NEW AVENGERS #9
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Mike Deodato
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: August 28, 2013
One could argue it has always been there, but while tension has been brimming in New Avengers for quite awhile, in issue #9 it all boils over and explodes in an action packed issue that will blow your mind. Hickman is a master of playing the long game, those who have read his work know this well, and his ability to pull together threads that have been woven through the Marvel Universe for months is on full display in this issue. New Avengers #9 strikes a great balance of being new-reader/event-reader friendly while also giving existing readers a whole lot to love. The full scale invasion of Earth has begun and Thanos’ Generals are taking no prisoners. The Illuminati have been backed into a corner and all hell is breaking loose. It is, quite simply, glorious. Hickman’s voice for the Illuminati members, as it has been throughout the series, is spot on and he introduces their counterpart Generals in an organic way that does not feel forced at all. These Generals are as fierce as you would imagine the agents of Thanos to be, each with a distinct voice and distinct goals. These will be formidable foes for Earth’s Mightiest and Hickman skillfully gives each a unique manner of attack. Unlike Fear Itself where each of the primary foes were effectively the same, these Generals possess a variety of means of causing mayhem. This keeps the script unpredictable and Hickman uses the Generals’ tactics as brilliant pacing mechanisms to keep the issue from ever becoming stale. From the first panel to the last this issue ramps up tension and by the end I wasn’t sure things could escalate further. Sure enough, with the final page Hickman took things up yet another notch and made Infinity #2 a must read for anyone following any of the Avengers line of titles.
Hickman’s script and storytelling is strong, and Mike Deodato’s art more than keeps pace. Deodato nails the epic action moments and all the subtle character moments. From devilish grins from the cunning Namor to a menacing titan addressing his Generals. Deodato’s inking is fantastic in this issue, giving his subjects crisp, clean lines that fit the overarching style of the Infinity event very well, rivaling the superb art from Jim Cheung in Infinity #1. His layouts are dynamic and visually appealing and the angles at which he profiles the characters in this issue convey the drama of the storyline very well. Frank Martin’s colour work highlights all of Deodato’s strength and amplifies all of the action in this issue beautifully. Deodato and Martin are in obvious sync and as readers we reap the rewards of their visual talents.
New Avengers #9 is a stellar issue in what has been a fantastic event so far. Hickman is wasting no time increasing the stakes and the payoff of several storylines that started 9 months ago are finally in readers’ hands. Anyone reading Infinity must read this issue.