By: Sam Humphries (Writer), André Lima Araujo (Artist), Frank D’Armata (Colorist)
The Story: As the team deals with a Sentinel, Dimitrios appears on stage to preach his message.
The Review: Pacing is important. It may seem like an obvious and bland statement, yet it is also true. If a comic goes on too fast or does not allow enough space for its plot and character to properly develop and become interesting, it makes for a mess of a comic that turn out to be rather unsatisfying for the readers.
In an unfortunate matter of fact, this is exactly what plagues this issue of Avengers A.I. as Sam Humphries storm through a lot of concepts, ideas and scenes in order to bring it to a point that could have been explored further down the line. While the idea of a quantum hyperactive being, a sentinel gaining sentience and the arrival of Dimitrios could make for some potentially good action and plot, everything seems rushed in order to arrive to a certain point, leaving these elements as vague or simply laid out in inconclusive terms.
One of those elements that could have benefited the most from a slower pace would be Alexis, a new character that had been introduced as the big reveal in the final page of the latest issue. Instead of revealing to us who she is or how the character reacts to what she is, she is simply thrown in, moving her from point A to B without us readers seeing how and why she got there. The introduction of the character is not helped as she is barely explained, without motivations or true showcase of her ability beyond origami. Mystery characters can become interesting, yet there is a need for a basis for the readers to care, something that Humphries does not provide.
Something that is also lacking would be a certain connectivity between each scene, as most of them fly by, having said their piece without really building up to the next one. Dimitrios appear, Hank look at Alexis, talk to Victor, a sentinel appear and then Dimitrios makes a speech on every channel. We can see how certain elements fit together, yet it’s by an effort from the reader’s perspective rather than organically from the script. There is some potent action and some mildly interesting interaction between the characters, but it’s all a bit jumbled together, which makes the whole thing rather uninteresting as a whole.
If there were an actually interesting scene in the comic, it would be the final one with Dimitrios, who is aptly introduced as a villain. His dialogue is entertaining, his personality clear and his motives logical and filled with potential, making him a villain that may become interesting down the line. His speech to the whole planet is rather well done as it gives a villain and a direction to the book.
Another good aspect of the book is the art, which is spectacular in some aspects. The perspective, the design and the scope of several elements is pretty good as the Sentinel is rightly shown as huge, showing the contrast in size between several characters during the action scene. He is versatile in his expressions and is able to convey many details in every panel, though without making the panels look too busy. There is enough space in each page and panels for the readers to appreciate the multitude of elements without them boggling down the experience.
Frank D’Armata is also pretty good in terms of colorization, managing the huge difference between the psychedelic technological and quantum effects with the normalized scenes in the issue. He effectively puts a huge plethora of diverse colors in several panels, creating a rather intricate illusion.
The Conclusion: The art is beautiful in term of both the colorization and the lines, yet the pacing, connectivity between several scenes and the introduction to several of the concepts is not explored deeply enough, creating a rather unsatisfying read.
-Hugo Robberts Larivière