(Warning: This review includes spoilers from New Avengers issue #30)
If you have been following the Time Runs Out storyline, you know that things are looking bad for the Marvel 616 (original Marvel universe). Since the story began in New Avengers #1, the story has been building on the premise that the Marvel heroes are finally facing their Kobayashi Maru scenario. Issue #30 does a fantastic job of ramping up this idea by providing some much need details about what is happening.
(Warning: Spoilers are about to be dropped in this article.)
Over the last eight months, Hank Pym has been travelling the multiverse with the purpose of finding out who is responsible for the incursions that have been wiping out realities. It turns out that in part, the Beyonders are responsible for what is happening. It also turns out that they are in control of the Mapmakers and are using them as a way of trapping the abstracts and other powerful beings of each universe.
What makes this issue so fantastic is the tone it sets for the remainder of the story. The heroes have run out of options and even the Deus Ex Machinas (infinity stones, celestials, etc…) have all been taken off the table by the end of this issue. Of particular note, the death of Living Tribunal was finally explained after being shown over a year ago.
The reveals of this issue made for a great read, but did leave me with a bit of a lingering sadness over the state of the 616. With hope all but lost and future solicitations pointing to things becoming even worse, I was left not wanting to continue the story. DC comics are known for the occasional reboot, but to see it unfold in the Marvel universe is a different experience. Reed Richards holding his son after a failed attempt to save everything is a powerful image for a father like me. More so, hearing characters who I have always known to be hopeful to finally admit defeat is simply a tough story to read.
If you have been following the storyline, issue #30 is a must read. If you haven’t been following it to this point, I would suggest starting back at issue #1 and working your way to becoming current. Time Runs Out is likely to become one of those rare events that sticks with the community for generations. It will all come down to how Marvel wraps things up in the next two months.