The Illuminati is composed of five of the brightest minds in the Marvel Universe. However, they haven’t been able to come up with a way to stop the incursions which will inevitably destroy the Earth. One member of the clandestine group is quite determined to make sure that the world does not come to an end, and is actually prepared to cross several questionable lines for the greater good.
We’re pretty far into this story as Hickman weaves an intricate plot that actually seems bigger than this title alone. Most of what’s going on here would probably make for another huge Marvel event, but what’s actually nice is that Hickman is telling the bulk of this story in this title alone. By starting off with a speech we’ve already seen Reed give in past issues, this time Hickman gives us another version of Earth revealed by the much different members of the Illuminati here. We’ve seen the various Earths fall victim to the incursions, and it’s always nice to see how he’ll twist certain things about that particular world’s characters. However, things here seem a bit more desperate and urgent than in previous issues we’ve read. Admittedly most of it has to do with Doctor Strange’s decision, and Hickman seems to be keeping him on this course of action which brings up all kinds of questions, assumptions, and expectations about where the story line is going to go from here.
Visually, you couldn’t ask for a better looking issue of New Avengers. Simone Bianchi’s work here is very intense and does a superb job of moving Hickman’s story along. The level of detail throughout is amazing, and when Doctor Strange is perusing the Sinners Market you are instantly transported among the various creatures that inhabit that world. These are some of the standout panels along with a grieving Doctor Doom holding the body of Reed Richards.
My only complaint about the series and possibly the plot so far is that a deeper understanding of the enemy hasn’t been plainly laid out. Even after going back and reading Infinity again along with several of the earlier issues of this title, things seem really vague and unclear. Hopefully Hickman clears a few of these things up as this story evolves, but as a whole New Avengers #14 is a solid issue with a cliffhanger that is sure to take Doctor Strange to the next level!