Marvel knocks another all-ages read out of the park.
Out this week in comic shops is Avengers Assemble: Time Will Tell Digest TPB which is an all-ages series of stories featuring nearly every character from the Avengers. There’s some humor and a lot of heart in these heroic tales that bring up the elements that make this team, and the heroes within, great. It’s also a good smattering of Marvel mythos that could potentially kick-start a child’s interest in the superheroes within.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Ant-Man plays Detective when the Avengers need some help with a case- can he solve it on his own? When Thanos takes over Asgard, can Captain America, Hulk and the rest of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes dethrone him? Maybe with a little help from Uatu the Watcher! Hela has some unfinished business with Thor and brings him to Valhalla to try and settle the score – guest starring Rocket and Groot! It’s double the Avengers and the trouble when the Leader clones the team to do his evil bidding. All these exciting stories and more, collected for the first time!
Can I jump in easily?
Very easy. If you’ve seen the movies you’ll pretty much know every character here save for a villain or two. The stories are short and quick to jump into the action so even if you don’t know who the Leader is you’ll have no problem enjoying the adventures. This is also written by some of Marvel’s longest-running creators with Buddy Scalera, Joe Caramagna and Ralph Macchio writing and Ron Lim, Mario Del Pennino, Craig Rousseau, and Scott Hanna drawing.
Reason 1: Contains 7 stories with all sorts of heroes.
Although the title has “Avengers” in it this book actually opens with an Ant-Man story. The Avengers show up in the opening and closing, but this is his story as he takes on the Impossible Man. That’s a good sign since this book isn’t constrained to your iconic Avengers team in every story. There’s a good variety of Avengers on display here like the main ones (Cap, Hulk, Thor) and some more obscure ones (Rocket, Hercules, Captain Marvel). The team is always changing, which in itself is sort of a statement on what the Avengers is all about.
Reason 2: This has a good mix of villains.
I was surprised by how many villains pop up in this book. Sure, Thanos shows up in two stories, but he’s aided by Terrax who certainly isn’t widely known. Then you have Impossible Man, Kang, The Leader, Hela, and Enchantress all popping up in their own stories. These villains typically end up in fistfights with the heroes, but the settings are all different too. The second story is set in Asgard and has the Avengers taking on Thanos, another in Valhalla, and another utilizes time travel sending Merlin back to the future (thanks Kang!).
Reason 3: It’s all about the fight scenes, but the message too.
Nearly every story has the heroes fighting with the villains via punching, laser blasts, and other means of popping someone in the face. That’s going to be easy for younger readers to swallow. There are no tears, no emotional breakthroughs; no, this is fun fight comics. That said, there’s a message in nearly every story be it doing what is right, working together, and believing in yourself to name a few.
Reasons to be wary?
As an all-ages read, this is lighter fare, to say the least. This certainly isn’t in canon, not that it delves too deeply into the story to matter much in the grand scheme of things. Generally, characters are within canon with how they look (Odin seems a bit off), but the characterizations are definitely something between movies and comics which might annoy some.
Is there a rationale to the reasons?
If you have a child who is at that age where they’re reading but aren’t into superheroes this is a great place to start. It gives them a variety of heroes and villains in the stories and delivers 7 unique stories that are short enough to hold any child’s attention. Put this one under the tree.