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Aero Vol. 1: Before the Storm TPB Review

A good introduction of a new Asian superhero to keep tabs on.

Aero is part of a new initiative to bring more Asian superheroes into the Marvel universe fold. This relatively brand new superhero is a native of Shanghai, China and has recently been involved in the Agents of Atlas series. Powered by nature’s winds, in her premiere issue she encounters one of the strongest attacks on Shanghai ever.

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It has been nearly three years in the works since Sword-Master and Aero were introduced at San Diego Comic-Con 2017. At the time, we learned these Chinese heroes would first appear in East Asian countries to be eventually unveiled in America. Now translated for American audiences, readers can learn all about Aero and her wind powers.

The first volume has a manga feel to it, so if you’re a manga fan you’ll feel right at home. The story by Zhou Liefen and art by Keng is a good introduction of the character. Told mostly via captions, the story opens with Aero fighting a skyscraper that has come to life. We learn a bit about her powers and her background as an architect. It’s immediately clear she’s a well-rounded character that’s original and fresh. She’s juggling a double life and has a secret identity. Oh, and those skyscraper monsters she’s fighting are only half of it — the cliffhanger features a massive kaiju.

Love the visuals on the wind powers.
Credit: Marvel Comics

I’m impressed with Keng’s art, which has a digital look to it. It’s one step away from animation and there are some vivid images that are awe-inspiring. A sky filled with swirling clouds and something protruding from it is striking, to say the least. Aero is well designed, too — the use of swirling wind as if they are wisps of cloth on her outfit is used to great effect. I will admit, though, that Aero is somewhat oversexualized, seemingly drawn in an unrealistic way meant to titillate.

Fans of superhero comics will appreciate the interesting, close inspection of Aero’s powers. Throughout the trade, we get a good idea of how she can use her powers in a variety of ways. In one scene, Aero wants to prevent her boyfriend from proposing and can control the wires of a violin so no sound will come out. She can also shield herself, has a greater sense of hearing, and can obviously blast a monster when needed. It’s an example of how creativity can explore what appears to be a simplistic power.

As far as introductions go, I do find it odd this character isn’t well known in the Marvel universe. A little more effort to explain how she’s gained these powers, or why now, would help give her purpose in the larger universe. She doesn’t interact with other heroes or anything, but she is in other books which makes this origin a bit of an oddity.

This is a good introduction of Aero in her own series thanks to an interesting exploration of her powers and plenty of action. I suspect many will enjoy this book for its manga feel and also how accessible it is to any audience.

Aero Vol. 1: Before the Storm
Is it good?
This is a good introduction of Aero in her own series thanks to an interesting exploration of her powers and plenty of action. I suspect many will enjoy this book for its manga feel and also how accessible it is to any audience.
Good exploration of Aero's powers
Plenty of big monster action with a manga look and feel
Odd how the greater Marvel universe isn't tied in at all
Aero herself is somewhat oversexualized
7.5
Good

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