Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: Ed McGuiness & Paco Medina
This story arc of Avengers is pretty crazy right now. The Starbrand, protector of Earth with cosmic power is dead, and there’s a new host. It happened years ago now, in Marvel Legacy #1 from 2017. Don’t feel bad, I also don’t remember it happening. Now, most of the Avengers are in deep space, in a prison the size of a galaxy. Thor is a brood, the red suns are killing Blade, and Black Widow is fulfilling every internet contrarian’s criticism by wearing Black Widow themed Iron Man Armor. It’s ridiculous and crazy and jumps at least ten sharks but I am loving it.
There’s a lot that happens in this issue, but at the same time, I feel like not much happens. It opens directly where the last one ends, with the “War Widow” (Black Widow in a War Machine suit) fighting some aliens. Then she fights the Silver Surfer, who’s also an alien, so there’s a theme going there. The first half of this issue is focusing on Black Widow fighting Silver Surfer, with help from Blade. Not that that’s bad, but there hasn’t been much progress on the Starbrand side of things yet.
The back half of this comic shows the rest of the Avengers, still fighting other former Galactus Heralds. There are a few cool moments here and there with them, but it doesn’t stand out as much as they fight with Silver Surfer. I’m making it sound like absolutely nothing happens, but something totally happens. In the last few pages, Gladiator faces off against this mysterious new Starbrand. The big reveal is… a bit of a mixed bag, for me. On the one hand, we see who we’re dealing with, and it turns out to be nobody in particular. On the other hand, the situation that this person is in is definitely unique as heck, since she’s pregnant.
I absolutely enjoy the art in this issue (and the story arc as a whole). Ed McGuiness and Paco Medina are both fantastic artists on their own, and together it’s even better. I mean, both names have been involved with this comic since its start. Everything feels big and bold. The lining is literally very bold and makes everything stand out a bit more. The coloring by Jason Keith is great and helps add to the feeling of the story. There are some things I don’t like, mostly the costume designs, but it’s not anything I can say is specific to this issue alone.
This story arc feels like a throwback to classic stories, in a way. Not a major story like the original Secret Wars or anything. But one of those random issues you could pick up and the Avengers are in space, just doing some space stuff. The Starbrand thing will probably play a major part going forward, at least in this one title. But for now, we have an interesting hook to keep us waiting for the next issue. On top of that, there’s some good, fun art in this comic. It’s definitely an issue worth reading if only for how crazy and fun some of the ideas are.
In the same vein as the rest of the story arc, Avengers #29 continues giving us fun, crazy ideas for the team. The plot is moving at its own pace, but it's moving, and in the meantime, there's fun ideas and action depicted by fantastic art.