writer: Jonathan Hickman / artist: Mike Deodato / Marvel Comics
Shit… well this was it folks. Well not quite “it,” I suppose, we’ll get to that in my review of Avengers 44. This last issue of New Avengers focuses on the origins of Rabum Alal the Great Destroy aka Doom Da (Literal) Gawd. The importance of Molecule Man, the rise and the role of the Black Swans and the placement of the Beyonders in this conflict all, somehow, inexplicably come together in this last issue. It’s a brilliant piece of puzzle finishing and leaves you astounded when you realize where this all came from 30+ issues ago. It is dizzying and about as complex (while still being able to follow) as possible, but it really is a masterstroke from Hickman to tie up this book in this fashion.
Even with all these revelations, Hickman still leaves the biggest “What Happened Next” for Secret Wars as the eventual meeting between him and the Beyonders resolves a mystery previously revealed (about the decimation of multiple universes in an instant) but not for what it means to Doom and Doctor Strange. If this book doesn’t lead you head first into Secret Wars while holding your breath, I don’t know what will do it for you.
I’m also glad that Mike Deodato was on hand for this last issue of New Avengers because he just crushes the atmosphere and tonality of these conflicts and characters. He’s a perfect pairing for this cosmic and abstract narrative. Hickman has dared us at every step to think that the situation is always bigger than it was previously and Deodato is always up for that task. Just a gorgeous looking book to a fitting end to this series.
Somehow, all the stories and threads that needed to be wrapped up in New Avengers are wrapped up in an efficient and engaging manner. What seemed like a gamble and detour with the inclusion of Doom and Molecule Man many, many issues ago, has turned out to be a brilliant circle back to why this story has been so great. Even as this perfectly sets the stage for Secret Wars, I for one, wish this series (specifically with these two creators working together) could’ve gone on forever.