Bottom of the Pile: Oct. 16th, 2013
The Avengers' epic battle against the Builders finally comes to an end, as the formerly out-of-action Captain Universe awakens to save the universe in its hour of need. In a nutshell, that's how Avengers 21 plays out, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't disappointed. The Thanos plot in the main Infinity story just never felt anywhere near as strong or as wide-reaching as the Builders subplot, so to see it come to an end so soon and so suddenly is a little saddening. The story is missing those big, epic set-piece moments that make a reader's jaw-drop like in the classics Annihilation, Conquest, or War of Kings.
What's saved it mostly is that its pretty much just a prologue to Jonathan's Avengers epic, a story I'm still curious to see the full scope of, as we head into Avengers World. But at some point for this epic to truly work they're going to have to slow down enough to make those epic moments happen, or this will end up as a massive 30+ part story that's merely full of sound and fury and signifying, well...you know.
Far, far stronger than Avengers in both character and plot, New Avengers remains one of the most compelling books at Marvel for me. As the Illuminati continue to stave off the utter and complete destruction of all they hold dear, new wrinkles begin to present themselves. I get that its devoid of action for the most part, but the point is that the Illuminati are so powerful and so influential that their actions are felt across the entire Marvel Universe.
Nowhere is that more clear than this issue, where the repercussions of their actions finally affect them directly in this title, leaving them in quite a precarious position at the close of the issue. I confess to being curious as to where this all is really going and what's the source of the "incursions", but for now I'm more than happy to relax and let Hickman's grand epic play out.
Transformers: More than Meets the Eye 22 serves as a pretty decent ending to one of the wildest action-drama series in recent memory. With a story that's equal parts hilarious and touching, we get to have one last look at the crew of the Lost Light, both those alive and those lost to us, before we get hit with a "things will never be the same" in Dark Cybertron.
What I love the most about this series is how it's never afraid to poke fun at how ridiculous the Transformer universe can be, and this issue epitomizes that fact with the a "recruitment film" the Lost Light created, with the viewers saying the crew was:
"Everyone on board the Lost Light is cracked in the head!"
"Yeah, dysfunctional isn't the word! There isn't a normal 'bot among you!"
"And that wouldn't be so bad if you actually made progress—but as far as I can make out, all you do is argue, crack jokes, and get sidetracked doing pointless, silly things that only you find amusing!"
...Fairly accurate, but I still like them. I'm hoping Dark Cybertron doesn't wreak TOO much havoc on the crew of these guys, as they've become a truly lovable cast of misfits.