NEW AVENGERS #33
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Mike Deodato
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: April 29, 2015
The saga of Doom/Rabum Alal is examined in the final issue prior to Secret Wars, a comic that acts as a primer for Avengers and answers some questions that existed as time has been running out.
Jonathan Hickman has been my favourite writer of Doctor Doom…ever, so there are definitely some moments in this comic that gave me great joy. Hell, the very concept of Doom starting his own religion to marshal forces to take on The Beyonders is right up my alley, so seeing some of his plans come to quasi-fruition is a good time. This script does have some issues, as it spends a surprising amount of time explaining the importance of Molecule Man, a character that, unless he becomes a critical cog of Secret Wars, I can guarantee you nobody gives a damn about. The net effect of spending so much time on the secret history of Molecule Man is an issue that feels somewhat drawn out and, as the mighty Monty Python would yell when appropriate, needs to “get on with it”. The momentum of the Doom storyline was strong and stepping back to focus so heavily on Molecule Man hurt it overall, though the issue is not a complete write off by any means.
The groundwork for some aspects of Avengers #44 is set up in this issue, and how aspects of this storyline will affect Secret Wars is far from known. The ending is explosive and raises a lot of questions, and if it ends with Hickman writing more Doom then I will be happy. This issue is by no means an end for the series and, like Avengers #44, acts to set the board for the upcoming mega event. Time will tell if this storyline is fleshed out to a satisfying extent, but as of New Avengers #33 we are still very much in the thick of it.
Mike Deodato’s artwork is a mixed bag in this issue, as it has been in recent months. His Doom is powerful and menacing, his cosmic work is strong, but his work with the Black Swans is awful. Rather than deadly disciples of Doom’s religion, capable of crushing damn near any foe in their way, the Swans look like fashion models drawn with Barbie doll references, their entire purpose undermined by the visuals used to represent them. These women do not look like they can even stand, let alone execute Doom’s plan, and, much to my chagrin, they are excellent examples of stereotypical awful representations of women in comics. The panels featuring the Swans detract from every other aspect of the issue, and their awkward visuals drew me completely out of the story. Deodato does use some interesting layouts to express Doom’s voyage through time and space, but overall this issue did not have the grand, epic visuals I would expect to accompany a script like this.
New Avengers #33 had a ton of promise but hits with a mediocre thud as the issue circles around itself and digs deep into some odd aspects of the storyline. The artwork is middle-of-the-road at best and not Deodato’s best work by any means, which detracts from the momentum of this issue and it’s ability to close out the volume of this series and drive readers into Secret Wars. New Avengers stumbles along until its conclusion and I hope to see better in Secret Wars.
The Verdict: 6.0/10