Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Juan Frigeri
Color Artist: David Curiel
Cover Artists: Javier Garrón David Curiel
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Avengers have been through a lot recently, but now that things are kind of cooling off they’re heating up again. The Multiverse is under attack by the new Multiversal Masters of Evil, formed from some of the deadliest villains across time and parallel universes. Now their deadly assault begins in Avengers #51.
So, this is a solid action-packed comic book with a subpar beginning, solid middle, and ends on a cool cliffhanger. The beginning of this comic is by far the weakest part as Jason Aaron tries to tell how Iron-Man gets people but at the same time doesn’t get people. To save people the two-page rant, Tony tries to cheer Thor up by saying it’s not his parentage or where he comes from that defines him but his choices and what he does. It doesn’t work, of course, and problems only continue to pile up for Thor and company while they’re on Asgard.
Echo is there too, trying to talk to Thor about the recent retcons, but Sif won’t let her into Asgard since she’s the new Phoenix, but trouble kicks into overdrive. Enter: the new Multiversal Masters of Evil. Or half of them, at least. We get to actually see the powers and personalities of these new Masters of Evil in action as they clash with the three Avengers and some Deathloks sent to warn them of the attack. This is where the art and colors by Juan Frigeri and David Curiel are in full overdrive with the battle between the Avengers and the Masters of Evil.
This is by far the best part of the comic, though this series has already set a low bar, this is a good step in the right direction. It feels like honest-to-goodness superhero comic book storytelling instead of anything Jason Aaron was doing in the rest of the series. Now, don’t let that get your hopes up, since we still have quite a while for this storyline to play out, and who knows how Aaron can screw up this story in the pacing, plot, or dialogue.
Since this issue focused on three Avengers going up against Dark Phoenix, Berserk, and King Killmonger, it’s likely the next issue will focus on Namor, Black Panther, and Jane Foster Valkyrie vs. Doom Supreme, Kid Thanos, Black Skull, and Ghost Goblin. The irony is that Ghost Goblin won’t be able to face Robbie Reyes Ghost Rider since he’s in Avengers Forever. But the face-off between the other characters should be entertaining.
The problem in this comic is that there’s very little given on the history of these Masters of Evil besides that quick info-dump by The Orb in Avengers #50. Other than that, there’s no real significance to their words and actions since what they say just feels like exposition. Like when King Killmonger says he’s conquered and destroyed Wakanda and Asgard, and killed a Thor, there’s no real weight to it. The Avengers have fought alternate villains before, so this series needs to show what makes this team stand out from all the others.
Avengers #51 kicks off the new story arc with the Avengers vs. the new Multiversal Masters of Evil. The comic has a rough beginning, but when the new Masters of Evil show up, it gets much better. It’s a good-old-fashioned clash between the heroes and villains, the art team do a great job illustrating the characters and action, and it’s clear by the end that the fight has only just begun.