Avengers #29

Story by
Art by
Gerry Alanguilan, Leinil Francis Yu
Colors by
Sunny Gho
Letters by
Cory Petit
Cover by
Marvel Comics

The credits page of "Avengers" #29 warns that the events of this comic occur after "Original Sin" #2, which is slated for release next week. I'm accustomed to Jonathan Hickman's long-range writing, but I'm none too keen on tie-ins accelerating past the main "event" title in comics as seems to be a more recent trend. That said, "Avengers" #29 has plenty of moments scripted by Hickman and drawn by Leinil Francis Yu that are not reliant upon "Original Sin" and ride simply on the history Hickman has established with his work here and on "New Avengers."

The ongoing saga from "New Avengers" is critical to the story in "Avengers" #29, but Hickman does a sufficient job of encapsulating the developments for readers who have opted out to this point. The crux of this oversized (and priced to match) issue is that Captain America remembers what the Illuminati did to him under the shadow of the Incursions. Being Captain America, he rallies the troops and goes knocking on Tony Stark's door. Didn't this just happen in "Civil War"? Sort of, but not really. Hickman freshens up the story with the plots and subplots he has developed throughout his work on the Avengers brand and the presence of the Infinity Gems adds a new wrinkle that feeds into the current state of the Marvel Universe and the growing concern surrounding the corroding timestream.

Yu's art answers the bell for Hickman's story, but falls short of spectacular, despite the efforts of inker Gerry Alanguilan and colorist Sunny Gho. The characters erupt from panels throughout the story and letterer Cory Petit also crosses gutters with his words balloons. These choices keep the comic from getting too stale due to the plethora of shouting and talking heads. One spread has twenty-nine panels of talking, with several sporting more than one word balloon. The issue doesn't completely sacrifice action for dialogue, though, considering Cap's confrontation with Tony. While Yu handles talking Avengers nicely, "Avengers" needs more than talking to pull off an exciting issue.

"Avengers" #29 widens the hole that Hickman has been digging for the Illuminati for quite some time now. Hitting the crossroads of "Original Sin" and the Incursions from "New Avengers," this title is now enmeshed into the seemingly inevitable implosion of the Avengers. Hickman does throw in a last minute surprise on the final page, but the surprise is a forty-thousand-foot image, detailed to dizzying heights by Yu -- unfortunately, it's not enough to carry the whole issue, and thus leaves a limp conclusion for "Avengers" #29.

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