Sign of the End Times Part 2: Gods’ Footsteps
Credits: Joe Casey (writer), Jose Ladronn (penciler), Juan Vlasco (inker), Gloria Vasquez (colors), Comicraft’s Saida T. (letters)
Summary: The Avengers confront the Harbinger, giving Cable time to recover. Using his Psimitar staff, Cable temporarily immobilizes Harbinger. Soon, Thor arrives and uses his hammer to send him to another dimension. Cable and the Avengers regroup, but Harbinger soon escapes his exile. Apocalypse greets him in New York and activates his detonation code. Meanwhile, Ozymandias informs Blaquesmith that Cable is destined to be the gatherer of the Twelve.
Continuity Notes: A flashback reveals that Cable told Stacey about his life as a time traveler and the importance of his mission just a few hours before the Harbinger arrived.
Review: This is Joe Casey’s first time writing the Avengers, which might be significant for fans of his retro-miniseries. Obviously, there isn’t a lot of room in the story to flesh out the characters, but he seems to have a grasp of their personalities and he makes their appearance feel appropriately momentous. If I were to draw another comparison between Casey and Frank Miller, it’s certainly possible that their appearance here was inspired by the Avengers’ cameo in Daredevil’s “Born Again” arc.
Like the previous issue, this is largely an action piece, with Casey throwing in a few character bits, such as Cable reflecting on the things he never told his father before he leaves for his possibly final confrontation with Harbinger. I don’t care for Casey’s characterization of the Harbinger, since it seems dismissive of James Robinson’s original vision of the character. Robinson seemed to be going for a “discovering humanity” arc, while Casey is simply using him as a doomsday machine. At any rate, the action works pretty well, and Ladronn’s given a lot of cool things to draw. We’re treated to Ladronn’s renditions of the Avengers, Harbinger’s sojourn into an alternate dimension, and the bizarre nineteenth century “regal” redesign of Apocalypse, which is a welcome break from the blue armor.