New Avengers #4 Review

New Avengers #4 Review A day trip to a dying world.

Creative Staff:
Story: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Steve Epting

What They Say:
The Illuminati have learned that Earth is the center point for the death of the Universe. If this is true, doesn’t that mean destroying it might save everything else? Enter the World Eater, Galactus.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The series took a quick dynamic change the last time around with the addition of Hank McCoy to the Illuminati as he took over Professor Xavier’s position, but it also shifted things again at the end by ejecting Steve Rogers from the group and removing his memory of things. Considering what they have to face, it’s a difficult choice done bluntly, but when faced with the end of things and some seriously big choices ahead, sometimes you don’t want the conscience along for the ride. A lot of things have been revealed in just a few issues and the scope of things in the grand plan here is definitely intriguing as we see these powerful men working together. Of course, it also reminds you that it is just men here and there’s a real problem with that, as it colors things in a difficult way.

With this installment, the group is working their various plans to deal with the coming threat and it’s certainly interesting to see what they’re coming up with now that they’ve lost the Infinity Gems. Reed and T’Challa are having their disagreements about the weapon they’ve built, working off of what Black Swan was using to destroy the world she leapt from, and it’s amusing to see the kind of calm way they deal with each other since it’s dripping with tension. Tony, always trying to stay ahead himself, has decided to go big with his return to the weapons manufacturer role and shows them his creative plan on the other side of the sun with a Dyson Sphere being built, which will provide them with an immense amount of energy through the Shi’ar technology he’s using as well. It’s an intriguing premise, though fun as well as he gets frustrated by the inability to call it a Stark Sphere due to marketing having used that name for something else.

We also get the non-technology side getting involved as Doctor Strange has turned to the darkest of arts for what he needs, which requires a supreme sacrifice in order to work. I really liked his segment here, short as it is, because it has the proper dread and warning as he talks about himself but also with Wong, as he sets things for him to move forward there without him. All of it provides the right setup, but also shifts quickly to dealing with the next Incursion, which has them gathering at Ellis Island to make their move. With no weapons available, they opt to try something from the other world instead and head there. But here, without a lot to really define it outside of being a normal world, we get some intriguing moments. Galactus is there setting up his machinery and his herald of Terrax is there as well, though there are no analogues to this group of ours outside of what Strange carries. Terrax isn’t quite the type we know either as he plays more to dialogue, though backs it up with action easily enough.

While our group knows a fair bit of what’s going on, they’re still piecing things together as well and Terrax fills in a little more. What’s really interesting is that because of how Galactus is to be there at the end of all things, the Incursions that are coming out of Earth has him seeing Earth as the real threat, hence his coming here in that universe to destroy it, thereby saving both worlds so he can continue his journey. The problem comes in that the Illuminati members here can’t really just allow it to happen, to allow all those people to die in order to save their own world, so it sets up a fight that Terrax does his best to talk down. It’s a really conflicting issue for the team, even those that agree that they would destroy a world to do it, but the reality is pretty damn hard. Galactus and Terrax bring a new flavor to events but it also really affirms that Earth is the real problem. Again.

In Summary:
New Avengers has the team dealing with another Incursion point, but it’s one that isn’t quite as distant and easy to mentally work through as what we had the time before. And that’s without their moral center with Captain America not being there. The various plans that are being put into place to try and deal with what’s coming are intriguing as everyone has different specialties to work with and are accepting different fates for themselves, which allows a good bit of realistic and character driven material to unfold here. Each of them are fascinating to follow and working as a group just makes it all the more so, though I hope for more from Namor and from Black Bolt as well. The journey to the other Earth here is the real highlight, bringing me some really enjoyable Terrax time, and setting things up to move forward from there in a fun, if dark, way.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: March 20th, 2013
MSRP: $3.99