Mind Capsules – New Avengers #32 and Batman Eternal #51

New Avengers #32
New Avengers #32

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

With this latest issue, the multiversal team of Avengers return!  Jonathan Hickman and returning artist Mike Deodato finally reveal to us readers where the team has been and where they are headed.  The team, consisting of the Odinson, Hyperion, Starbrand, Nightmask, Abyss and Ex Nihilo, are essentially at the end of the universe. Suns, planets, galaxies and realities are all disappearing faster than can be contemplated, but Nightmask gleans a bit of information from the corpse of a Mapmaker.  So together, the team head off and for all we know, they are not only at the end of the universe but at the end of everything where they are soon confronted by a couple of Beyonders.  Of course, being who they are, the Beyonders are all-powerful and after having destroyed almost all of existence, they know that these Avengers stand no chance should they stand against them.  Being who they are, the Avengers simply do not care and will fight to the end no matter the outcome.  For once, Hickman does not make any big reveals, at least nothing we have not seen or heard before and it actually makes the story just a little bit refreshing for once as he has been dropping revelations for so long now it seems preposterous that he can keep outdoing himself.  Of course, going up against the Beyonders, you know that there are going to be casualties and while there is, Hickman and Deodato really make it as exciting as possible.  The one question that arises out of all of this is just how this might affect the events that are taking place in the other issues and the answer is that it will not, unless, for some reason, a couple of them make it out alive.  At the moment, that looks like it will be impossible, but with Hickman writing, you never really know.

4 out of 5

Batman Eternal #51
Batman Eternal #51

Writer – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, Kyle Higgins, Ray Fawkes
Artist – Alvaro Martinez
Inker – Raul Fernandez
Colours – June Chung

Batman is a broken man, but broken or not, he still has a card or two up his sleeve though it most likely will not be enough.  After the big reveal last issue of the Cluemaster being the man behind everything, he goes into Bond villain-mode and starts telling Bats about how he pulled everything off and it really is quite impressive.  It was innovative and methodical and should Cluemaster escape this series with his life, he will have been elevated into A-list villain status because of it.  The best part of the whole book is that stunning imagery of Cluemaster cutting the emblem off of Batman’s chest, almost like he is excising Batman from the city.  Bruce meanwhile, is all tied up, beaten and bloody and forced to listen to the Cluemaster go on and on but you know before he even does it, that Batman is going to escape to give Cluemaster the fight of his life, or at least as much as he can manage in the current shape he is in.  It is good to see Gordon out of prison once again and doing his whole rallying-the-forces thing that he always does.  It works well of course, inspiring Bard to take a stand and perhaps get the city back on its feet once again.  It will be an uphill battle for everyone as it is currently on fire, one that is out of control and will take everything that everyone has to give to manage it, and hopefully save something before there is nothing left of the city to save.  Meanwhile, Catwoman is just standing by deciding on what she wants to do, Spoiler is getting out of the city as fast as she can and the rest of our heroes are doing what they can to save civilians wherever they might be in trouble.  There is a lot going on and everyone is being pushed to their limits which then takes us back to Batman and the cliff-hanger this issue is left on as well.  The book just keeps on surprising, not to mention keeping the pace and the action moving at a frantic pace.  It is hard to fathom what more can happen, but you know that you will come back for the next issue to find out what Snyder and company have in store.

4 out of 5

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