Top critical review
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Gotta get bigger...zzz...
on 20 May 2013
I really like Jonathan Hickman's Manhattan Projects and he strikes me as a good ideas guy who puts together really cool designs like logos in his books, but, man, try as I do, I just cannot warm to any of his superhero comics. They're all filled with what seem like big ideas - "gods" creating life, high evolution, solving galaxy-sized problems, looking at the universe as a whole - but reading it is just the blandest, most boring experience.
The comics almost always feature narratives along the lines of creation, space, the universe, and abstract characters like a New Adam or the Mother of the Universe. The first three issues of Avengers World has a trio of World Engineers who've lived for millions (or billions or whatever, it doesn't matter) years creating and destroying worlds and they've now set their sights on Earth to terraform into a new utopia, wiping out humanity. Except they're on Mars which they're turned green with their alien tech and have decided to bombard Earth with organic bombs a la the giant bugs in Starship Troopers.
And then we get to the Avengers who teleport over to Mars to fight these god-like aliens. In what world do characters like Black Widow, Hawkeye, or Falcon stand a chance against these ridiculously powerful creatures? Even Cap, the team leader, really shouldn't make a dent on any of the alien creatures, throwing his shield at them or no. The only ones who could make a difference would be Thor, Hulk, Hyperion - the truly powerful members of the Avengers. It's farcical to believe that every member of the Avengers can make a difference in this scenario - even fan favourites like Spider-man and Wolverine seem useless in this story.
I get that Hickman is "going bigger" with this storyline but his additions to the team lineup render almost all of them useless. I mean, the Mother of the Universe? Why even bother having any other member on the team? Considering her powers are limitless and insanely powerful, it seems wholly pointless having someone like Spider Woman on her side as her contribution is completely diminished.
Hickman's bland storytelling, which involves characters talking abstractly about, what become, boring concepts - we've got to get bigger, we've got to get smarter, etc. over and over - makes for a truly tedious read. After the world-building aliens in the first three issues, the second half is a cobbled-together assortment of random space battles and setting up another Hickman-esque event storyline called The White Event. I'm trying but I really can't connect with his superhero stuff - reading this book makes me feel that he doesn't care at all and that he cares a lot all at the same time. I know, it's really weird.
But honestly, I did not care about anything in this book even for a moment. Big ideas, sure I guess - space adventures, god aliens - but executed so poorly as to render interesting ideas, dull. Once again, Hickman fails to interest with another superhero book. The one time I enjoyed the book was looking at the variant covers gallery and seeing Deadpool dancing gangnam style. If only that had been this book...