Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ed McGuiness
One of my favorite lines in Avengers #4 comes from one of its stranger and funnier moments: “Hulk warm. Hulk warmest one there is.” Jennifer Walters, She-Hulk, says as she then breathes warmth into/makes out with a freezing Thor.
After two middle-of-the-road issues, Avengers #4 comes back with a stronger issue that moves the story closer to this first arc’s conclusion. This issue opens with a beautiful spread of the “1,000,000 B.C. Avengers” charging into action, with a narration by the Allfather Odin about his thoughts about his teammates from back then. We see that he’s speaking in the modern day to Thor and She-Hulk on their search for a weapon that can help them beat the Dark Celestials descending upon the planet.
The rest of the issue shows the entire team, in mostly pairs, working to figure out a way to fight the Celestials: Iron Man and Doctor Strange are in Greece, looking for the Eternals for an answer since their origin is directly tied to the Celestials, only to find them all seemingly dead except for Ikaris. Black Panther and Captain Marvel are in space, on the Alpha Flight Station studying one of the bugs Black Panther previously fought deep under the earth.
Captain America is with Loki under the North Pole, staring at a long-dead ancient Celestial as Loki explains that the Avengers can’t stop the Final Host because he will, as Loki eloquently puts it, “Make the skies burn and the oceans boil. To end this world’s wretched life cycle once and for all.”
Ed Mcguinness & Paco Medina, with inkers Juan Viasco and Mark Morales, have some pretty good art in this issue, with great colors by David Curiel. For the most part, the art is good, but there are some instances where the faces and characters do look a little out of proportion and silly. Initially, I thought the weapon Thor and She-Hulk are after was an Infinity Stone because it’s just shown as a smooth, blue egg-shaped, stone object.
In actuality, it is “The blood of Ymir first of the ice colossi father of all giants.” It’s at this point, towards the end of the book, that the aforementioned Thor/She-Hulk kiss of warmth happens, and then the two are off, back to Earth, where we see the rest of the Avengers, as everybody prepares to fight the advancing Dark Celestials. The last page is a haunting vision of the past, as Young Odin curses the Celestials to Hel, with the rest of the BC Avengers lying on the floor defeated around him.
My biggest complaint about this issue is the team being split up. I feel that, usually, once a team assembles, splitting them up again takes away from both the main narrative and any side-stories that may be told. For instance, in this issue Ghost RIder has his car turn into a submarine while he’s driving towards the Celestials in the middle of the ocean and that’s it.
This issue isn’t perfect but had enough to keep me excited for what’s to come. I’m hopeful we’ll see an “Avengers Assemble!” before the arc is over, and hopefully no more of the Scooby-Doo-method of everyone splitting up.
With some funny, if not unusual and short, character moments from the team, Avengers #4 moves the story forward with an interesting narrative and good art.