Avengers #34

Art and characters are copyright Marvel, used under Fair Use

Words: Jonathan Hickman Art: Leinil Francis Yu/Gerry Alanguilan/Sunny Gho/Matt Milla
Rating: 4.7/5

This issue has almost all my favorite Marvel things in it. But it also has some things that are a bit spoilerific. So, spoilers after the jump!

So, Captain America’s wild ride ends with not Iron Man holding onto him. Not Iron Man 2020 holding onto him. But Iron Lad. Which, for those that missed out on the amazing original Young Avengers series is actually a young Kang that tried to escape his fate of being a conqueror by becoming a super hero. Which is great enough.

But to then follow that up by having Iron Lad bring Capt. to Kang and Immortus? Pure bliss.

I’ve seen some people complain that Hickman doesn’t do much in his Avengers books. But this issue proves what I’ve been loving about his run: he gets these characters and is doing deep character work. And this monologue from Captain America just sums up the whole character, for me. And why I love him.

“Do you have any idea how tired I am of that? You people telling me how I just don’t understand? When it’s you people — you clever people — who don’t get it. I don’t let people die because it’s the lesser of two evils, or expedient, or because it serves the greater good. I don’t compare the act against something else –I see someone who needs help…

And I help. You think it’s a weakness. You think it’s simple…

But you’re wrong. It’s what makes us human…

Which is exactly what we’re supposed to be fighting for. I know who I am. I rescue the helpless. I raise up the hopeless. I don’t measure people’s lives…

I save them.

Which is a beautiful sentiment about what it means to be a hero and stand for something. Which is only matched in its perfect articulation by Kang’s immediate reaction.

“No one here… cares.”

It may make little sense out of context, but this is probably the best Avengers book published in the last decade or so.

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