writer: Jonathan Hickman / artist: Kev Walker
As this book has been on a roll lately, I would usually moan and groan about the slight expansion of the characters included, but this very somber issue handles it well. The Illuminati, almost all of which are morally devastated by the destruction of another world and the coming incursion with another, isolate themselves to make amends with THE END as it seems. Guilt ridden and broken as a group and individually, Hickman gives some nice character moments with each member as we see how they all would spend their last day on Earth. I liked them all except the one I was probably most invested in, which was the moment with T’Challa and Ororo. I am completely on-board with T’Challa, who knows the impending doom and is aware of the mistakes he made with Ororo previously, coming to reconcile with her. I’m not so on-board with her complicity in how that reconciliation happens. It felt a little cheap and narrow in its portrayal. Then again, I do bodyguard work for Storm, so maybe I’m a bit more sensitive to that. Of course, as this book and all Marvel books are not ending after this issue, the world does not end, but the scramble to find out exactly why is a pretty good turn, even if Hickman has been building it for some time.
Kev Walker is in control of the art again this time around and with a quieter, more isolated issue, it does work well. Still, the art being so different than the bulk of this run and the expansion of characters briefly kind of made this feel like a different comic altogether, which has its good and bad points.
While this was a solid and reflexive issue of New Avengers, it succeeds even though it doesn’t keep carrying the momentum of the previous issues. A new (old) threat emerges in the wake of their sulking and provides yet another obstacle for the Illuminati.