Dale Keown was one of Marvel’s top talents in the ’90s, delivering outstanding artwork on Peter David’s The Incredible Hulk run that showed a skill for both action staging and deeper character work. Since then, interior art from Keown has become a rarity, but he returns to the game with next week’s Avengers #34.1, a standalone story spotlighting Hyperion, the alternate dimension Superman analogue who was transplanted to the regular Marvel universe at the start of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run.
Al Ewing handles the writing chores for #34.1, and the skills he’s sharpened on Mighty Avengers make him a wise choice to fill in for Hickman. Hyperion has his share of daddy issues, and Ewing runs with that theme to put the godlike character in the middle of a situation where a villainous absentee father has returned to abduct his 5-year-old son.
Keown’s artwork is the star of this preview of next week’s issue, building the tension during the opening sequence before unleashing the full splendor of Hyperion on the final splash page. Keown draws an incredible Hyperion, with bulging musculature that emphasizes his strength and a sympathetic face that humanizes the character. The contrast of Hyperion’s superhuman presence (notice that his feet don’t touch the ground) with the detailed domestic setting accentuates the idea that Hyperion is out of place in this world, but he’s not going to let his alien nature prevent him from helping people in need.