Holy $#!t… that just happened. This week I am going to talk, once again, about one of the only Marvel books you really should be reading. This week I am going to talk about Marvel’s New Avengers #29, “8 Months Ago”, written by Jonathan Hickman with art by Kev Walker.
I have mentioned this book and its “brother” series, Avengers, before. I feel like both need to be mentioned as they are working together on one epic story that is reshaping the Marvel universe in a bold new way. Each issue ties directly to the next issue, for example this issue ties directly to Avengers 40. These characters have never been written with such strength and personality before and the cost has never been higher in a Marvel book.
This issue stands out because we find out what the Illuminati have been up to and what they have paid to try to save their universe. Black Panther and Mr. Fantastic fill in the other major players on what the Illuminati has been doing, we hear that the Celestials and Galactus were consorted but have mysteriously disappeared, we see Reed resorting to using Franklin, with disastrous results. There are more examples that are just as powerful but you can find those out when you read the issue! We also get a glimpse at what Dr. Doom and Reese Owen are up to.
(I know I never warn people about spoilers but I feel I need to, though if you saw the cover then you already know what’s about to come)
The moment that blew my mind comes at the end of the issue. Reed and T’Challa are interrupted by an alarm signalling the return of a mystery agent from his secret mission. This turns out to be Hank Pym who was sent into the ether to find Rabum Alal, the Great Destroyer. While he failed in this aspect of his mission he did find something else… the Ivory Kings… “White lords from wild space. From out there… From beyond… I found the BEYONDERS”. Mind. Blown. Standing behind Hank Pym are three clearly alien beings wearing a familiar looking silver armor, bathed in white light.
This blew my mind because I have been depressed about the announcement of the upcoming Secret War event from Marvel, fearing The Beyonder would not be included. The Beyonder is essential for any Secret War story since he was the being at the heart of the first and second Secret War stories from the 80’s. Bringing this character back is a bold move that I think will pay off and certainly makes me feel like Marvel is handling this whole game changing arc in a unique and special way. I don’t know where this story is going, I don’t know what is coming in Secret Wars, but I am cautiously and openly optimistic about it.
5/5, the story is phenomenal, the art is gorgeous, you should be reading this book and Avengers. The first arc of the story is available as a hardcover collection right now. Go buy it.
P.s: Way to step up Marvel. Keep it up.