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New Avengers vol 4 h/c

New Avengers vol 4 h/c back

Brian Michael Bendis & Mike Deodata


Page 45 Review by Stephen

“With great power comes great responsibility.”
- Stan Lee

If you’ve already forked out for the massive AVENGERS VS X-MEN hardcover, these were my favourite tie-in issues, exquisitely drawn by Mike Deodato. His ancient, elusive city of K’un-Lun is a mountainous marvel, its details like the pagoda-side pond and scrying pool so breath-takingly beautiful. But wait until you reach the half-way point where its full, sylvan tranquillity is revealed, surrounded by oriental awnings and ghostly, crisp-leafed Acers to die for.

Then there is the final sequence with sombre, shadow-strewn art like those rare pages of John Byrne inked by Kyle Baker, some of the very best seen in superhero comics. I cannot believe that’s a coincidence. And as to the pyrotechnics as psionic force takes on psionic force - the dragon and the phoenix – holy eye-blistering hell!

This title always seems to contain the real heart and soul of any such affairs, and although at the risk of lost revenue I habitually and quite actively warn you off most tie-ins to major events for fear of them diluting your enjoyment of the central storyline, in this instance I actively commend this to you, for it is where Hope receives her training in the mystical city K’un-Lun, physically from the likes of Lei Kung and Iron Fist, spiritually from the likes of Spider-Man (it works – it really, really works) and historically from Master Yu Ti. In fact without this I fail to comprehend how you will comprehend precisely how central Hope’s role is to proceedings.

I mentioned “heart” but I also meant personality: Luke Cage, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman incarcerated by the X-Men. Incarcerated by the X-Men: a very telling sequence. Do you know what the biggest difference is between the X-Men and the Avengers? One team has the monopoly – and an extensive one at that – on one particular attribute. Think on that.

There are also lovely little tie-in touches to Jonathan Hickman’s ultra-modern but oh-so-neoclassical S.H.I.E.L.D. but perhaps best of all is the desperate, dispirited and staggered meeting of what’s left of the Illuminati, almost all of whom at one point or another have been Avengers, who know they have lost the war. Against all other counsel Captain America maintains his faith in Namor: whatever the regent’s current affiliations to the mutant cause he will attend, for they have been brothers-in-arms both in recent history and during World War II.

And if not? Well, they have in their possession the Infinity Gems, you know.

“Power corrupts. Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.”
- Lord Harold Acton

Oh dear. That’s what happened to Jean.
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