Avengers #5 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Jed MacKay, art by Ivan Fiorelli, colors by Federico Blee, and letters by Cory Petit. The Avengers continue to face an insurmountable set of alien foes, lacking backup from each other.
This issue creates a deeper sense of hopelessness against this group of enemies. The structure is similar to the previous chapter but much more chaotic. The comic focuses on the Impossible City, the home and massive vessel The Ashen Combine, used to travel between planets for conquest, as the story’s center. But it branches off to show the other Avengers and how they are faring against their singular, selected enemy. The particular Avengers for each scenario has changed from Avengers #5, but the transitions between the scenes are much faster. This ramps the pace of the comic up, pushing it towards the climax of the arc. The different scenarios are unique, but there is a building sense of futility across all of them. The Avengers are still learning the powers of their adversary, as well as the extent of their depravity and danger. And with them being completely new, that level is truly unknown. The solution is in the Impossible City, and the direction the book takes is a massive surprise.
The sheer variety of the villains within Avengers #5 is phenomenal, again not fully demonstrating all of it due to how many there are. Those that weren’t explored in the last issue are given more exposition here, and they are all fascinating, powerful figures with original power sets. Much of what they say is done calmly and nonchalantly by the powerful heroes seeking to stop them. This denotes the number of times they have destroyed worlds. But the calm voice of the Impossible City, speaking to Black Panther and Captain America, starts developing and becoming more than just a mindless narrator. And while the villains haven’t been seen before this arc, what doesn’t change is the resilience and values of an Avenger. They’ve spent a few issues getting whaled on, but that devotion to protecting life always resurfaces. MacKay frequently returns to that one key notion, that Avengers defend innocent lives.
Fiorelli switches into the art, leading to different interpretations of the Ashen Combine. Each design is phenomenal, filled with small details and features that evolve as the battles continue. Meridiam Diadem, facing off against Vision, is a terrific creation, with an initial concept intimidating. But there is also a hidden power within them, showing the level of depth taken to each member. With each enemy comes a unique location and type of battle to illustrate, which needs to be commended. It should also be mentioned that the Impossible City has no face or mouthpiece. It is vast and sedentary, making the voice haunting.
The colors are fantastic. The Impossible City has more life when it radiates light, with a golden glow from the streets below. It’s stunning to behold, also helping to provide depth to the city. Blee excellently ensures that the colors of the Avengers always stand out. The lettering is easy to read throughout the issue.
Avengers #5 maintains the magnitude of this first arc. This is one hell of a first Tribulation Event for the team, relentlessly restraining and overwhelming the Avengers from start to finish. The freshness of the villains is brilliant, allowing this group to have brand-new stories told. The discovery of what the Ashen Combine can do is exhilarating and in-depth, having to be split over many issues because of their numbers. And through it all, the integrity of the team and the primary function remains clear.
Avengers #5 maintains the magnitude of this first arc. This is one hell of a first Tribulation Event for the team, relentlessly restraining and overwhelming the Avengers from start to finish.