I read the first volume a while back so now it’s time to check out the sequel! This one ties into Infinity so now we can get to see the return of Thanos in time for the Age of Ultron! The first volume definitely had some high stakes and was a pretty original Avengers title so I looked forward to more of the same in this volume. It does suffer a little from the Future Foundation problem, but still ends up being a solid read.
From the last volume, you may recall that various versions of Earth are smashing into each other and taking out universes as collateral damage. The heroes had to decide if they were willing to destroy an entire planet of innocents, but the decision was taken out of their hands when they found out that it was uninhabited. Would they be so lucky the next time? That plot continues as the next Earth appears in the sky. It is quickly reduced to the subplot though as Thanos invades the planet with his army. The team is in a pretty tense situation at the moment and Black Panther is not able to get along with Namor. With enemies within and on the outside, this could be the toughest mission for the New Avengers yet!
The main plot was noticeably pushed to the backseat to make room for Thanos, but I give the series kudos for trying to keep it relevant. The planets are still coming, the heroes just have to worry about it while also trying to stop Thanos and his fleet. It’s a tough call and it one where you won’t find out how the heroes ultimately win since you have to read the main series. I may as well address that negative here. The series does cater to the main one a whole lot so you do end up missing huge chunks of the story by just reading this collection. It’s not very subtle so you can definitely tell when something is missing. There are even “previously” segments before each comic just in case you aren’t reading Infinity. I feel like the comics did a better job of that in the old days.
Still, tie ins are great to expand the story so getting to be a part of the event in any shape or form is still a lot of fun. It’s not like the series ended there so we’re still going to go back to the main plot afterwards so that we can see the Avengers get roflstomped again. In the main Avengers series, this happens constantly so I’m glad that this hasn’t been the case in New Avengers…yet. They’re hinting that this will happen soon, which brings up another issue similar to Dragon Ball Rebirth of F.
The classic Marvel heroes simply look way too weak nowadays. The aliens mention that the heroes would be doomed against a number of alien races that haven’t even appeared yet. After a while, you just gotta shake your head and say “No.” I just don’t buy the fact that there are so many more races that can wipe the floor with the Avengers. Dr Strange used to be able to take on the Tribunal and Iron Man’s new armor allows him to dish out Hulk levels of power. They shouldn’t be considered as lightweights anymore, yet it is hinted that they still are weak in the grand scheme of things. That’s really pushing it to be honest.
On the bright side, cosmic beings are not immune to this. The Living Tribunal was taken out in an off screen fight where he was likely one shotted. Now, that’s what I’m talking about! The hype has died and hopefully this will allow more people to realize that Goku could take him out. Of course, that is neither here nor there. It’s definitely an intense scene and you have to wonder who did that. The comic never says, but I’ll assume that a Dark Lord or Thanos managed to defeat him. It makes sense and his expression of fear suggests that it was a spooky villain!
From the core New Avengers, I’d say that Iron Man and Reed Richards get the smallest role. Iron Man is a little uncharacteristically serious, but it’s certainly better than constantly making puns when the stakes are so high. He just doesn’t help out. Reed gives Black Panther some decent advice, but he looked terrible during the beginning. He was threatening Dr Doom a whole lot while teamed with Dr Strange and you actually felt bad for the villain. The New Avengers did bring the fight to Latveria after all and they’re still trying to keep him in the dark. The whole scene felt extremely out of character for Mr Fantastic and he definitely didn’t act like the nice guy that I’ve come to know.
Black Panther and Namor get the largest role from the characters as their civil war intensifies. Both of them are willing to win by any means necessary although Black Panther’s tactics come off as more underhanded than Namor’s. It certainly depends on how you see it though and Namor has had his share of cheap shots. Needless to say, casualties are high and both kingdoms are essentially broken by the time this is all over. If Black Panther really does try to destroy Namor, it’ll be tough to accomplish. Namor should easily be able to defeat Black Panther after all. It’s hard to root for either one of them though since I dislike both characters at this point.
Black Bolt also gets a role and he decides to start bringing out the heavy artillery. The New Avengers show is really hitting us hard with the “Heroes can be corrupted” message as just about every member is hit. Black Bolt lies to the team and builds a weapon of mass destruction. He certainly can’t be trusted and nobody else can either so it is a tricky situation. Dr Strange is naturally nothing like how he used to be. Remember the Dr Strange collection that I reviewed recently? Well, you would never guess that he is the same character. They seriously sound nothing alike at this point and this Dr Strange is certainly less likable and doesn’t feel like the hero of old. It’s the modern comics effect at work. Needless to say, you’re probably better off just being in space right now and as far away from the Earth as possible. I think that the New Avengers goes a little too far in trying to make all of the heroes unlikable, but it has always been made to be the more down to Earth title. It just means that some characters will start to act out of character as a result.
Back to the Wakanda vs Atlantis subplot for a second. You will almost wonder why nobody is trying to get into the middle of this. I suppose that politics will keep a lot of heroes out, but the war is certainly escalating and someone has to put an end to it. Also, it’s hard to know who to root for since both fighters are willing to do anything to win. Hopefully, both lands are laid to waste so that America can come in and take over the countries. At this rate, joining the U.S.A. seems to be their best bet and then Namor and Black Panther can settle their differences in prison. They certainly shouldn’t be allowed to stay outside, much less be allowed to stay on the New Avengers.
As you can imagine, the art is really good for this collection. Each page is very detailed and that does wonders for the fights. Most of the pages are fairly dark to coincide with the theme of the volume, but not overly so. You can still clearly see what is happening and the art does a good job of setting the tone. I certainly have no qualms with the artwork here.
Overall, This volume of New Avengers is pretty good. I think that the heroes are certainly getting a little too corrupted through all of this and hopefully they start to remember why they became heroes in the first place. It’s more than a little embarrassing to see Dr Strange be beaten by telepaths and totally crushed, but that’s what the sorcerer supreme has become nowadays. I’m also hoping that Earth is recognized as a legitamite threat soon, but I realize that this may not happen for quite a while. Still, they just got to keep on fighting until they get their due respect. The tie in with Infinity does derail the main plot a bit, but it’s interesting and a lot of fun to see Thanos back so it is worth the intervention. We also get a cameo by the X Men, which is neat although I don’t think that the telepathy should have worked at all when the X Men already have a telepath at the ready. I guess we’ll see how the Avengers stop the Earth problem from continuing and if they ultimately decide to make the hero call or not. Ultimately, the biggest strength of this title has always been that it is simply very interesting to read and it never fails at that for a moment. You’ll never be bored as you’re reading this and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next time.