Avengers #18: Hickman’s Infinity Mega Event Continues
Usually comic books come out on a monthly basis, but comic writer extraordinaire Jonathan Hickman decided to tie in Avengers and New Avengers directly into the story. He said you do not have to buy these issues but you get the whole story if you read them. Now why would you question the great and powerful Hickman? Need one more incentive, how about Leinil Francis Yu on art? Good. Go buy it this week before it sells out just like Infinity #1 did last week. Spoilers may follow…
Avengers #18 picks up right where Infinity #1 left off, with our heroes blasting off into the far reaches of space to fight The Builders, who are set on destroying the Earth once and for all. Our story dives right into the warlords of the Skrull Empire engaged in a major battle. If you read Secret Invasion from a few years back as well as Annihilation (and subsequent related stories) you know the Skrull Empire is in shambles and on the verge of extinction. If you are not familiar with the Skrulls, think Klingons from Star Trek—a mighty race who is strong, ugly, and loves to die in battle—except they shape-shift as well! The Skrulls are finally uniting under one leader to re-shape their empire against the threat of the destruction of worlds.
We then travel to a gathering of pretty much every alien race trying to figure out what to do about The Builders. The King of Spartax is there (Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in) Ronan the Accuser (the Strength of the Kree Empire), The Supreme Intelligence (The Brain of the Kree Empire), Gladiator (X-Men enemy Shi’ar Emperor) and even Annihilus is there. On a side note, Annihilus did destroy countless aliens and home-worlds and almost conquered the universe during the Annihilation event of 2006 (read it, it’s awesome). They all meet to discuss their options of how they are going to try and destroy The Builders. The Skrulls, being the proud warrior race they are, show proof that it is possible to kill a Builder. The Avengers are on hand in this meeting to represent the Earth and join in on the fun. As we left off in Infinity #1 we have two ships ready for battle. Coincidentally each ship is getting a tie in issue in another book (Avengers Assemble #18. You do not have to read this, but if you are a completist, have at it). Once Captain America and crew get the signal, they are ready for all out war…
Leinil Francis Yu really shines in the next 3 pages as the Avengers and allies really start to get the upper hand. We see multiple explosions and victories by the team—that is until The Builders take notice and decide to de-cloak their fleet and really show what they can do. In one panel we see utter destruction and chaos. The Builders have just put their collective foot down and we get an idea of how destructive and powerful these baddies can be. To be continued in New Avengers #9 before we get to Infinity #2 next month!
This was a fantastic fun read all the way around. Hickman has shown he can do mega events and universe threatening villains. We got a little of everything in this issue so that it’s not supposed to be a must read to understand Infinity #2, but Hickman said it will compliment the main Infinity mini series a great deal. If you are a fan of Hickman’s writing capabilities, you know by now to never question and just buy his stuff. In comparison to the summer events of the last decade (House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion, World War Hulk, Annihilation, Siege, Fear Itself, Avengers vs X-Men, and Age of Ultron) this one is on pace to be one of the best. Hickman is so enjoyable to read and Yu’s art is always spectacular to look at.
Infinity #1 had a print run of 250,000 copies and it sold out in less than a week nationwide. The Avengers typically sells 75,000 copies. Obviously this math doesn’t add up, so the answer is run out and buy Avengers 18 this week before this sells out as well. In case you missed Infinity #1, fear not a second print is on the way for those who didn’t listen to me last week!