Review: Avengers #26
Avengers #26 is a prime example of art hurting the story. #26 is a fun issue that suffers from rushed artwork and odd design choices.
AIM has been everywhere in the Marvel universe since Iron Man 3 was released, but Jonathan Hickman has been making them a formidable foe as of late. The bee-keeper bunch take advantage of something that has long been thought about on my part: what the hell happens when all the heroes are knocked out at once? Thinking about it too deeply (why doesn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. have heart rate monitors or something like that) starts to break the idea that this is supposed to be a fun comic, but it’s an interesting nothing that Hickman plays with. While Hickman adds a few funny moments, #26 ultimately feels like a filler issue. The upcoming solicits hint that this arc will make the Avengers clash with the New Avengers soon. We will no doubt love that result, but I’m left slightly disappointed in the meantime. In the wake of Infinity, Hickman could have taken some down time and focus on characters instead of having another action heavy arc.
Avengers #25 and #26 feel a little like Forever Evil. Evil version of super hero team from another world/dimension come to other world/dimension and cause havoc. That’s an over simplification, but at the heart they are similar. I almost like Hickman’s Evil Avengers more than the Crime Syndicate, because the reader can see more of the current world in them. The arc doesn’t seem like one of Hickman’s more inspired arcs like the ones at the beginning of his run. Tom Brevoort has stated before that he pitched the idea to Hickman with All-New X-Men being a hit. Hickman is a meticulous planner when it comes to his plot lines, so pitching him an idea in the middle of a story may have been the reason this arc seems off than his other arcs.
Salvador Larroca is the big weakness of Avengers #26. Whoever the tailor is for AIM should be fired. The helmets droop like the henchmen are wearing a helmet two sizes too big. The Adaptoids look like Larroca went into the character creator in LEGO Marvel Superheroes and just created some amalgam characters. Larroca’s artwork is more made for non-spandex superhero books. His run on Invincible Iron Man was well received because armor was more prevalent than spandex. Tony’s armor looks great as always under Larroca’s watch. Fran Martin’s colors are par for the course when Larroca is on pencils. Characters have a shiny look to them that can be annoying for some. The Adaptoids initial color is a weird, off putting green. It just adds to the already unappealing look. It’s hard to tell who is to blame, but Larroca or Martin made a big gaffe on Hyperion’s neck line. In three consecutive panels, Hyperion’s neckline changes. That should have been noticed by someone involved before this issue mad it to print.
Avengers #26 gets 2.5/5.