The first three issues in Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers were decent, yet disappointing as there was next to no characterization for any of the Avengers. Last issue was much better, as it not only introduced the new Hyperion, but also had a number of subtle character moments with other characters in the book. This one is similar yet at the same time, it’s more epic in scale.
Avengers 5 introduces Smasher, the very first human member of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard. Her back story feels like a mesh of classic alien invasion movies and a silver age superhero origin, and it works very well. Izzy belongs to a farming family, yet she wants to be an astronomer. A piece of a Smasher’s armor somehow lands on her farm, and it turns her into a new smasher.
Her back story is intermixed with the Avengers fighting off an “invasion” within the Shi’ar Empire. It’s a great fight scene that not only expands on Smasher’s back story, but also gives us a few small character moments with Bruce Banner and Captain America. There doesn’t seem to be as much story development as the last issue, save for a cliff-hanger on the last page, but that almost works in this issue’s favour. The art is good too. It’s a simple look that handles facial expressions and environmental details very well, especially the scenes at Izzy’s home.
I can’t think of anything to complain about with this comic. It combines an epic fight in space with a touching backstory for a new character. It feels like an Avengers comic with touches of Marvel’s cosmic line, which perfectly matches Hickman’s usual epic stories. This is definitely worth reading if you’re an Avengers fan, or if you like Hickman’s writing.