New Avengers: Illuminati #2


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New Avengers: Illuminati #2


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis & Brian Reed
  • Art: Jim Cheung
  • Inks: Mark Morales
  • Colors: Justin Ponsor
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 21, 2007

Last time the Infinity Gems were brought together, Thanos threatened to destroy half the beings of the universe. Now, Reed Richards wants the Illuminati to gather them again.

Thanks to Jen Walters (She-Hulk), Mr. Fantastic has taken possession of one of the Infinity Gems--the Power Gem--and has managed to track down another two…along with the gauntlet that all six neatly fit into. Despite misgivings from his colleagues, Reed persuades them all to track down the remaining three gems so that no malicious force can use their power for ill again. This task proves very challenging even though the gems they already have in hand call out to their "siblings." Even if all the Infinity Gems can be assembled, what then? Such power is sure to corrupt even the most benevolent mind.

Even with my limited knowledge of all things and characters in Marvel history, Illuminati continues to impress me. Like the events surrounding issue #1 (the Kree-Skrull War), this issue tangles with the fringes of a major Marvel comic event and makes them accessible to both longtime comic fans and more casual readers alike. My understanding is that Bendis and Reed actually share not only ideas, but also writing specific scenes, and this is done with an absolute fluidity that many books have a difficult time achieving. With all the history and potential gaffes in continuity involved with this title, I suppose as much praise belongs to editor, Tom Brevoort, as to the two writers that delivered the concept.

This is one of those books where the art needs to stand out as much as the script, which it thankfully does. Jim Cheung has a highly detailed style that works well here. There is a page at the very beginning where I thought the faces of each of the Illuminati were just a tad…off (which could be due to an inking snafu), but Cheung otherwise handles these iconic characters and the equally iconic situations impressively. Hats off to Justin Ponsor as well. His colors particularly illuminate (no pun intended) the page and portray a sense of wonder where the cosmic elements come into play.

Be warned: even though this issue is steeped in Marvel history regarding the Infinity Gems, the series itself is not being told in chronological order. For instance, the Illuminati will be dealing with the Secret Wars in the next issue, which occurred prior to the events in this story.

If you’re looking for a book filled with some Marvel Universe historical significance, this is a highly recommended series. The fact that it hasn’t been dragged down by a ton of hype, ala Civil War, only makes it that much easier to enjoy.

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