by Ed Brisson (Writer), Luke Ross (Artist), Matthew Wilson (Colorist)
The Story: A new inhuman has arrived on the scene! It’s a pity he’s hostile to S.H.I.E.L.D. agents though.
The Review: The latest issue of this series was kind of a letdown, with a replacement writer trying to tie-in to the larger Infinity event. Bringing a new character with him, Ed Brisson had the unenviable task of trying to set up the biggest spy agency in this rather colossal event, tying many of its events into its narrative while telling a story. It was, however, a story in two parts, with this issue being the conclusion. Does he actually fares better this time around, though?
In some ways, Brisson does keep around some of the elements that he made work in the previous issue, with Sarah Garza still retaining her great approach at getting superpowers and being thrown in a situation of high stress. The way she sees things and how she tries her best, yet cannot seem to fathom how she should do things is something that shows good characterization.
Not all characters are written as well, though, with Phil Coulson coming of as rather boring with the low amount of dialogue he has and Marcus Johnson who comes off as a poor planner and a bit stiff in terms of characterization. The way Brisson handles Maria Hill is not half-bad, though, showing her more angry and stressed-out scene, which does help in setting the dire situation the world is in right now.
What doesn’t help this issue however is a massive plot hole, one that is there for the sake of the issue and its story, yet make no sense in the context it is presented. The antagonist in this issue is a newly-born inhuman that can seemingly control metal, yet becomes weak when he uses his power for too long. When he start to lose his hold on his power and weakens down, the team then decide to run away from him as they then proceed to try and talk to him. What doesn’t work here is the fact that this man, with clear ill intents, who has killed agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in his anger becomes easy to subdue and the team simply run away when he is an easy target? I hate to be that guy, but there’s a major flaw in logic there, making the rest of the issue a good lot weaker as a result.
Despite the villain being rather boring and generic in its motivation, the way the negotiations goes and how the action is handled is not exactly bad. It’s not the most original, yet it does connect with the themes presented through Sarah Garza, with two being getting new powers and being of two polar opposites about how they see and use it. It’s just a shame that what came before kinds of kill it as many of the interesting elements are drowned in the plot hole of this issue.
Still, despite some of the major flaws of this issue, there isn’t anything wrong with the art as Luke Ross bring his shadow work and excellent narrative flow here. His ability to bring tension and scope in his panels is highly commendable, with some of the backgrounds being both highly detailed and full of elements without being packed too tight and chaotic. The general chaos of a war zone is well rendered through Ross art, with the destroyed scenery and the warrior-like expressions and poses of most of his characters. His characters, in general, are also fairly great, with the expressions being clear, yet also diverse on the page. The way he is able to bring out the more unusual elements like Sarah Garza and the inhuman antagonist mesh well with the rest of the issue, which makes the artistic direction as a whole work very well. Luke Ross, like most of the time, delivers here.
The colorization of Matthew Wilson is also quite good, with a heavy emphasis on darker elements and shadows in order to make the energy crackling and the few bright spots stand out even more. The way Wilson balances things out by putting an emphasis on colder colors in the Maria Hill scenes while giving warmer colors the priority in the war scenes makes for a good division of scenes without destroying the unification of themes with the heavy use of darker tones. With a few techniques like this, the color really enhance the already strong art, which is a very nice thing in this issue.
The Conclusion: There might be some really great art and colors in this issue and good lead with Sarah Garza, but some big holes in the plot along with a rather weak villain makes this issue disappointing as a whole.
Hugo Robberts Larivière