Joss Whedon’s likely never had to take notes from anyone else before, but maybe he should start–
Because.. Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers is about to do for mainstream comics what Mr. Whedon’s Avengers did for blockbuster franchise films.
And that’s to create worlds. Create universes. Create new baddies.
By the looks of The Avengers‘ latest new villain, shit about to get hectic. No, Hickman isn’t relegating to “movie villains” like Thanos or Loki, Doctor Doom, Magneto, or anyone like that. No, this Minotaur/Creator/Destroyer dude’s presence alone — thanks to the wonderful pencils of one Jerome Opena — is about the most believable threat to the most popular sextet of Avengers (a.k.a. Whedon’s Avengers) yet. The psychological brilliance behind the Ex Nihilo, the yellow Mars’ baddie, man, is evident: there’s more to this “world razing” than meets the eye. Going with the core right off the bat is also a smart move, and if nothing else, Hickman is known for smart. He’s known for going where no writer since Jack Kirby has gone before. To put, Hick’ could very well take the 9-year long run from Marvel’s most prolific writer, Brian Michael Bendis, flip the sum’a’bitch upside down, toss it sideways, and land it on its rootie-pooh candy ass.
Yes, Hickman is that good — and so is this book.
Avengers #1 is a beautiful treat, as you’d already know if you were reading Uncanny X-Force. (If you did not, I’m really shocked you are even reading this article. Go buy the The Apocalypse Solution NOW.) Opena’s art should remind readers of Esad Ribic’s work on The Ultimates (another former Uncanny X-Force artist!), in that it’s hella-moody, intrinsically organic in its environments, and full of colossal proportions. These Avengers speak less — well, except for Tony Stark, unsurprisingly — and hit harder. Opena’s arrangements certainly get much of the credit in that part.
The issue’s concept is real simple, too, you see. “Wake the World” is an introduction to Hickman’s Earth’s Mightiest Heroes before delving into the exploits of the expanded roster. A roster equipped enough to even challenge those in charge with the birth of the universe. A roster I’m positive Mr. Whedon will lock a keen eye on. Cause, hey, as we all know, bigger is better.
And the Fantastic Four/Ultimates/Secret Warriors/S.H.I.E.L.D. scribe is just the man who can handle bigger.
- Is Grant Morrison punishing us for reading Action Comics? I thought the great Batman writer was going to pull a “Batman & Robin” with this Superman title and let readers “breath easy” a tad. You know, actually make sense of what the fuff’s going on. Nope. Especially not this week. A.C. #15, despite the top-notch art from the team of Rags Morales and Brad Walker, is the most confusing book you’ll read all year, and it’s Superman learning 5-D Imps setting certain catastrophe for what’s to come (or what already has come, or what will come 10-years previous, ahh). What the catastrophe is.. is Morrison’s endless confusion. Or maybe it’s just my mind filled with leather pigskins.
- Speaking of which, how is your Fantasy Football league doing? I made the playoffs, only to have the privilege of going against legendary touchdown machine Drew Brees and a healthier, meaner-than-ever Ahmad Bradshaw. Please, can lightning could knock the power out of Metlife Stadium this Sunday…and push the game back another week?!? Ahh, at least former Georgia Bulldog Knowshon Moreno had a break out last night for the Broncos against “Duh Raiduhs!” And I have a certain new baby-daddy playing on Monday night…
- Where the heck is your Assassin’s Creed III review, Trav? Who said I was doing one in the first place, huh? Huh? HUH? Well, let me try to break it down for you in a few hundred characters or less: the game is good. Really good. If you ever played the other AC‘s, I’m sure you already own the game, if you haven’t beat it already that is. The naval exploration quests certainly erase the fears that AC3 would become a “revolutionary war” skin of the previous games, while there’s a whopping hundred hours of stuff to do if hunting for cougar skin — no, not visiting The Hudson on a Wednesday night — and saving local Yankees from imprisonment, torture, harassment, and dog bites. (Editor’s Note: I would never save the Yankees, right Jetuh?) The graphics are splendid, as hunting and gathering information through the game’s wildest frontiers — that be Pennsylvania, folks — has never been so impressive. The compelling storyline shifts in its goals when Connor, our latest hero, does the usual AC thing
revisiting important historical events such as the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Boston Massacre, the Boston Red Sox meltdown of 2012 (shit, wish we could change that!), the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Rose of Broadway, Battle at Fort George, yet isn’t completely satisfactory in Templar-killing alone. There’s more to the historical genius of Assassin’s Creed 3 than merely offing villains — that be the Brits — for the sake of America’s expansion. There’s an underlying revolution going on with Desmond Miles, the main protagonist of previous games, that gets a little too Minority Report/”Twin Peaks”, game-within-a-game for my tastes. I love sci-fi, I love those excellent aforementioned programs, but I love the historical value of AC3 more. This reviewer, who obviously was never a good student, learned more about US History from this game than he ever had in his 12 years in grade school. And that’s what makes this one of the year’s best games, despite an ending that’s more full of conspiracies than actual conclusions. The controlling is a hell of a lot more responsive this year, too; but, the inconsistent parkouring grips, almanac-page gathering, tree-climbs, and baddie-detection will certainly infuriate some gamers. Hell, our own Cardinal Gary even quit during the Boston Tea Party (shocker). Look, if you liked any of the AC games in the past, this will be a no-brainer; the good news is, if even if you never played any of the franchise before, this is a must own for anyone looking to make up for all that sleeping in class. That alone, my friends, is sure worth the $60.