The Avengers are no longer versus the X-Men. Instead they now face “End Times”, which sounds fairly ominous! Also Luke Cage has quit the New Avengers.
Daimon Hellstorm (sic) (son of Satan – sometimes good guy, sometimes bad guy) is looking at the astral place and notices something funky, violent and anomalous (his words) is going on. He is trying to contact Dr Strange to see if he is responsible when Victoria Hand turns up on official Avengers business; Captain America has sent her to see if Daimon has noticed anything out of the ordinary. As he tries to explain how something is trying to rip into their dimension from the astral place, Victoria runs him through with a lightning spear. She later does the same thing to Jennifer Kale, who managed to determine Hand’s body is being possessed before being beaten.
At Avengers Mansion, the team are eating (yet again) whilst discussing the significance of “the Cages” leaving the team; Luke formed the New Avengers – does him leaving mean the end of the team? Dr Strange chats with Iron Fist, Jessica Jones chats with Ms Marvel (now Captain Marvel); people are sad they are leaving but equally happy for them. As Luke is loading up a removal van, an F.B.I. team arrive to arrest Victoria Hand in connection with the disappearance of Jennifer Kale. Maria Hill, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., arrives (by jet pack!) to stop this. Victoria suddenly freaks, not knowing where she is or how she got there. She passes out and so Captain Marvel carries her into the mansion. The smile of the Captain’s face at the end indicates that she is now the person who is possessed.
Before I even start the review, by the second panel they messed up! The son of Satan’s real name is Daimon Hellstrom, not Daimon Hellstorm. He has sometimes used the alias of “Hellstorm” but that tended to be in a costume when fighting demons in public, in order to preserve Daimon Hellstrom's professional reputation. I guess it’s a minor thing really but you’d think a big publisher like Marvel would have people to check things like this!
Anyway, New Avengers appears to have gone full circle with the final story of this volume being as linked to the magical world as their first was 30 issues ago. As those that have read my past reviews may have guessed, I’m very pleased that New Avengers finally gets to tell its own story after months of tie ins with other comics. The story itself is mainly set up: there’s something trying to break into the regular Marvel Universe from the astral plane and in order to make this easier they have possessed Victoria Hand in order to take out sorcerers that may be able to stop them. Whether Daimon and Jennifer are dead or not is unclear, but they are certainly out of the way. Watch your back Stephen Strange! There are some touching scenes between Dr Strange with Iron Fist and Jess Jones with Carol Danvers about how the team will miss the departing family and also a nice reference to how Luke Cage bought Avengers Mansion from Tony Stark for a dollar. Nice to see Captain Marvel’s identity change acknowledged in New Avengers too.
The other thing I need to review is the art. Again, as those that have read some of my previous reviews may remember I don’t like being negative about art as it’s such a subjective thing and what I don’t like others may love. That said I really didn’t like the art – I found it clumsy, there wasn’t much detail and he clearly doesn’t like drawing the Thing. The colouring was also not too my taste. It was like a form of cell shading but with way too many darks and shadow. It was as if they colourist didn’t really like the art either so just covered it up with black! Sorry, but not for me!
An average set up issue.