Mephisto, his variants and their minion, the Iron Inquisitor, launched an attack on Avengers Tower and have also targeted the prehistoric Avengers. The Avengers of Earth-616 traveled back in time to the ancient past to protect their prehistoric counterparts from Mephisto. Avengers past and present teamed up when the Multiversal Masters of Evil attacked. The fierce battle that ensued has already resulted in deaths on both sides--and the war is still waging…
Avengers #64 contains more than your average superhero fisticuffs, elevating the skirmish between good and evil into full-scale warfare. It has been a long, long wait to see multiple generations of Avengers united in battle against their common enemies, and with the stakes made clear from the very beginning of this gargantuan arc, expectations for this climax have risen to significant heights.
The issue is humble in a complimentary way: it doesn’t offer any subversion or spectacle in an attempt to elevate itself above Avengers storylines of the past, nor does its threat of global devastation feel any more intimidating. But it is a solidly-executed action-centric issue, and a major step up from previous entries.
There is a vibrant energy baked into the art that is unlike anything seen in preceding issues. Javier Garron has a good handle on the book’s double-sized cast, expertly structuring panels that simultaneously appear both orderly and chaotic. A detail worthy of extra praise is the thickly-etched black streak which outlines the flames of Echo’s phoenix force. The technique seems manga-inspired, and it’s a near-perfect method of emulating the crackling movement of real-life fire. It also helps distinguish it from the hundred other energy beams and lightning bolts flinging across the page.
As the battle for Earth’s future rages on, Tony Stark faces off against an evil multiversal variant of his father, confronting some harsh truths about himself in the process. My major complaint throughout this arc has been the utter lack of character development, so imagine my surprise to find that half of issue #64 is dedicated to this intimate, personal duel. It’s a decent framework that grounds the grand scale, cosmic war.
The most impactful moment of the entire issue was, no doubt, the internal monologue in which Tony recalls moments of mundane bliss with his friends in the superhero community; the friends that he’s fighting to protect. It’s not a moment that brings one to tears, but it is a touching reminder that the team should be more than allies on a mission; for once, they actually feel like a family.
Avengers #64 delivers on action and spectacle with a pleasant sprinkle of character-focused moments, giving this previously lethargic storyline a necessary boost of energy.
Avengers #64: Like Father, Like Son
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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