Mind Capsules – Avengers #42 and Batman Eternal #48

Avengers #42
Avengers #42

Writer – Jonathan Hickman
Artist – Stefano Caselli
Colours – Frank Martin

The Earth is besieged on all sides – by incursions, by Gladiator and the Shi’ar and by time itself.  There is no time left if the Avengers are to save the human race and they cannot afford to spend any of it battling an invading force.  But such as it is, they will meet it head on and win for they have no other choice.  Jonathan Hickman continues to push our heroes to the brink of breaking and yet they stand resolute, unwilling to fail for if they do then that is the end of all they are.  The Black Panther comes up with an idea for a ship to save as much of humanity as possible to which Reed approves while Doc Green and Captain Britain go looking for materials they need from the body of the Living Tribunal.  Whether it is for that new ship or something else entirely remains to be seen, but is a rather interesting little moment in the book.  Over in the Ultimate Universe, Namor has a chat with Black Swan and makes no excuses for his behaviour and swears that nothing will get in his way of making it back home and doing so alive.  Out in space, Gladiator is gathering his forces, only now learning of the incursions and knowing that it is almost too late to do anything but also hoping that should they destroy the Earth, perhaps the universe can be saved.  It is an intriguing little character moment as we see how different the man is now compared to when he was just a soldier.  Like he says in the book, he is now an ’empire’ and as such, must think of everyone and what is best.  The Guardians of the Galaxy show up, hoping to warn the Earth of the impending doom and though they do, the Avengers are staying to defend what is theirs and will not go running off into the night and possibly their deaths.  Also fantastic to see was Valeria play a part in the story and a very important one at that as without her help, the Illuminati might still be spinning their wheels.  Avengers remains wonderfully compelling and a very exciting title at the moment, heading straight into Secret Wars and beyond.

4 out of 5

Batman Eternal #48
Batman Eternal #48

Writer – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Kyle Higgins, Ray Fawkes, Tim Seeley
Artist – Fernando Blanco
Colours – Marcelo Maiolo

Things are going terribly bad for the Bat-Family as they are getting hit from every direction and no relief in sight.  Red Robin, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Bluebird are all going toe-to-toe with some of Gotham’s nastiest villains while Spoiler has gone off to confront Vicki Vale about her lack of action.  Batman has survived his plane going down and Jason Bard is, for whatever reason, now on Gordon’s side though it may be too late for him.  Julia has also survived, Alfred is locked up and Hush is playing games.  There is more going on in this issue than most comics being published today and yet it makes for one incredibly exciting ride.  There really seems little that any of our heroes can do, but if they can make it past their respective foes, if Batman has something up his sleeve or if Vicki can piece something together, perhaps they might just stand a chance.  There are a couple of things going on as well amongst all the fighting, the first being what Julia sees when she crawls out of Gotham Harbour.  Now that Hush has compromised all of their tech and their computers, could what she see be the former Wayne Enterprises, filled with computers that might get them back on track?  Also, what is the Penguin going to do?  It seems pretty obvious that he is going to murder James Gordon, but Snyder and the other writers could be faking the readers out and instead he could end up being protection for the man as the riot in the prison takes place.  Maybe.  Great writing and great artwork combine in Batman Eternal to make, quite possibly, the most enjoyable and entertaining book in DC’s stable.

4 out of 5

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