‘Avengers’ #3 Review: The Garden
Visuals are stunning as usual.
Welcome return of light-hearted quipping.
And we’re off! Hickman assembles his new, larger Avenger team to save the universe (and the rest of the Avengers) in Marvel‘s “Avengers” #3.
(For a quick reminder of what our heroes have been up to so far, check out Comics Catch Up: “Avengers” & “New Avengers”.)
Not to pick on any other title specifically, but it’s simple math that I’m way more invested in the new “Avengers” storyline because it’s been shipping on schedule. To be fair, it’s also shipping twice monthly, which I know not everyone loves. I am not everyone, though. I absolutely subscribe (ha) to the more-is-better philosophy if it’s something I really like, and I’m not known for being very two marshmallow. “Avengers” is rewarding me on both accounts. Let’s get this (spoiler-y) party started!
True fact: I have read “Avengers” #3 three times and I’m still sure I missed something(s). In between re-reads two and three I also went back to “Avengers” #1 and #2 to look for clues. It’s not quite like an issue of Highlights Magazine, but Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opeña are sure packing each new “Avengers” episode with tons of rich detail in and amongst the panels. Opeña’s pencils are so…beautiful. There really isn’t another word to describe them. And I have to give a huge shout out the team of color artists, Dean White, Frank Martin and Richard Isanove, kicking so much ass on this book.
Ex Nihilo and his sister Abyss still have the core Avengers team trapped on Mars, but Cap has gathered “everyone” else to even the odds. This is the battle that has been building since the first issue, and the first time we really see the expanded team in action. While Ex Nihilo is busy creating a new Adam and Abyss attempts to seduce Thor, Cap shows up with two team members as backup. There’s a lovely little bit where Tony calls Steve over and chides, “I thought the plan…was to call everyone?” Oh it was, Mr. Stark. And what an impressive entrance they make.
Actually, one of the things that’s different in “Avengers” #3 from the previous two issues are those comedic moments. Hickman will be filling out characters for a while yet, but he finally has enough wiggle room in this issue to lighten up with the banter between teammates. Many of these characters haven’t worked together in this capacity before so I’m particularly interested to see how the relationships develop. (I don’t mean the relationship-relationships. But the flirting between Sunspot and the new Smasher made me chuckle.)
So there is a giant reveal in “Avengers” #3 that I won’t give away, but it starts with Captain and ends with Universe. Okay, I will say this much: it’s what had me running back to #1 and 2 for reference. Nice to see the rest of you had already figured it out. That’s why they pay me the big bucks, I guess.
“Avengers” #3 ends with a reminder that the Avengers’ expansion was an idea born from two very different men: Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. This dark and light, life and death dichotomy is at the core of “Avengers” and “New Avengers” both. I think we’ll all be surprised to see how each group struggles to find the balance as they move forward.
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