Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ed McGuinness, Francesco Manna, Mark Morales, Jason Keith, and VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 29, 2020
Well, we got to see the new Starbrand at the end of the last issue of Avengers…maybe. I said on our Marvel Comics Podcast that I thought something more was going on here, and while most of the people I talked to enjoyed the issue for it’s extended fight scenes, I needed more. Do we get that more here? Let’s find out…
The issue opens a bit coy with Captain America, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther (maybe) looking at the woman we saw with the Starbrand last issue. Of course, there is the matter of Gladiator, and that’s when we rewind to see what happened.
Brood Thor happened to him! In a blink of an eye, everyone involved in this cosmic version of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World arrives to yell, battle, and defend each other and the Starbrand. There are some cool characters here, and I liked what we got here over last issue’s royal rumble because it all feels essential instead of filler…even if it might go on a little too long.
Jason Aaron gives us a name and a backstory for the woman, and while some may see some political leanings in it, it’s too quick and vague to get upset. Aaron then shows her getting the Starbrand, and it’s a subtle little way to show just what kind of power we are dealing with and how easily it can turn deadly.
The issue takes a turn by the end, though. Aaron throws in a twist that I thought would happen, and after seeing it, I am glad it did. I wasn’t delighted that everyone suddenly loses their wills to fight and either skulk away muttering threats or become one of the three wise men bearing (kind of) gifts. It throws most of what we’ve gotten in the last couple of issues off.
Still, the cliffhanger made me smile, but since Jason Aaron never seems concerned sticking with one story for long, I’m guessing it will be quite sometime before seeing any progression from this story thread.
I liked this issue more than the last one, but I can’t shake the feeling that this should all be bigger than it’s coming across. It’s a new Starbrand, and yet I feel lukewarm about the whole thing. This entire arc was a bit of a slog to get through, and then we end with more of a beginning than an end. A beginning that probably won’t begin for a while. It did look good, but the art has never been a problem in this book.
Avengers #30 gives readers a new Starbrand and not much else. Sure, there is some punching and arguing, but we’ve been getting that for issues now. I wish this all felt bigger than it does, but I will wait until Jason Aaron expands on it until I get more excited. Let’s hope that it is sometime soon.