by Jonathan Hickman (Writer), Leinil Francis Yu (Artist), Sunny Gho, Paul Mounts (Colorists)

The Story: The Galactic Council gives one last push for the Avengers to reach Earth and save it as the titular team needs to save the day.

The Review: It’s always a bit disheartening to see something done wonderfully in one aspect, yet somewhat fails in another one. Enjoying anything is to accept its strengths and weaknesses, letting both get together for a cohesive experience. However, when there are two extremes, it leaves for a somewhat confusing experience, neither knowing it was superb, weak or simply acceptable.

This is pretty much what happens in this issue of Avengers, as it pretty much close to the bigger cosmic parts of the storyline attached to Infinity, doing it in a way that does feel satisfactory.

Giving one final focus on those cosmic characters for this event, Hickman present how these characters have evolved during this storyline, with one last hurrah given to them. With a few choice lines said by them and a particularly memorable action scene near the very end of the issue, Hickman does more with those beloved characters than most did with them in the last two years. Those that really liked the Giffen and DnA era of cosmic Marvel will be pleased to see Gladiator, Ronan and Kl’rt being so preeminent and awesome here.

It isn’t just about them, however, with a lot of focus given to the Avengers as well, with some players given some panel time for the first time in an important way, like Shang-Chi and Black Widow. The stars here are still Captain America and Captain Marvel, with Iron Man getting some time as well, yet it’s rather nice to see others get a few panels as well. It’s a shame that the others are mostly delegated to being referred to in dialogue or merely used in huge action shots, yet this has been a staple of Hickman’s tenure of the title ever since the beginning.

However, despite the divided focus on both the Galactic Council and the Avengers, the issue does gets its point across, moving the plot along while delivering plenty of cosmic action. As a bridge to the final issue of Infinity as well as a super hero book, it does its job well in setting the scope of its conflict quite well. The action, for the most part, complement the story fairly well as it sets the conflict and problems the characters need to surpass as it gives some rather amazing moments for some members of the cast.

Despite all that, there are still some dubious moments in the script, like Hawkeye trying to use a bow in space or the general philosophy and demeanour of Black Dwarf, who comes more as something to be beaten down rather than an interesting character of his own. As perhaps silly or annoying as some of these details are, they don’t detract too much from the general tone of the issue, though.

What detracts a bit from it and comes as a major weakness is the art, with Leinil Francis Yu unfortunately rushing his work here. While it is understandable that this is probably a result of the double-shipping schedule of the title, the result is still disappointing nonetheless, with some of the sketchier details coming as even more so in this issue. Yu always had a certain way to depict his character and elements, with plenty of lines that meshed together to create something rather believable. In this issue, though, a lot of the lines seems unfinished or simply done too fast, making them look a tad sloppy as it becomes even more apparent in the large group shots. The lack of precise and packed backgrounds is also a downer, as the heavy sci-fi elements from the previous issues are absent here, leaving many of the panels a bit soulless as a result. Of course, no everything is bad here, with the panels featuring spaceships and the depths of space being great-looking despite it all. Not all characters look rushed, too, with some pages having the same polish as the previous issues done by Leinil Francis Yu. Overall, it’s a rather weak effort from Leinil Francis Yu, who clearly could have benefited from more time.

The colorization of Sunny Gho and Paul Mounts unfortunately suffers from the art of Leinil Francis Yu, as many of the details that could allow them to shine simply aren’t there. They do try to play with the backgrounds colorization to complement the elements by either putting a contrast with the colors that have a major presence or by adding to the mesh of many of the details that are present. It isn’t unequivocally bad, though, as the battles in space are simply brilliant in terms of colorization, with the vast diversity of colors popping out of the pages when placed in front of the dark void of space. The vast use of red and other such warm colors during the action phases with the Galactic Council is also a nice touch, with some of the panels being especially well-done, like the huge hammer blow of Ronan to Black Dwarf. Considering the kind of limitations they have, Paul Mounts and Sunny Gho are doing an excellent job, yet it amounts simply to competent colorization in an issue flawed in its artistic direction.

The Conclusion: While there are some particularly nice action scenes, a generally strong script and some competent colorization, this issue is unfortunately plagued by rushed art. A lot of smaller qualities are unfortunately balanced by a large weakness, which may give a wavering satisfaction to those enjoying Infinity so far.

Grade: B-

Hugo Robberts Larivière