Pseudo Justice League versus The Avengers, who ya got? Is it good?
New Avengers Vol. 3 #20 (Marvel Comics)
A series written by Jonathan Hickman is a slow moving thing. The decompression allows for plenty of quiet character moments and tons of reflection, but if you’re looking for plot advancement and a ton of ideas outside of character, you’ve come to the wrong place. This story arc continues the infinite worlds storyline where the Avengers are killing universes that would otherwise destroy our own, even if that means killing billions of innocent people. The latest planet, unfortunately for them, has a powerful super team to protect it that’s very much like the Justice League. There’s are Superman, Flash, Batman and Green Lantern analogues to name a few. They don’t look the same, but their powers are similar, which is close enough in my book. The last three issues have teased this battle and finally, yes I can confirm it, the battle commences in this issue. Well, part of it anyway.
The issue opens with Dr. Strange and yes, it’s a scene taking place far from the actual fighting. It’s a time before the battle when he tried to give up his soul. There’s some good character development here and it does set up the climax of the issue nicely. The story then cuts to unadulterated action between the Avengers and this pseudo Justice League. It’s a fun sequence as we get to see Namor take on an Aquaman type, Hulk take on a Superman type and Black Panther take on their Batman. These play out about as you’d expect, although the Iron Man versus pseudo-Flash is an interesting take, but it’s great fun to read.
The conclusion to the issue is quite a surprise too. Hickman uses Dr. Strange in a really wild way and it has some incredible implications for the character down the road. One never would think Dr. Strange could be an omega level type of hero, but I think we get to see that side of him in this issue.
Art by Valerio Schiti is quite good and has a nice ebb and flow. You always know where the characters are and the choreography is spot on. He does a really nice rendition of Superman and the moment Dr. Strange goes nuts is a sight to see. Not only because of the wild effects going around him, but the shocked reactions from the other characters.
“Batman” versus Black Panther, who ya got?
Is It Good?
The payoff in this issue, the payoff we’ve been waiting for for more than two issues, is really worth the read. Readers who come into this issue blind should enjoy themselves too, because there’s a mini arc here focused on Dr. Strange that makes the climax worth a look. Recommended.