The contest for the next host of the Phoenix commences, while Thor deals with mother issues...
Part four of “Enter the Phoenix” is underway, and we pick up where we left off with Phoenixed Black Panther and Wolverine continue to brawl in Chernobyl with neither party holding back! We then quickly move to Easter Island and She-Hulk & Jane the Valkyrie are doing battle. Aaron’s use of Jane here has been an absolute delight, as his Jane-Thor and Valkyrie titles have been some of the best female lead titles Marvel has released over the last decade. Not as much panel time committed to this fight, though, before we quickly move on to the other battles happening all over different locations in the world, with just a few panels of development regarding the other battles.
Meanwhile, Thor is dealing with the revelation that the Phoenix, not Gaea, is his actual mother, which he’s not taking calmly. Like, at all. We have a scene between Captain America & Namor that might be the highlight, just because it’s a scene we’ve seen between the two anytime they’ve been at odds with each other, so it just felt like old hat.
This story was basically filler, and honestly didn’t really add anything to the overall story arc. I still loathe Aaron’s She-Hulk, nor the relationship with Thor (there’s no chemistry there), but I don’t dislike everything here. Seeing American Eagle made me smile. Representation in comics, and other forms of media, is so incredibly important in our society, and seeing one of the very obscure indigenous characters was a treat.
Now I’ll address something that was absolutely flawless: the art. Javier Garron is a rising star at Marvel, and his run on Avengers has really elevated his status. The pencil work is kinetic, and stylized, and conveys motion and emotions from the characters amazingly well. His work is very reminiscent of Pepe Larraz, quite possibly my favorite artist currently working at Marvel, and his work on Avengers has placed him firmly on my radar.
This issue was filler, and doesn’t move the story more than a few beats forward, but the art (and my OCD) has me firmly committed to this title. If I had to say anything it’s Jason Aaron really needs to stay away from the Phoenix. He doesn’t seem to understand what it is on a fundamental level, and is using it to give the story some cosmic gravitas that’s just missing the mark.
Avengers #43: Avengers Beyond Phoenixdome
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 5/105/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 7.5/107.5/10
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