Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: Hickman's Writing is Great in AVENGERS #39


WRITER: Jonathan Hickman
ART: Mike Deodato
COLORS: Frank Martin
LETTERS: VC's Cory Petit
COVER: Alan Davis and Mark Farmer with Brad Anderson
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S.

“You Can't Win: Part 1”

This is how you kick off a new story arc.  Jonathan Hickman tells the story in a message from Reed Richards to Val Ventura.  Back in the day, we would have called this a letter, but I don't know, now.  Is this an email, a post on Facebook, a tweet, or Instagram?  This social media stuff is just moving so fast that I can't keep up.

Knowing Reed, he probably found a way to insert it into one of Val's genes and it will manifest itself after Val goes through puberty.  Reed is teaching Val how to make plans.  He is using the Illuminati's conflict with Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. to illustrate the lesson.  Hickman's use of the chess piece to let us know that these plans are strategies for winning a war, not landscaping.

Everything about this story is grandiose, or if you prefer, it goes hard.  Cap falls into Reed's trap when he knows it is a trap.  War Machine is stretching himself to limits that may kill him.  Captain Marvel is talking stuff about the Hulk.  The action is spectacular.  I am talking about “are you read to rumble?!” action.  Hickman entertains us on multiple levels.  This is one of those times that reading a comic book added something to my life.

Visceral as well as cerebral:  the scene with Captain Marvel and the Hulk shows us why you need to be able to do what you say you can do.  I won't tell the end of the story, but I will say that Reed teaches Cap and Val the lesson well.

Hickman is a master at telling team stories.  Reed was the focus of this story, but all of the characters have their individual moments.  I'll say this again:  the ending is awesome.  Hickman tells a great epic while giving us great insight into the character of Reed Richards.  If this is the set-up, then, the rest of this arc will be something at which to Marvel.  Yeah, I said that corny bull.  Hickman has given us stories worthy of comic's ultimate team.

The art is pleasing to the eyes.  The facial expressions of the characters helps to depict what is happening in the story.  I said that the story was grandiose, and the art follows in the same vein.  The art is big without giving you the feeling that it 's just taking up space.  The only criticism that I have is that the colors are too dark.  I like my Avengers bright.

I give Avengers #39 a rating of “Recommend it to a Friend,” #1 (of 5) – the top rating on the Al-O-Meter.  If you're a comic book fan you need to be reading this book.

Reviewed by Albert Avilla

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