writer: Jonathan Hickman / artist: Valero Schiti
Well…now what the hell do we do? I would first like to say that as someone that has been critical of this run since the Infinity storyline ended, these last couple of issues have been outstanding. THIS is where Hickman is at his best: The endgame on an enduring story line. We end up where we first began on this book, with T’Challa holding the trigger on a world killing bomb, but SO much happens before we get there.
This issue is crowded, but that isn’t meant as a negative statement. In addition to the present action of the Illuminati fighting against the Great Society, we are shown T’Challa weighing the cost of their actions with his father and the other Panthers and the continued conversation between the Inhuman madman Maximus and Black Swan. Hickman gives his characters a lot of long monologues that span multiple pages, but Maximus’ speech on what differentiates heroes from kings is among his best.
Let’s be clear, this is what happens when the bad guys win a battle that decides the fate of the world. And in this case, the bad guys are the Illuminati. Between the horror that Strange unleashes (how great is the art on THAT by the way) and their pushing back against the pleading of the Greater Society to spare their world, this issue pulls no punches on just how far over the line our ‘heroes’ have gone.
As the last pages of the issue indicate, everything might be different moving forward for the group and for the individuals. Hickman has been on a roll the last couple of issues and I really hope this continues.