The Illuminati on the front line as the Earth is invaded.
The House of Black Bolt cracks.
Cover- Thanos and his generals bathed in blue light on a black background. It’s quite foreboding and quite fitting while being evocative of Infinity #1.
Art-Mike Deodato as always delivers with his art. Strong dark lines, dominant shadows
Action- plenty of explosions and a brief fisticuff in Wakanda should wet the appetite for what will undoubtedly come next. Let’s also make note of Corvus kicking Wolverine’s ass, that’s always good for a chuckle.
Mystery- What the hell does Black Bolt have brewing with his brother? The last time he commissioned anything it turned out to be a Terrigen bomb which was supposed to mutate the Shiar Empire into Inhumans. I don’t know about anyone else but Black Bolt has been wonky in the head and very extreme when he knocks heads with his brother. Equally as curious is Ebony Maw and both his abilities and motivation, is he truly the weakest of the generals, what are his powers and is he truly loyal to Thanos or just to himself?
Respect- Wakanda successfully fends off Black Dwarf and his small army in this issue. It warmed my heart to see them actually victorious for a change.
Things to come- Am I the only one whose spine is tingling at the thought of Thanos throwing down with Black Bolt? Oooh lordy! EVERYBODY HAVE TIME FOR THAT!
Escalations- Last issue T’challa’s sister Shuri after refusing an offer of peace with Atlantis and literally decimated the nation by using the once defunct Hatut Zeraze founder by her father T’chaka and once lead by her adopted brother Hunter. Now Namor grief stricken and realizing he possibly can’t win the war against Wakanda and Thanos’s new invaders lead by Proxima Midnight. Namor unlike Shuri bends the knee to a superior adversary in hopes of saving his people and also turns the invaders on those he wants revenge, the Black Panthers and Wakanda. This move is powerful in many ways. For one we can contrast Namor’s leadership style as a veteran to that of T’challa. Both saw the merit of peace between the nations to save their people. Shuri, brash and young had a point to prove and may have paved the way for more bloodshed by her people. The other interesting thing is I think Namor and Shuri if they ever did sit down together instead of fight (As they did in Black Panther  #11) they would discover a startling mutuality.
Emotional- The other part of Namor’s panels that really struck a chord with me was purely emotional. By the time I realized what he was about to say I could reach in and grab him by the throat and kill him. All I could think of was Namor’s friendship with T’chaka, his onetime friendship with T’challa, how he betrayed T’challa to Dr. Doom (Black Panther  #1 & Black Panther  #2) and set in motion the events which lead to Doomwar, then his recent destruction of Wakanda’s capital. Namor should evoke a raging inferno of emotion from continuity buffs and Black Panther purists. Watching this friendship disintegrate has been very entertaining but also very painful when you realize that Namor was once an ally of Wakanda dating back two generations.
Earth Vulnerable- With Captain America and his Avengers (2013) team off in space fending off
Fight- I would have paid good money to see the intricate details of the fight between Black Panther/T’challa and Black Dwarf in Wakanda. I’m disappointed that a book in which T’challa is one of the stars wasted time showing what was taking place at the Jean Frey School and Wolverine being creamed (despite enjoying it). New Avengers (2013) readers are only concerned with the illuminati and their place in the war honestly.
Great art, great cover, top notch action and emotional to boot: Jonathan Hickman delivers….big time! 5/5