Avengers #2 is out after only one week off and it’s raring to bring the cosmic threat levels up to 11 on a scale of 10. It has to be said the scale is going past 10 because Marvel and other publishers always seem to be pushing that scale to breakage. This week, the heroes assemble, Ghost Rider fights Hulk, and the true orchestrator of Earth’s danger is revealed.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview!
Why does this matter?
This isn’t an event book, but it practically should be due to the stakes and the creative team involved. This is big time Avengers action and it’s centered on the core members of Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America. Need I say more? Read my review of issue #1 if you want to hear me say more.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
If you didn’t read the Free Comic Day comic I advise you to do so just so the cliffhanger has a tiny bit more impact. If not, you’re going to be fine too, because your brain will go, “No way!” This is a fun issue due to the fast pace and good balance between the characters who end up coming together in different locations. Hulk gets way more page time which was a negative element of the last issue. Captain Marvel gets way more time in this issue too and the general sense of fighting for your life is conveyed well. Jason Aaron continues to write a very strong Thor who has a arrogant confidence that suits the dynamic of the team.
The entire comic is captioned/narrated by a mysterious figure who gives the team and the current events on Earth some perspective. It’s the kind of slow build captioning that piques your interest as you read along. As a bit of a surprise, that interest gains a lot from how Aaron writes Hulk who ends up being a standout character in this issue. He tussles with another hero and the interaction is fun even if it’s a trope (hero fighting hero) we’ve seen so many times before.
The art is somehow better this issue than the last and Ed McGuinness– with colors by David Curiel–explores the space of panels and double page layouts well. Avengers has always been best when it’s larger than life and McGuinness conveys that with the size of a thing Captain Marvel drags to the explosion that rocks Cap. Each hero seems to get a splashy moment which helps make this book read like a big time movie.
It can’t be perfect can it?
We don’t get much in the way of Doctor Strange and Black Panther. Splitting up heroes appears to be a recurring element–maybe Aaron is splitting these characters up for the triumphant all hands on deck moment–that reduces the team feel of the book. Ghost Rider doesn’t end up even near most of the heroes either and these choices end up reminding us the story as a whole is moving slowly. This issue is basically one big action scene and not a lot more. It’s holding back reveals and plot progression so as to show off the well paced action sequence. That might bother some, especially those like me who want more from the ancient Avengers.
Is it good?
A good fight comic that is all about the spectacle. The art is great, better than the first issue, and the captions are strong drawing you through the story to make the cliffhanger all the more powerful.