Given it’s just days after election day here in the U.S., this comic book feels quite poignant. Whether you voted one way or the other, half of this country was worried the wrong person would be put into power. The same goes for this issue, with a flashback sort of story that deals with a new Avengers lineup. Is it good?
Avengers #1.1 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? For the full Marvel summary just read this:
The time has come! Their ranks shattered by Civil War, their spirits weighted down by a toll both personal and spiritual, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must find the resolve to stand united one final time against their greatest foe! Captain America! Thor! The Vision! The Wasp! Spider-Man! Hercules! When the dust settles, not a one of these valiant heroes will make it to the final page alive! This is KANG WAR ONE!
Why does this book matter?
Mark Waid is probably the best writer in comics when it comes to team books. That’s because he can give every character something to do via well written dialogue. On top of that, artist Barry Kitson has been around for a long time which helps sell the flashback style of this issue.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Thor needs to check that ego at the door.
When it comes to a throwback story like this you have to pay attention, especially if you’ve been a comic book fan for awhile. That’s because they just don’t make comics like this today. Add that this story will have ramifications on Mark Waid and Mike Del Mundo’s current Avengers ongoing series and you can’t miss it. This issue certainly harkens back to an older time which is downright fun. Opening with an action sequence pitting the classic Avengers against The Masters of Evil, Waid brings on all kinds of nostalgic feels. Wasp is captioned in this sequence giving us the 411 on her teammates (and the very different dynamics from the old days) which are on point.
The main thrust of the story is more political than you might imagine: Captain America must take on new ex-criminal members, as the classic members take a hiatus and the press need a briefing. With Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Hawkeye joining the team one has to wonder if Waid is going to be using the current version of Captain America who has been part of Hydra since childhood. That remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure, he’s quite perturbed and aggravated he has to babysit these new members. That brings us to the intro of this review, because the press bring up the very real fear that the Avengers are now made up of ex-criminals. They certainly have a point and that’s encapsulated in how this book closes. Spoilers aside, it’ll be interesting to see how a conflict-prone team like this can survive the cliffhanger.
The art by Barry Kitson suits the time and place of the story–the layouts are rather simple, again more akin to an older time, but the detail is nice and the dialogue is sold well with good facial expressions. Jordan Boyd’s colors are right there with the classic feel too. All around, if you ever read comics from decades back you’ll appreciate the work done here.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Maybe this is a slice of storytelling from another time, but the reason most of the heroes quit is somewhat vague and unconvincing. I guess they’re simply tired (or Waid hasn’t revealed the full truth yet), but once you reach the end of the issue you’re going to question the reasoning.
What the hell guys!
Is It Good?
When this book ends you won’t know where it can even begin next month and that’s flipping exciting. Avengers #1.1 is a blast from the past that’ll remind you no matter the era these characters are complex prisms from which to view the world. Even if you’re not into the older era you can’t deny the change of pace is a nice reprieve from the event laden series.