Mind Capsules – New Avengers #23 and The New 52 Futures End #16

New Avengers #23

Writer – Jonathan Hickman
Artist – Kev Walker
Colours – Frank Martin

The fallout from destroying the alternate Earth continues with the Illuminati not being able to handle what it is they just let happen.  One of the repercussions would be Namor’s exile from the group and whether that was a good thing or not will remain to be seen.  But things are not over as the monitors pick up another incursion about to happen.  This time though, our heroes do not have it in themselves to destroy a planet and so they set off to say their goodbyes to everything and everyone they love.  Hickman delivers a moving story of heroes resigned to their fate, accepting that which they cannot change and trying to find a way to live with their conscience.  Kev Walker and Frank Martin do an excellent job on the artwork, really nailing down the sadness and the hopelessness personified in the character’s actions perfectly.  While very little went on this issue, much like the last one, Hickman gives us some great character moments which more than make up for it and the book always feels relevant.  Black Panther, who spends time with Storm and Mr. Fantastic who heads of to see Valeria one last time, are two of the best scenes in the book, though there are many to be had.  While it might seem like Namor was left by the wayside this issue, Hickman and company leave it on a huge cliff-hanger, bringing together some of the plot threads from the last bunch of issues and setting the book up for a major confrontation to come.  New Avengers has been a consistently great read from the very first issue and that does not look like it is about to change.

4.5 out of 5

The New 52 Futures End #16

Writer – Brian Azzarello, Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen
Artist – Jesus Merino
Inker – Dan Green
Colours – Hi-Fi

This issue starts out with the introduction of Stormguard, a patriotic hero who is out to stop crime.  There is some family time with Deathstroke and Fifty Sue, Mr. Terrific is having a conversation with someone in outer space, Lois is causing trouble, Superman is battling Rampage again and we finally find out who is the mastermind behind the deaths of the Authority, and it is not the Engineer.  One thing that can be said about this issue is that it finally ended on a great cliff-hanger, one that makes you want to come back for the next book.  Who this Stormguard guy is and where he came from is a complete mystery.  The Mr. Terrific scene moves his story forward a little bit while the Deathstroke and Superman bits just seemed like filler to pad out the issue.  When this series started, it did so with so much promise and so far, it has had far more lows than highs.  Whereas Batman Eternal has been getting better and better, this title has not.  Some segments are good such as the Frankenstein/Amethyst/Hawkman stuff, but others are not and it is not only frustrating, but disappointing.  Perhaps things will turn around next issue.

2.5 out of 5

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