The end is upon the Marvel Universe as we head over to Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers. How does it all come crumbling down in the end within these pages? Is it good?
New Avengers #33 (Marvel Comics)
Sit right back in your seat and get comfy: Molecule Man and Dr. Doom are about to dump a freight truck worth of exposition right on your heads in order to actually explain what has been going on in the story. Hope you like exposition long-winded and heavy dear readers!
I’m not even joking with that opening paragraph; four-fifths of this entire comic is essentially exposition as Hickman has his characters provide explanation for the entire plot, Black Swans, and recent twists. The only story component to be found is in the last five or so pages of the book and that’s really it. As such, this makes New Avengers both an incredibly boring and lifeless finale to this series, but also a lackluster prologue/lead in to Secret Wars.
The conversation between Molecule Man and Dr. Doom is very slow and padded as they explain their motivations and the big truths about the series. There’s no sense of cleverness, personality, or emotion at all when they talk so it becomes tiring and dry very quickly. The exposition dump becomes a chore to read through, and most readers will be wondering when the characters are just going to get to the point of what they are talking about. It honestly sounds like Hickman is trying to make what the characters are talking about sound profound and epic in scope, but it just does not come across that way. It feels more like we are just reading the writer’s own theories and ideas about science and Marvel universe instead having of actual characters naturally talk to each other. None of this is exciting nor does it get you all that pumped up for the comic event coming soon, unlike Avengers.
As a finale to this series in general, it’s still not very good. Like I said, it’s basically an issue of exposition as the writer is forced to have the characters explain everything all at once until something finally happens in the final pages of the book. There’s no sense of grandness to it like the series had at points, no sense of finality or satisfaction (yes, I know Secret Wars will finish the story, but I’m focusing on this series alone), no strong or heavy emotion or drama like the book also had, and everything just sort of peters out at the end with an abrupt and sudden cut. It’s really frustrating and almost reeks of padding at points, since you could easily read the cliff notes version of the issue and miss nothing in terms of excitement, intrigue, or powerfulness (with possibly the exception of the final pages).
Doom grows bored of your monologuing! Doom demands a straightforward answer!
Even if it failed as a good prologue to Secret Wars or as a good finale, how did it do on the story and characters itself? To be fair, the reveals and twists that are used to explain things in the comic (like what actually causes the Inversions and how the Black Swans fit into all of this) are not poorly explained. They do make sense given how the writer wrote everything or do have some interesting potential in how they can or could play out. I am personally very mixed on the reveal of Molecule Men being the cause of incursions, due to how little presence they actually had in the comic up until recently and honestly, the fact that Dr. Doom is shown to be unintentionally kinky when it comes to Black Swans if you think about it does pull you out of the comic. However, the ending of the comic and what we do learn here in all of the reveals are alright, but I do wish everything was better plotted and written for it to have been effective as it could’ve been.
As for characters, there’s barely any form of characterization to speak of. Everything the characters say or talk about is plot-related or related to explaining things. No emotion, drama, or personality leaks through at any moment (outside Doom on occasions) and there’s no scene where the characters show any form of personality to them. No one really does anything either until the end, just going on and on with the monologuing. Heck, for being a New Avengers book, only one of them really appears in the comic — so if you wanted to see more of your lead characters, you’ll be sorely disappointed. It all just adds up to a comic that lacks character and is an emotionally hollow experience.
Black Swan before…
Black Swan after. Dr. Doom certainly has an interesting fetish and kink for what he wants in his females.
The artwork by Mike Deodato is probably the strongest aspect the comic has going for itself. Deodato draws some interesting cosmic and surreal landscapes, is capable of showing the scope of a situation (see the final pages again), and his characters didn’t look too ridiculous for the most part. I mean, Dr. Doom and Molecule Man didn’t look like they overdid it with the steroids like some characters Deodato has drawn in the past and the Beyonders look intimidating when they appear. Plus, the coloring by Frank Martin really shines with making some of the imagery come to life (like Dr. Doom time traveling in the past and how the colors bring the panels to life). There are some problems though, like the fact that every single Black Swan has the same body type and figure and look like they are constantly, but they are not as heavy as prevalent as previous issues he had drawn.
Is It Good?
New Avengers #33 is a very flat and unfortunately abysmal way to end the comic series. It lacks a good ending and doesn’t do a good enough job of getting the audience excited to read Secret Wars. The characterization is almost nonexistent and the comic is almost entirely exposition, with the characters just explaining things for pages and pages at a time. It all makes for a very unsatisfying and disappointing finale for the comic and unlike Avengers #44, I cannot recommend buying this issue. You can just read about happens in a comic forum or online and sadly, it really doesn’t feel like you would be missing that much.