The first issue of Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers was almost solely about the Black Panther as he stumbled upon some sort of cataclysmic event. It didn’t explain what was going on, but it was a good character-focused issue with an epic story behind it. This issue explains exactly what was happened, while introducing the rest of the Illuminati group that New Avengers will star. As with the first issue, this one remains character focused despite all its plot revelations. In short, it’s a great comic.
As with Hickman’s Fantastic Four, the sheer scale of the threat is immense. It’s not just Earth that’s in danger, it’s the entire omniverse. The threat is big enough that the Black Panther joins a group he had previously refused to join, and he even tolerates Namor’s presence despite his attack on Wakanda during Avengers vs. X-Men. That scene in particular is the highlight of this comic.
The artwork is great too. Most of the scenes in this are dark; most panels have black backgrounds and heavy shadow work, and it perfectly matches the mood. There’s still a good amount of detail, especially on characters’ costumes and in the outdoor scenes. Character expressions portray their emotions well. My only concern is that Dr. Strange and Iron Man look a bit too similar. If it weren’t for their slightly different hair style and Tony Stark’s goatee, they’re heads would look exactly the same. It’s a minor complaint, but it’s still worth noting.
There isn’t much else to say without spoiling New Avengers 2. It’s a great comic full of epic exposition, and all six of the illuminati characters that speak feel perfectly in character. Quality wise, this is the best issue of Hickman’s Avengers run so far, and anyone remotely curious about the franchise should at least read this issue. I’m most likely sticking with New Avengers.