New Avengers #9 Review

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New Avengers #9 Review
‘The Cull Obsidian’

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colourist: Frank Martin
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: Mike Deodato & Laura Martin

A review by Jake Morris.

Infinity is now well under way as Jonathan Hickman begins to unravel the many plot threads, that up not now, have been quite the mystery for readers. New Avengers runs parallel with Avengers but both feature two different universal threats. The question remains on how Hickman will tie it altogether by the end of this new Marvel event and if the consequences will be felt across the entirety of the Marvel universe…

So far New Avengers has been the more reserved book out of Hickman’s Avengers run as the premise focuses on the heroes who make up the Illuminati destroying other worlds before they collide with our own. This has left many of those characters’ moral compass stretched and struggling to identify what exactly a true hero is. Issue nine, however, introduces the threat of Thanos and his world razing. With the Avengers off fighting the Builders (previous issues of Avengers and Infinity), Thanos has spotted a weakness and plans on retrieving the last remaining Infinity Gem in order to gain ultimate power.

Thanos does appear to lack real direction until the revelation of the Infinity Gem’s survival but as always, he offers a threat that New Avengers has missed in the earlier issues. Thanos is a villain who commands the page and Hickman writes him well. Although he doesn’t feature all that much, his group of followers who carry out his bidding; The Black Order, are on hand to provide the conflict found in the issue.

As Thanos’ invasion begins and The Black Order begins their search for the gem, the story splits into various settings as the Illuminati members carry out their regular life.
It is odd to see these characters acting as they normally would in this book as we became so accustomed to the shady meetings and the controversial manner in which they handle the threats facing Earth.

Black Panther gets much spotlight here as he combats Black Dwarf on the doorstep of Wakanda. Throughout Hickman’s run, Black Panther has been a focal point and plenty of the reasoning before committing treacherous acts have come from him. The fight plays out well with some very nicely handled lines of dialogue from T’Challa.

The meat of this invasion though, comes from Namor’s side as he kneels in the wreckage and destruction from the attack on Atlantis by the Wakandan army. This is a side we have not seen from Namor and it is strange to see his defences lowered so much. Another member of The Black Order, Proxima Midnight, approaches with her section of Thanos’ army but shows much pity on Namor. The pity is more or less disdain for what she thought would be a strong and proud warrior but as the issue continues and we reach the climax, it can be seen that perhaps Namor has a much more sinister ulterior motive.

As Jonathan Hickman continues to build up the scope and threat found in both Avengers and New Avengers, the smaller plot threads that are found happen to deliver the more rewarding segments. Since Avengers vs X-Men, Black Panther and Namor have been at each others throats and the tension for their eventual showdown is palpable. Their rivalry is perhaps the strongest conflict in New Avengers and looks to be something that will not be cooling down at any point in the near future.

Infinity has a lot of potential and the attention Hickman has for the detail in the smallest of aspects of the story is obvious, but the hope rests on whether the payoff is as equally rewarding, if not more, than the journey as many readers will see the success of the story hinging on the conclusion.

4/5

Jake is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @JakeUtd.

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