No, you haven’t time-warped back to 1963 (or 1996, 1998, 2010, 2012, etc). The Avengers are back at the tail end of 2016 with yet another #1 issue!
Is it good?
Avengers (2016) #1 (Marvel Comics)
- Can’t go wrong by opening up with a battle between the Avengers and a frost wolf.
- Even when he’s wildly successful, Peter Parker still finds a way to embarrass himself.
- Yeah, I don’t think Redwing’s going to appreciate that…
- Ugh. Kang is confusing enough without members of his chronological crew showing up to the party.
- I’d somehow forgotten that Vision did that—and it’s still kind of horrifying to think about.
- Don’t talk smack about Redwing. Ever.
- Not sure why Kang hasn’t done something like this (or maybe he has and did something in the past to make me forget).
- Uh oh.
Is it Good?
I really don’t understand why we need yet another relaunch of the main Avengers book. I know that to some people think it’s just a number, but these constant BRAND NEW NUMBER ONE resets have taken away some of the specialness that used to come with a comic’s first issue.
I’d hoped that the diminishing returns that come from constant series relaunches would have killed the trend by now, but I guess that’s still a ways off. (I also once made what I thought was a pretty good compromise/suggestion for issue numbering, but Tom Brevoort shot it down quicker than an Adam X solo series pitch).
But my personal gripes aside, the content of the issue is the main thing we should be judging…and unfortunately, it’s not that great.
I’ve enjoyed what Mark Waid’s recent work for Marvel. Avengers #1 has plenty of good character moments (especially when they’re interacting with each other), but the overarching narrative and action aren’t up to Waid’s normally high standard.
For starters, there is a TON of exposition during the fight scenes. I get that this is always going to be somewhat of a problem on a team superhero book, but this issue had so much of it that it occasionally felt just shy of turning into a parody.
As far as the story goes, Kang tales are always tricky. The guy can travel through the timestream, but still manages to get his ass kicked every time he takes on the Avengers. To Waid’s credit, he gives this go around an intriguing kick (and does an exceptional job tying with Vision’s recent history). But it’s still not enough to keep this from feeling painfully similar to virtually every other Kang story we’ve seen before.
On the art side of things, Mike Del Mundo and Marco D’alfonso create some truly gorgeous portraits that don’t always work as sequential images. Also, the characters’ facial expressions would sometimes switch from iconic seriousness to looking cartoonish and goofy—sometimes from one panel to the next.
That said, it is very pretty to look at. Add in Waid’s knack for good dialogue (and a proven track record for telling great stories), and it’s still probably worth picking this one up so that you can get in on the ground floor of another new era for the Avengers…
…until the next relaunch, anyway.