Marvel Comics “Marvel Now” Avengers # 6
by Jonathan Hickman and Adam Kubert
It is interesting to note that Hickman has a interesting and unique style of how he constructs, like an architect, the characters and stories he involves himself in. I first became particularly aware of this ability of his when I read his run on Marvel’s Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #1. He has this deep pension for taking scenes that appear benign and normal and spinning momentous events out of them.
With his run on both Marvel’s re-launches of Avengers and New Avengers, Hickman appears to be engaging in what feels to be developing into parallel storylines. New Avengers takes on the controversial and pre-existing cabal in the Marvel Universe – the Illuminati who are engaged in a threat that other Earths, in other dimensions, are being squeezed together, forcing them to cancel each other out.
In the recent issues of Avengers the team faced off against creatures determined to “recreate” the Earth and in order to stop them, Captain America and Iron Man implemented a new formulation for the Avengers team – to think bigger. The result is a gear-like, interlocking mechanism that addresses the reality that sometimes the Avengers need reinforcements, and different combinations to face growing threats throughout the Earth and the Universe.
In issue #6, entitled “Zen and The Art of Cosmology,” Hickman continues to explore different members interacting with each other, and one, Captain Universe, self-exploring herself while Iron Man (Tony Stark) tries to decode the language of a new life-form.
What was greatly fascinating to me was the term “cosmology.” In common definition this applies to the origins of the universe and the fate that awaits it via evolution, dynamics, and ultimately the origin of natural laws. Considering the focus on the character of Captain Universe and attempting to explore her host bodies “pre-coma” memories is set within a strange parallel between the trauma of the host body in relation to larger, universal forces on a collision course.
Like the car, with two headlights like two colliding stars, and another car about to crash into it (as witnessed by Tamara Devoux, the host body of Captain Universe) play out like a warning of some collision, something “bigger” that is coming – impending.
The truly enticing element, the one that hints to me of connections and ramifications for what is going on in New Avengers is the words of Captain Universe, its warning, miraculous and ominus almost in the same breath, “There was nothing…Followed by everything…Swirling, burning specks of creation that circled life-giving suns…and then we raced to the light…This place, Earth, is significant…and the axis around which the multiverse spins.” This comes with a final tag that “I am dying” from the words of Captain Universe.
So, is the Universe really dying? What then is to come? With Earth at the center…this promises to be a ride that will mimic Captain America’s own proclamation that “We [the Avengers] need to get bigger…”
Hickman is pulling us into his cathedral and showing us that we can all think bigger, see the “bigger” and be awed and terrorized by it in one single breath.