Much like in Avengers #35, Hickman has rocketed the story eight months into the future. So it has been eight months of killing other planets to stop the destruction of the 616 by the traitorous Namor and the Cabal. Though now it seems as if Namor has noticed that instead of just doing what needs to be done, things have become more of a joyous slaughter. So now he has secretly sought out the help of Doom. But what would you expect when Thanos is a member of your group and is given the freedom to just kill planets and everyone on them?
While Avengers has had more of a faster pace, here it’s more of a methodical, slower paced story that fits perfectly. Many of these characters are at their best when plotting and setting things in motion, and Hickman captures that with precision as Namor and Doom have an excellent back and forth over dinner. This puts the Atlantean ruler in a rare position of yielding to someone else. The dialogue between the two not only illustrates where Doom stands in all of this, but catches us up on the past few months. There’s also a surprising development taking place in Wakanda, as it continues to fall to the madness of Maximus. This is where things begin to speed up, as the Wakandan equivalent to Special Forces, Hatut Zeraze, leaps into action along with T’Challa and Shuri!
Valerio Schiti makes the scenes with Namor and Doom look as tense and uncomfortable as they should be. From Kristoff’s dismissiveness to a very powerful looking Doom, you can’t help but take time to appreciate how good it all looks. When we shift over to the alternate Earth being destroyed by Cabal members, it’s a pretty violent scene that would be a bit over the top for other villains, but Thanos is no average bad guy.
Hickman has been on a roll with delivering issue after issue of some of the greatest minds involved in some intellectual chess matches. He told us in the first issue that “everything dies,” and the story seems to be converging at that point regardless of what the heroes do. So his revelation at the end of this issue is quite a surprise and worth the time it takes to get there.