NEW AVENGERS: ILLUMINATI 5
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis and Brian Reed
Penciler: Jim Cheung
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Justin ponsor
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Whether you realize it or not, it’s rare that someone can actually stand in the middle of an event that is going to be truly world-changing, and think to themselves: “Wow, that is going to change the entire world.” Oh sure, everyone loves to throw around the “9/11 changed everything” rhetoric — but honestly, has your day-to-day life changed in any significant manner since then (besides the fact that you can’t bring a bottle of breast milk onto a cross-country flight now)? But conversely, how many people do you think that were eyewitnesses to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914 thought to themselves, “Yes, this is definitely the kind of act that will cause the deaths of 20 million people by the time this all plays out”? (20 million. Try wrapping your mind around that number sometime.)
So, to witness the beginning of something big, and realize just how big it’s going to be: it should be considered a rare treat. And here, in this issue, you will get just that. Of course, due to Marvel’s “No Spoilers” decree, I can’t share with you what it’ll actually be. You’ll just have to trust me. (Hey, you all trust me by now, right?)
The concept is fairly simple: The Illuminati, in the Marvel Universe, is an unofficial group made up of Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Black Bolt, Charles Xavier, Reed Richards, and Namor. They represent almost all of the major players in one way or another, and.. well, let’s be honest: they’re a real handy story telling device. Their most significant action so far has been shooting the Hulk into outer space. And gosh, didn’t that work out just SO well?
They’ve gathered here in this issue because Iron Man/Tony Stark has called them together – despite the blatant and public conflicts between him and Dr. Strange, and all of the other myriad catastropheses going on n the Marvel Universe. (In fact, that is my biggest problem with getting back into comics now – what the hell is going on RIGHT NOW? How does Black Bolt show up, when he looked like a bag of Jell-O in World War Hulk 1? Where does the Civil War stand? Has the X-Men Messiah Complex played out yet? Can someone just SET a timeline and stick with it?)
Nonetheless, I do appreciate the efforts of the Creative team here to make this group of super Super Humans appear… well, human. They each have their own agenda, there are varying levels of mistrust between each member, and no one acts like an automaton just because it would make the storyline “simpler”. The two big “reveals” in this issue feel just like that: BIG. As in, history altering. Pick up this one now, because you’re going to need to know about it when next year’s storylines start rolling.
Rating: 8 out of 10