INFINITY TIE-IN – “AVENGERS UNIVERSE: V” The Avengers return to our Solar System. The battle for Earth starts in the heavens. The Black Order makes their move. From writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Leinil Francis Yu.
After being made aware of Thanos’ plot in Infinity #5, the Avengers shift gears from the Builders to address the threat at home. With the coalition preparing to defend Earth, the tone of the book changes as the effects of the war settle over the team, from blooming romantic entanglements to questions of fate and faith. The differences in personality and leadership play out here in a well-deserved break from the space-farring battle of this event, making for an interesting change of pace and focus. Meanwhile, from The Peak, Black Dwarf mounts a defense against the coalition as they secure strategic advantage on Titan.
A welcomed shift from conflict and warfare, this issue serves as a solid connecting story in the transition from the Builder threat to the defense of Earth. On its own it is a little awkward to read, as it needs to be held against the larger storyline for context, but Hickman gets the job done with some solid scripting. I enjoyed seeing the fallout of the Builder war and its effects on the team, such as the exchanges between Eden and Captains America and Marvel, and later with Thor. It’s nice to get these glimpses of team dynamics peppered throughout the event, which have been largely seen in tie-ins. I can see the argument that it comes off as a bit jarring, especially the Cannonball/Smasher romantic interlude in the beginning. Given the stressful nature of the superhero business, however, spontaneous hook-ups are bound to be pretty frequent.
As always, Yu’s artwork really sells the book. His pencils, with the color palettes of Gho and Curiel and Alanguilan’s inks, carry the story through dynamism and strength of design. The full-page splash of the coalition ships arriving on Titan, which is paralleled with the closing scene of the ships making their way to Earth, are some of the visual highlights of the issue. They make great use of scale and motion, developed by lovely coloring and the implied glow of engine thrusters to create really striking imagery. It’s the little things like this, from the innate sense of power in these scenes of space-travel, to the movement and vitality of battle, that really pop out issue after issue.
Like Infinity #5, this issue serves as a connective piece, a transition into the last leg of the event. It has a strong script from Hickman with some nice character-driven scenes, well-executed by Yu and the rest of the creative team. A solid read all around.