Thursday, March 12, 2015

New Avengers #31

   For years now I've been heaping praises on Jonathan Hickman's writing, but with this issue we find the one area where he's not quite up to snuff (in my humble opinion, of course).

   He can't write Dr. Strange well.

   To be more accurate, I'm not crazy about his take on the Sorcerer Supreme.

   A lot of that is because I'm an "old school" fan of the Doc, who (in my book) uses his powers to protect life from the powers of darkness.

   There's a wonderful scene during the Steve Englehart / Frank Brunner run in the '70s where Doc waxes poetical about what an honor it is to protect even the smallest life form. That's "my" Doc.

   In Hickman's New Avengers stories, Dr. Strange is a very dark magician indeed, using his powers to kill his opponents in more than one story - and expressing no remorse at his dark acts.

   This issue features him leading an army of dark mystics against a powerful opponent, all to search for the most fearsome foe of all.

   On the up side, the revelation at the end is unexpected, and we once again see some huge events bringing the upcoming Secret War into line.

   As for Hickman - well, no one's perfect, but that's easy to forgive, as the rest of the series easily outweighs this stumble.

Grade: A-



Anonymous said...

Interesting. I think Hickman's point is that dark times can make even the most noble of us do bad things, and Strange saw no other course. The "reveal" at the end of this book struck me as a little odd, but we'll see where it goes. I agree with all the praise you've heaped on Hickman, but, if the ending fails, it will make the whole ride seem like a waste in some ways...

Chuck said...

Anon, I agree, the ending makes or breaks any story - but so far Hickman's got a good track record for wrapping up big storylines in a satisfying way. Here's hoping!