By Jonathan Hickman & Simone Bianchi
The Illuminati have quite a bit on their plates. There’s an entire multiverse to worry about. Universes are ending and Hickman is delivering the goods. Issue #14 deals with two stories, one is decent and the other is beyond great.
On the one side, we have dueling universes. The Mapmakers have arrived on the alternate Earth and let’s just say that a bunch of people with superpowers die. This is the part of the current arc that is a bit of a slow burn, which is what Hickman is known for. This plot has plenty to offer and shows us exactly what is at stake, should The Illuminati fail.
On the other side, we have Doctor Strange. After the events of Infinity, our Sorcerer Supreme has been acting out of place. Not everything has been revealed, but Doctor Strange has much to answer for. He spends this issue looking for ultimate power, presumably to save the multiverse, or at least the 616. This much power comes with a price. It’s a price that Steve-O is willing to pay, but is he making a fatal mistake? In his desperation, perhaps there is something crucial that he is overlooking. Either way, Hickman is showing off his character skills by making a very conflicted Doctor Strange. This is some very juicy stuff.
Simone Bianchi continues his run on art and again, it’s hit or miss. He’s decent at depicting the sci-fi and supernatural elements, but when he attempts dramatic character expressions, he misses the mark. Human faces often look sloppy, which is a critical part of a few scenes. It’s not the worst art job, but it certainly leaves much to be desired.
New Avengers keeps on rolling and Hickman continues to make things compelling as heck. The art isn’t what it used to be, but it’s serviceable enough to not ruin the story. Oh, and did I mention Doom is in this issue?