In the wake of the crossover event Infinity, the folks at Avengers take strides with this issue to address issues from the past, present and future, all while creating new plot dynamics that will doubtless create some great stories down the road. This issue tells a self-contained story in which we get a glimpse of what it would be to party like an Avenger, we see Richards and Stark descendants from the year 3030 and a quickly stifled global threat that borrowed a few themes from Armageddon. Overall it was an excellent issue and provided a great segue into what I’m sure will be another great arc from Hickman and the Avengers creative staff.
One thing in particular I like about self-contained stories from Hickman’s Avengers is that he takes full advantage of this narrative rest to affix his figurative back-swing leading into the next major arc. It really benefits his writing style because it takes him a very, very long time to tell a story, and they always have explosive climaxes. What Hickman does in an issue like 24.NOW is begin to set up pieces for the next several issues and set events in motion that will feed his narrative cycle for what could realistically be the next year or two. And these themes aren’t only for the keen readers either. To me, these allusions to future plotlines are extremely self aware, almost shouting at the reader to notice them.
With these two panels we see the plot of this story somewhat diffused and explained, but in the subtext there is some serious implication that the events of this issue will have serious consequences later on.
Which leads me to another subject of discussion. This issue dealt with a crisis that could have easily resulted in the destruction of Earth. If it wasn’t for some deft time traveling (SCIENCE!) and quick thinking by the world’s top crime-fighting world-saving heroes, the world could have died. This issue was about 34 pages long; the threat to the world is revealed on 20 and the world is saved on 31.. So the world was in crisis but nearly as many of the pages in the book were dedicated to showing the Avengers partying as were depicting the action plan of the Avengers attempt to save the world. This pacing also lends itself to Hickman’s writing style. He can use the bulk of an arc or an issue dealing in character development and plot subtlety, with sudden action and quick climaxes leading into cryptic resolutions that begin the story-telling circle all over again.
Now to a more jovial topic. I loved the Avenger’s Barbeque! Seeing these characters interact and unwind in a roof party was a welcome scene. Especially Thor.
I strongly recommend this issue to anyone looking to get into a great story. Now more than ever is the time to jump on, seeing as the new stories are going to start developing on a grand scale in the coming weeks. I can promise action, adventure, intrigue comedy and some of the best science fiction in main stream comics.