One of two issues introducing fans to the world after Secret Wars, All-New All-Different Marvel Point One #1 is a smorgasbord of stories. But variety doesn’t necessarily mean quality. Is it good?
All-New All-Different Marvel Point One #1 (Marvel Comics)
The Point One issues put out by Marvel towards the beginning of their relaunches have been a mixed bag. Too often they are jampacked issues with quality stories that are cut short. The result is a disjointed issue of good teases and a large price tag. Where All-New All-Different Marvel Point One #1 is different is in it’s framework.
The entire issue is built around a story setting up the new Contest of Champions series. Writer Al Ewing and artist Paco Medina craft a story about Maestro recruiting his combatants in the interdimensional game of war. The decision to make this story the setup for the rest of the shorts in the issue is, frankly, brilliant. This gives the issue a cohesive feel, a sense of a single story being told, and Ewing makes the most of the other narratives to bring some personality to his tale, with last page reveal that is exciting in its unpredictability.
The first of the prospects for Maestro’s team is Carnage, who appears in a short story by Gerry Conway and Mike Perkins. This story serves not only as a sample for Conway’s voice for Cletus Kasady, but also sets up the characters that will be tracking him down. The art by Mike Perkins and colorist Andy Troy is a real standout, with lines and muddy colors that match the dark and twisted mind of its protagonist.
Carnage’s insanity proves a little too much for Maestro who turns his attention to Rocket and Groot. Skottie Young, Filipe Andrade, and Jean-Francois Beaulieu bring all the humor and attitude one would expect from the alien duo, and the Halloween theme of the story fits nicely with the season. A running gag about whether or not Rocket and Groot are trick-or-treaters makes for a nice opening into a story that sees the pair chase down an interstellar criminal.
Maestro turns his attention toward S.H.I.E.L.D. in a segment by Marc Guggenheim, German Peralta, and Chris Sotomayor. This is the section of the issue that felt a bit flat compared to the others. There’s some good personality on display, and Guggenheim is able to give bits to each of the numerous cast members that really makes them feel like a team. The art by Peralta and Sotomayor is visually pleasing, and Peralta shows a deft skill in capturing the likenesses of the actors on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in their respective characters while still maintaining some differences. Unfortunately, the plot feels a bit standard, and so there isn’t much to draw in readers who weren’t already following the comic or the television show.
Unimpressed with S.H.I.E.L.D., and wary of their surveillance, Maestro turns his attention to the Inhumans, specifically Crystal. Outside of the female characters in S.H.I.E.L.D., this segment offers the only strong female presence in the issue. It’s a bit disappointing for a company that is trying to improve its demographics to be so male-heavy in its promotional one-shot, but this segment shows Crystal as a powerful but caring lead recruiting a newfound Inhuman. The segment also illustrates the way the outside world is handling the Inhuman presence, and while it’s not particularly friendly, it’s also nuanced. Charles Soule hints at a larger world attitude in a tight space, and that’s what makes it one of the stronger pieces in the book.
Yes. Yes, I did. Now, will you go kick Punisher’s butt already?
The final segment in the issue is an introduction to the new Daredevil series by Charles Soule and Ron Garney. The first thing that stands out is Garney’s art. The detailed lines and use of angles create a pulpy atmosphere. Matt Milla’s color palette is stunning, with the cool blues and greys creating a dead-of-night feel that works perfectly for the character and make Daredevil’s new costume quite intimidating. The short also introduces readers to the new character of Sam, who will be serving as a protege of sorts for Daredevil in the new series. Even in the shorter format, he’s a layered character, and makes for a compelling lead. The story ends in dramatic fashion, especially with the segue back into Maestro’s world. There, the Jade Giant makes a decision for his team of combatants that ends the issue in a high note and hints at the crazy combinations in store for readers of the new Contest of Champions series.
Is It Good?
All-New All-Different Marvel Point One #1 is able to accomplish what many of these Point One issues have lacked. This feels like a singular piece of entertainment, and the issue is stronger for it. While the hefty price tag is sure to scare away some readers, All-New All-Different Marvel Point One #1 is a surprisingly entertaining read, featuring the talents of many artists and writers. A stronger female presence would have been appreciated in this debut, but the contents of the issue show that the Marvel Universe is still going to be an exciting place for new and old readers alike.