Spencer: Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers hasn’t exactly been a character-driven book; that’s not to say Hickman doesn’t have an excellent grasp on the various voices of his cast, but to say that this title is very much driven by the plot, with the characters often feeling like cogs in his Avengers machine. Starting with Avengers 35, though, the title skipped eight months into the future; catching us up to the activities of the various Avengers in this new setting has given Hickman a chance to refocus on his characters, as well as on some of the many plot points that have fallen to the wayside in the last nine months or so. Avengers can sometimes be a hard book to love, but issue 36 continues the return of the kind of storytelling that made me pick up this book in the first place.
Today, Drew and Spencer are discussing Avengers 17, originally released August 7th, 2013.
“Bigger?” Look, it’s not for one of the new guys to say, but — feeling kinda crowded around here already.
Drew: In our discussion of Avengers 16, I complained that the bloated story and cast was collapsing under its own weight — far from making me excited, the sheer scope of the story was preventing me from fully engaging with any subset of elements. It’s a feat that writer Jonathan Hickman can keep all of these plates spinning (and these are only half of the plates he’s writing in this event), but that triumph of multi-tasking unfortunately precludes any real emotional connections. That is to say, the story here is already too big, but as this issue concludes into Infinity proper, we pile on even more Avengers, and widen the scope even further. And there are still only, like, two showers. Continue reading
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Avengers 16, originally released July 17th, 2013.
Drew: Infinity is an incredibly abstract concept. By its very definition, it is beyond comprehension. It is often treated — especially by children — as just a really big number, something you could multiply yesses by or supersede by adding one to. Infinity might simply be the next step in a logical progression, from hundreds to thousands to millions and so on, usually following shortly after “bazillion.” Adults are a little less prone to these misconceptions, but I can’t claim to have any true understanding of what it would mean for something to be infinite. That is, until I started reading the interminable prelude to Marvel’s Infinity event, which doesn’t feel “big” as much as it does “endless.” Continue reading
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Avengers 15, originally released July 3rd, 2013.
Drew: I have a buddy who doesn’t like Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films — but it’s not because he doesn’t like fantasy. In his mind, the story is a too simple escalation of “then they fought an even bigger villain” repeated ad nauseam. He has a point: that narrative is particularly focused on building to the final boss battle, but I’d argue that that focus is exactly what prevents each encounter from feeling routine. We understand the importance of Frodo’s quest, so there’s actual tension to be garnered from any obstacles that might pop up along the way. More importantly, having that goal laid out offers direction after each villain is defeated — there’s none of that “wander around the woods until you find something else to fight” RPG bullshit. Unfortunately, Avengers 15 lacks that kind of focused direction. Continue reading
Today, Mikyzptlk and Spencer are discussing Avengers 14 , originally released June 19th, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: We are now 14 issues into Avengers and its been one hell of an…interesting ride. There’s been plenty of highs and a few lows, but throughout the series there has been the promise of the Infinity event. This event has kept my interest quite high for this series, but I might be nearing my limit as truth be told, I’m itching to get to the big event already. Fortunately, this issue does enough to keep me sated as they use the cast of the Avengers in some pretty creative ways while presenting some more intriguing mysteries. Continue reading