universe to the ground he is doing it in grand fashion, and New Avengers #32 is a very well written comic.
Mike Deodato’s artwork is the strongest it has been during this run of Avengers/New Avengers and he provides strong visuals to give these big moments the epic feeling they deserve. This issue is really an onslaught of huge moments for characters readers have been adventuring with for a long time now (and some for a very long time) and Deodato handles the emotional side of this issue as well as the explosive side of things. His artwork matches the tone of Hickman’s script very well, and this pair definitely clicked for this issue. Deodato excels at showing the weariness in these heroes, but their stubborn refusal to ever stand down. It’s in their eyes, their posture and it leaps from the page, giving the artwork an extra level of power when these major players get into it with The Beyonders. There is a lot of power on display here and Deodato captures that with his pencils very well, matching Hickman’s strong script with his strongest work of late.
Hickman and Deodato have taken the game to a new level as Time Runs Out nears its conclusion, and I’m more excited about Avengers and New Avengers than I think I have ever been (and that’s saying something). This story is massive and New Avengers #32 shows that Hickman and Marvel aren’t playing this safe: huge events occur with primary characters in the Marvel U and if you’ve been enjoying these books, there’s another fantastic chapter in the saga here with New Avengers #32.
The Verdict: 9.0/10