Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Marvel $3.99 Dec. 31st 2013
Unlike it's cover or title would suggest, New Avengers #13.IN deals very little with the Inhumans following the events in the "Infinity" event/crossover. In fact, it is solely concerned with the continued prophecies of the Black Swan. She has been warning the Illuminati of the oncoming destruction that will end their world, basically since this book began.
The Black Swan first appeared way back in New Avengers #1 from another reality of the multiverse and warned them of what happens when multiple earths collapse in on one other. Which, she explains, is what led her to this reality (Earth 616). She fled her reality while destroying it's Earth, thus preventing the destruction of both universes. The Illuminati have kept her their prisoner/guest ever since. They mine her for advice and on instruction on weapons construction in order to combat these incursions. She does aide them throughout the series, but is always vague and dramatic rather than simply give the vital information.
Following the events of "Infinity"- The Black Swan mocks the Illuminati's intergalactic war and victory over the Builders because she claims the real threat is still out there. She then instructs them in building a "Mirror." This mirror is to view and map realities as they fall one by one during these "incursions". So basically, the Illuminati watch realities fall when dimensional earths crash into one another. They plan to use the mirror, because whomever they may meet during an incursion will probably also have one. So, not having one is a disadvantage. Lost yet?
So, in this issue, the Illuminati of Earth-616 use their "mirror" to witness another reality (Earth-20399) that has its own and different team of Illuminati. The Illuminati of that world are being killed during the incursion. This is the first time we have had any emotion context to these other Earths. We are introduced to these new villains who are referred to as the "Black Priests." These Black Priests wipe out, in just a couple of pages, the Earth-20399's Illuminati. And the Illuminati of Earth-616 look on in horror. The design of The Black Priests look amazing, in my opinion.
Also in this issue somewhere, far from his teammates, we see Dr. Strange contemplating making horrible sacrifices in order to gain and amass mystical powers. This is what I found most interesting about this issue, because it seems like being mind-controlled in "Infinity" has really impacted him in a psychological way.
In the regular Avengers title, there is ALSO a planet being hurled at Earth in the story "Rogue Planet". How is that different than whats happening here you ask? Well, in that title, it seems that someone has found a way to use entire planets like rocks in a catapult. Does Hickman have writers block? What's the deal with planets colliding with Earth for completely different reasons in each of his Avengers titles going on at the same time?
I want to trust Hickman who knocked it out of the park with "Infinity". But this was more work to get through and wasn't fun to read or igniting my imagination whatsoever. I'm going to stick with this title because he has earned my trust but I hope the book becomes more enjoyable and exciting. I know Hickman writes for the holistic and long approach but for now this has been the weakest issue to date for this series.
Recommendation: Borrow it