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So this is something of two reviews in one. Or at least an education on both The Avengers and Hickman's newest comic book event, Infinity. Thanos is back, to cash in on Avengers I suppose, and as we've seen in Hickman's past Avengers work the universe is coming apart on a fundemental level.
However, Hickman has been pretty solid so far with this run, so he gets the benefit of the doubt. Did it pay off?
So the multiverse is collapsing in on itself. The events of Age of Ultron have broken the main Marvel U and now the cosmic aspect of Marvel is thrown into chaos.
In the first issue of Infinity, Thanos is seeking tributes, which is.... something... and his assassin, known as an Outrider, finds it in the form of a secret locked away in Black Bolt's mind. Meanwhile, The Builders -- the oldest species in the Universe -- is carving a swath of destruction straight toward Earth. Still with me?
So in this issue of Avengers we find that all the major cosmic players: the Kree, the Brood, the Shi'ar, even the banded-together Skrull warlords have all joined forces to fight the Builder onslaught. Earth's Avengers, a mere eighteen to the others' tens of millions, enlists in the fight against them. Together, this galactic rag-tag team takes the fight to the god-like Builder army.
There's not too much I can say about the art. It continues to remain on par with Hickman's writing, fleshing out a living breathing world as effectively as the prose. Leinil Francis Yu's work is sometimes just plain gorgeous, his faces portraying so many emotions, and on alien faces to boot.
The biggest strike against the art may not even be an issue with Yu. Hickman has a tendency to be more dialogue heavy and with the level of detail in this comic, the pages can become overly busy with too many panels. It's not a consistent problem, but one that can loose readers all the same.
So. Hickman is a great writer with a great ability to capture characters. It's obvious his love is for plotting and telling a compelling, intricate story. That might be this writing's biggest problem. It seems over plotted at times. Things are lost. A detail we should have remembered lost to a sea of minutiae.
That alone might not be such an issue, but Hickman has been showing us answers to questions we don't yet know about and showing us huge events before telling us why they're important. I know that has lost some people and its understandable. It can wear on a reader, being told something important is happening, but not really what.
Regardless, Hickman's writing is strong and lush. While lost trying to find a foothold in the story, it still has the ability to keep you entertained and riveted.
Is it a recommend? Hmm. If you're reading Infinity and/or Avengers anyway, yes, pick it up. It's a solid read. I don't know if it's a good place to jump in at. It's very lore heavy in this one and the issue acts as a link in the Infinity event chain. But that's not really a knock against it. Everyone's working at full here.