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Avengers #29

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By Jonathan Hickman, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan & Sonny Gho

Similar to the Incursion storyline, both Avengers titles are intersecting as of lately. So If you’re having a sense of deja vu then it’s probably because you read part of this book already in New Avengers #3. Hickman’s dialogue is hauntingly verbatim, however, this time Francis Yu  provides a chilling darkness to Captain America’s recollection of the events in New Avengers #3. Tony Stark is under interrogation again but this time it’s Captain America bringing the heat.

Something has caused Captain America to have issues sleeping. One can only guess that the events of Original Sin #2 have something to do with Cap recollecting a deep receded memory. Cap recruits Hawkeye, Black Widow and Thor to confront Tony concerning the recent memory recall and to have a discussion about the recent Incursion events taking place in New Avengers. Unlike Bruce’s confrontation with Tony, Cap does not keep his cool and he has good reason not to. Tony shows no remorse and offers no apologies for his previous actions. This time Tony is not as diplomatic with Steve as he was with Bruce and things escalate rather quickly and with surprising results.

There is a snowball effect happening in Hickman’s plot and scripting on both Avengers titles. Each new issue has been growing from the initial plot seed of both titles’ first story arc. Hickman has been creating one long narrative for both books and now they are beginning to intersect. The strained relationships that Hickman penned at the beginning of the relaunch have finally begun to break. Hickman successfully portrays the emotional tensions felt by a person betrayed by the teammates he trusted. The sorted and shaky past that Steve and Tony share is depicted wonderfully through tone and dialogue. Hickman successfully captures a very emotional and authentic conflict between two members of a volatile friendship.

Leinil Francis Yu’s art matches the overall emotion of Hickman’s script. The versatility of both  Yu’s pencils and Gerry Alanguilan’s inks capture the range of powerful emotions. The urgency and escalation is illustrated beautifully, providing a visual impact to parallel the anxious energy of the characters. The settings and backgrounds are drawn to reflect the mood and tone of the panel. One interesting aspect of the art are the panels that show character reactions. The hurt, surprise, shame and guilt are brought to life by Yu’s use of closeups and well placed shading and hues.

Hickman and Yu have crafted an emotional and game changing issue. The revelations and reactions are what make this book such an intense read. The relationship to Original Sin may not be clear yet, however, as a part of the overall Hickman Avengers story, it is a well written and illustrated gripping chapter.

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