The joy of annual comics is you can be sure you’ll get a done in one story (or a few) that’s easy to jump into. The best thing about anthology annual comics is you get more stories for the buck, but is it good?
ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? The Marvel summary reads:
You’ve dreamed of it, you’ve asked for it, you’ve longed for it – and now, you’re going to GET it! No Avenger is safe from – the fan fiction of Kamala Khan! Featuring a bevy of special guest creators!
Why does this book matter?
There’s a lot of talent behind this annual, from Mark Waid and Chip Zdarsky to G. Willow Wilson and Faith Erin Hicks, who won the 2014 Eisner Award for Best Publication for Kids for her work on The Adventures of Superhero Girl. To make it even better that’s a clever reason for the five short stories complete with a bookend story.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This book opens with Ms. Marvel AKA Kamala Khan coming home from a long day serving justice to the bad guys. To blow off steam she browses her favorite fan fiction website…. but finds something that’s so shocking she reaches out to the moderator to have it taken down. There’s a story that involves teammates Nova and Miles Morales pining for her, which is very embarrassing! While she waits for a fellow reader on the site to find the writer of the piece – and effectively scrub the internet of the story – she reads a few stories. G. Willow Wilson writes this opener with artist Mahmud Asrar and together they render the bookends of this issue in high detail and in a realistic way. This realism helps sell the goofy and sometimes cartoony nature of the stories we read later. It also ends this issue and packs a wallop of a surprise that’ll make you laugh, but also cheer (I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers).
The first faux fan fiction, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Chip Zdarsky, is all kinds of fun as it explores the sexist over the top nature of fan fiction. It may also be a commentary on internet culture in general which is interesting if you’re up for that kind of humor. It’s way over the top and tongue-in-cheek good.
The creators of the story complete with clever likes and hits for each.
The second story, written by Natasha Allegri is all kinds of fun as it plays around with breaking the fourth wall. A magical pencil helps She-Hulk go on an adventure and find romance. It’s very light, but a nice meta sort of read. When a group of superheroes we know and love pop up you’re going to fall in love with Allegri’s original designs. They’re angular, rudimentary, and silly in a good way.
The third story uses animal versions of Miles Morales and Ms. Marvel and it brings with it a Saturday morning cartoon vibe. It’s filled with so bad they’re good jokes and some clever use of animals. Jay Fosgitt’s art in this one is super clean and very easy on the eyes.
The fourth story involves Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel battling out. The story is reminiscent of the power up loving Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and is written and drawn by Faith Erin Hicks with color by Megan Wilson. This story may have the biggest laughs as it’s way over the top.
The final story written and drawn by Scott Kurtz with color by Steve Hamaker preys on the internet liar who makes big claims that aren’t true. Kurtz allows for Ms. Marvel to comment as she reads the story, which helps sell the lies of the story and make them humorous.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is a very light sort of read and it’s certainly not progressing any one character’s story. Most probably won’t laugh much if at all while reading it.
That image is kind of hilarious, though!
Is It Good?
It’s not a laugh out loud experience all the way through, but it’s a highly enjoyable smirk worthy read none the less. It’s plain fun all the way through and you can’t say that for most comics these days!