Captain America 20XX comes to warn Roberto Da Costa and his fledgling team of an impending threat. Can the U.S.Avengers come up with a plan to defeat the Golden Skull? Is it good?
U.S. Avengers #2 (Marvel Comics)
The opening pages of U.S.Avengers #2 feature Captain America 20XX, Danielle Cage, recounting the story of how her timeline came to be. And in many ways, these pages dictate the first half of the comic. Danielle Cage has approached this new team of Avengers in order to take down a foe from her alternate future. The flashback framework works well to introduce the character to readers, while also giving a platform for penciler Paco Medina to show off some dynamic set pieces and designs.
Medina’s artwork throughout the issue is quite strong, with the details in his pencils being brought forth by inker Juan Vlasco. Whether it’s Thanos conquering Earth, the conference room that Cage is telling the story from, or the high-class party the team visits at the end of the issue, U.S.Avengers #2 is a gorgeous looking book. Medina gives each character life with his poses – Captain America 20XX and Roberto Da Costa have the stances of assured leaders while the villain Golden Skull takes exaggerated poses that highlight his maniacal demeanor.
Jesus Aburtov’s colors give a sense of kinetic adventure that permeates throughout the entire issue. Aburtov’s coloring expertly uses different levels of gradients to make the images pop off the page and keep panels distinct from one another. For example, in a two-page spread in which Roberto contacts his A.I.M. helicarrier, the scenes with the individual figures are done with a less gradient, almost cel-shaded style, while the helicarrier flies past a naturalistic sky. It’s a detail that helps visually guide the reader’s eye through the scene.
Al Ewing’s script here is quite engaging, as Ewing relishes in putting Roberto into an uncomfortable ballroom setting. Ewing has done a fantastic job continuing the development of Da Costa into a full-fledged leader that was first set up by Jonathan Hickman and then continued in Ewing’s own New Avengers. Watching Da Costa mature remains a great pleasure, and surrounding him with a younger cast helps to emphasize his new role. Danielle Cage makes for a nice lead, her mission-driven attitude helps carry the issue’s exposition. The real scene-stealer here is the Golden Skull whose acts of reckless abandon serve as a façade for a more menacing character.
Is It Good?
U.S.Avengers #2 is quite a bit of fun, though some may find it too expository in nature. The artwork really helps the narrative flow quickly, and Ewing’s grasp of the characters keeps the read from getting too bogged down. While not as strong as the debut issue, U.S.Avengers #2 helps set the table for the conflict at hand.