Since we featured the preview I haven’t been able to wrap my head around what is to come in Avengers. Mark Waid is writing a time travel epic as the Avengers must stop Kang for good. That’s a story, if you’ve read Kurt Busiek’s Avengers series, you want now. Is it good?
Avengers #5 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the preview!
Why does this book matter?
Aside from the time hopping being done well, artist Mike Del Mundo is drawing his pants off with this series. There’s a painted beauty to it all that’s hard to deny. His style deserves a cover artist like Alex Ross because it’s so otherworldly and unique.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The fingers in the head bit doesn’t look very comfy.
Well damn, I did not see where this story was going; Waid really knocked my socks off. The Avengers are taking the fight to Kang himself with the aid of a future Vision who has a secret weapon. This involves the Avengers preparing teams–yes, plural teams–of Avengers throughout their history. Squeel! That might be one of the coolest concepts ever. This allows Waid to harken back to older times (Like when the Hulk was a member who talked) and play with dynamics you didn’t see coming. Sam Wilson gets a key moment that should get fans equally excited and annoyed for instance.
Character wise, Waid continues to give every character a moment either to say or do something. Hercules and Spider-Man were standouts in this issue but Wasp gets a moment to shine too. In one scene, Wasp attempts to figure out what Kang’s minions are up to–a rather neat way of stealing time is explained–and Giant man says, “When people underestimate her, she weaponizes it.” How cool is that line?
The art is exquisite in this issue with so much good it’s hard to categorize it all. An interesting use of blur to end the issue puts an interesting highlight on a villain. The creatures are wonderfully weird and all the Avengers look iconic and cool. The older versions of heroes are quite fun too, like Thor and his long blonde locks–and dumbfounded look at seeing a female Thor–or the somewhat neanderthal look to Hulk.
I love the different Avengers teams.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The flow of the issue isn’t perfect. It goes from, “here’s the plan,” to “okay let’s do it,” to “this is gonna be easy,” to “oh shit we’re screwed” way too quickly. I blame the 20 page format, but this issue could have probably be spread over two issues at least. Because of the briskness you’re left at the end at a loss for where the characters are really at. Maybe there’s some big twist that’ll right this ship, but it makes it somewhat hard to understand the stakes.
Is It Good?
Avengers fans need to read this issue. It’s a love letter to the Avengers, but also to the wonderfully eclectic group of heroes too. Mark Waid’s accomplished a rare feat: he’s added a story to the pantheon of fantastic Avengers lore we’ll be reading for years.