Review: Avengers World #21

Avengers World #21The last stand of A.I.M. … in the Savage Land! Thor and Hyperion unleashed! Can Namor survive The Cabal?

While much of the attention for the epic story leading up to Marvel‘s Secret Wars has been on Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers, for the last six issues, writer Frank Barbiere has transformed Avengers World from an “also” series, into one that not only equals Hickman’s main tale, but surpasses it in many ways. This issue is the apex of the series.

While Hickman gives us the main story of time winding down, Barbiere has focused the story on other aspects overlooked, filling in gaps. First Roberto Dacosta’s purchased of A.I.M. and attempt to save the world has been a lot of the story, but the thing I really liked about this issue is something else.

Barbiere has taken the questionable hero Namor and taken him from someone who will cross the line and do whatever it takes to survive into a broken, fallen hero. Namor was attacked and left for dead some time back and since has been running with Thanos’ Cabal, destroying worlds. Up to this point he came off as a strong leader, but we learn things aren’t what we’ve seen, Namor is broken and has become a sympathetic, broken king. As the issue plays out, it becomes clear what we thought was the story isn’t so much. Pieces of the puzzle are put together weaving a tragic tale. Barbiere has brought sympathy for the villain, and at the same time cast Thanos as an even scarier force.

Helping Barbiere is artist Jeff Dekal on cover and Marco Checchetto on interiors, and Andres Josè Mossa on color, all of whose art is jaw dropping. How they are all not headlining numerous series is a crime. The art for these past few issues have been amazing, and they’re all talents that should be headlining some big titles. Expect to see these name a lot over the next few years.

Avengers World is a series that’s flown under the radar, overshadowed by the higher profile Avengers series. Barbiere and Checchetto have turned it into a top tier series that not only entertains, but adds depth in both the greater world building and characters themselves.

Writer: Frank Barbiere Cover Artist: Jeff Dekal Interior Art: Marco Checchetto
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy