What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Avengers #41! I’m not going to lie, I didn’t fully see myself making it to this second part of ‘Enter the Phoenix’. The events of Avengers #40 made me want to see more of what this story has in store, but there was still a good deal of reason to feel concerned about the direction this story would take. As I said before, you just never know when it comes to the Phoenix if the story will impress, or flop.
As I also mentioned before, everything comes down to execution and the levels of excitement you can generate using this entity once more to fuel a plot. Fortunately in the case of this story? I would say that so far this creative team might be nailing it. After the issue before, I feared that we were going to get dragged into a story where they just wanted to do a tournament kind of thing with little pay-off. Though I would say through just the second chapter we have begun to see much more of what this has to offer. Especially when it comes to the reason that so many heroes and villains have been chosen to participate for the chance to become the next host. I mean there was just so many more characters involved in this than I expected. It only made sense that the next step was to make sense of the choices.
Some we could see were chosen because they actually wanted that kind of power. Some were chosen for the prerequisites they achieved to be a viable host. A few actually had connections to the Phoenix that made them a no-brainer. Then you had those who could be great hosts, yet still needed to be tested. This was a lot to absorb from a single issue, though at the same time it was engaging to figure this out for most of them involved.
Now where things got really interesting was the way that this issues seemed to focus more on the one person who The Phoenix wanted more than the others. This was unexpected since one would have assumed it would have easily leaned more towards someone like Wolverine, or even Namor. Yet this turned out to be someone else who surprisingly had a connection to the Phoenix that not everyone may have been aware of till now. This guy certainly wasn’t, since they made it seem as though there were things to understand from the arc story previous. Where I did appreciate this more was when this focus was shared between said person and the first host introduced through the prelude. It was good to know there was an importance to that story told.
Like Avengers #40, I remained impressed with the work from this art team. Whether it is the cover art or the interior work, they produced some amazing work which made everything about this situation excitable. Especially when it came to the creativity that went into the design of everyone participating. While some characters admittedly looked like not much thought went into their changes, others took on changes more drastic. Let’s take Black Panther for example since he’s on the cover. I found his design very appealing for the flame claws, the mask which changed into a burning crown, and the way he overall seemed more armored-up. Aside from this, the warm colors which make-up the flames continued to astonish. For this issue in particular they even took things a step further by creating that feeling of sentience through the way the flames are both used and engulf these characters.
If at the end of the first chapter you were still on the fence? I would say that Avengers #41 does much more to give you a reason to invest in this story.