I think Jonathan Hickman has really risen to prominence recently, has become incredibly prolific. I don’t know if it’s that he’s finally gotten the chance to write stories he’s been sitting on, or what, but he has a number of great ongoing series coming out right now.
Once I figured out who he was and tracked his stories, I have started to see some story similarities, some ways that he thinks about the world. And I love it. He focuses on science, on the far edges of it, the possibilities – especially quantum mechanics and alternate realities. He focuses on mythology, on stories of creation, on stories of the end times. So let me present his comics by these themes, and at the end, some more reading possibilities, ones I haven’t gotten to yet but want to!
Universal Creation and Universal Destruction
The great idea was expansion. And it started with two men. One was life. And one was death.
Avengers is about heroes – is about saving the Earth, and then it expands to saving a lot of worlds. They start with a concept: expansion. The threats are getting bigger, so the team needs to get bigger too. Not that they need everyone all the time. So they have a base roster – the Avengers from the film. Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and of course Iron Man and Captain America. Then they have a ton of other heroes – ones who are pretty well known, and others who are less known, or new, or new iterations.
So Hickman takes the time to introduce the new heroes, as well as the new villains he has crafted. And he ties it all back to his new villains, to universal-level threats. To the story he is telling of how the Marvel Universe began, about the first race, the Builders. And about the systems they have built.
In New Avengers, Hickman is telling the opposite story. About universal destruction. About the end of not just one universe, but all universes. The New Avengers keep this a secret, and prepare to do whatever it takes to defend the Earth. Iron Man is the only one on both teams – the only one who sees all the threats.
These are great comics to read together. Getting to see the parallels between these two stories, to see the opposite stories happening.
One was life, and one was death. Continue reading