Mind Capsules – Avengers #39 and Flash Gordon #7

Avengers #39
Avengers #39

Writer – Jonathan Hickman
Artist – Mike Deodato
Colours – Frank Martin

Jonathan Hickman brings us another fantastic issue of the Avengers that sees the team we all know and love torn apart by mistrust between its members.  We find the Illuminati in Spain, getting ready to be hit by Steve Rogers and his S.H.I.E.L.D. forces.  What Rogers does not know is that it is all a trap set-up by Mr. Fantastic and the rest of the heroes in hiding.  This issue did a wonderful job of balancing all of the action that takes place against the narration by Reed Richards, which is directed towards his daughter, Valeria.  It is quite poignant as he speaks, even if it is framed as a bit of lesson, but when Reed Richards cares about you, more often than not, that is how he shows his affection.  Captain Marvel has a moment to shine though when going up against the Hulk, you usually bite off more than you can chew and we see War Machine trying to be the new Iron Man.  Watching these heroes go up against each other is definitely a little weird, especially given how much hostility lies between them and all of it one-sided.  When Steve Rogers the former Captain America believes he is right, there is little to convince him otherwise. The way he is able to inspire those around him is something few can do, but the way some of these heroes have flocked to his banner in this manner is a little scary.  Ending the book on a perfect note is a cliff-hanger that has to be one of the most exciting panels seen in this book that makes you drool with anticipation for the next issue.  Hickman has truly been writing the best version of this book that has been published in a long time with every issue continually bringing out sides of these characters that we have never thought them to have before.  Whatever happens to these books after Hickman leaves is going to have to be pretty spectacular to top what the man has been doing.

4.5 out of 5

Flash Gordon #7
Flash Gordon #7

Writer – Jeff Parker
Artist – Evan Shaner
Colours – Jordie Bellaire

Flash and the team are still on Sky World, but things are looking up as the king is not really all that bad, and even wants to help them out.  Seems he just has to play the bad guy to keep Ming and Mongo on the ropes from learning the truth about things.  What is really sad about this particular issue is that it is only the second to last one before Dynamite ends it in favour of their King Dynamite line.  Parker and Shaner have been doing an absolutely perfect job with the venerable hero, one that has reinvigorated him for a modern age and created an excitement about him that everyone feels when they read this book.  The artwork is absolutely gorgeous as it channels that golden-age feel while being current in its stylings and Evan Shaner is sure to go on to bigger and better things once this book ends.  As it is, the issue features a lot of the trademark humour that has suffused it since its inception and we get some great moments with Dr. Zarkov and the Hawk King.  Even though it seems like our heroes might have been stuck on this planet and out in the universe for a good, long time, Zarkov pulls a rabbit out of the hat and manages to get them home, though with Ming still on the loose, things might not be as good as it may seem.  This book is definitely one of the best things being put out by any publisher today, and if they are smart, some other company will snap up this creative team and put them to work immediately.

4.5 out of 5

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