Graphic Novels Review: Avengers: Time Runs Out Vols 3 and 4

Avengers: TIme Runs Out Vol 3

Avengers: TIme Runs Out Vol 3 - Credit: Archant

The last days of the Marvel Universe...

Avengers: TIme Runs Out Vol 4

Avengers: TIme Runs Out Vol 4 - Credit: Archant

(Panini Books)

And this is how it ends…

Parallel dimensions have been colliding with increasing regularity, despite the desperate intervention of the Marvel Universe’s Illuminati, their dark counterparts in the Cabal, and the efforts of individuals like Doctors Strange and Doom.

Led by Thanos the Mad Titan and Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Cabal have been eliminating alternate Earths at the point of incursion with our own reality, wreaking bloody havoc throughout the multiverse. But even their ruthless bid for survival is not enough to stop the coming storm.

As alien empires join forces to destroy the point of these multiversal incursions – our planet Earth – and a suicide squad of heroes travel to the ends of reality to seek out the source of this all-powerful force, back home the remnants of the Avengers are forced to overcome their differences in order to prevent the end of everything. But it’s far too late to stop what’s coming…

These, then, are the last days. Across the dimensional void, the survivors of the Ultimate Universe are preparing to cross the divide in order to eliminate their Marvel parallels in the hope of preventing their imminent destruction, and as the heroes of two Earths go to war, two men with opposing ideologies are engaged in a fight to the death.

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Steve Rogers, once the hero known as Captain America, and the self-declared Superior Iron Man, aka Tony Stark, were once united by a common dream – to create a team of Avengers able to withstand any threat – but as their world dies around them, they are embroiled in a bitter battle over their conflicting ideologies, which may just end in neither man surviving.

Years in the planning, taking in elements from his previous Marvel work with the Fantastic Four, and through his runs on Avengers and New Avengers, Jonathan Hickman’s magnum opus comes to its epic conclusion in these volumes, which basically see the end of both the Marvel and Ultimate Universes as we know them.

In the wake of these apocalyptic events, all that is left is Battleworld, and the story of this composite fusion of parallel times and places will be revealed in the forthcoming Secret Wars, setting the stage for a new era of Marvel Comics later this year.