One of the constants in the Avengers is that the team always changes. Members come and go, but the Avengers always soldier on. The All-New, All-Different Avengers team barely had any time together at all before they were essentially split in two by Civil War II. Now, Marvel’s latest Avengers series is putting their flagship heroes together again, with a decidedly smaller roster.
This time around, the Avengers are comprised of Captain America (Sam Wilson); Thor (Jane Foster); Vision; Wasp (Nadia Pym); Hercules; and Spider-Man, who was actually out of the Avengers books for a while. In fact, Peter Parker spent most of this issue out of costume as he attempted to fill the void of another team member, who is out of action (but not dead!) post-Civil War II. Given Parker’s current status quo, it actually makes a lot of sense for him to take this role, and it gave the book a classic touch because the other Avengers don’t know that he’s Spidey.
Mark Waid remains as the writer for the new series, but he’s joined by incoming artist Mike Del Mundo with Marco D’alfonso. Del Mundo and D’alfonso gave the issue a painted look that is very eye-pleasing. The majority of the issue is gorgeous, with images that pop out of their panels. There were a few times where the storytelling of the pages wasn’t very clear, and that ended up detracting from the overall experience. But when Del Mundo and D’alfonso were on their game, they were terrific.
The issue started out with a fairly typical “getting to know the team” story, and Hercules simply rejoined the Avengers just because he was there…for reasons. Herc’s return didn’t feel as well-thought out as Spider-Man’s, and the new Wasp’s immediate hatred of Spidey definitely felt forced. Having conflict on the team is fine, it just felt like Waid was trying to achieve that dynamic without earning it.
However, Waid made up for it by giving these new Avengers a very formidable foe: Kang the Conqueror. For once, Kang really did use time travel as a weapon against the team in a way that we’ve always wanted to see. That made for an exciting cliffhanger, and Waid is going to need to pull off a good explanation for how the heroes will get out of this one. But that’s the whole point of superhero comics. We want to see the best heroes in the most impossible situations, and we’ve got that here.
Another intriguing aspect of the new Kang war, is that it was started by one of the Avengers themselves. That twist was built on something that happened during Waid’s last Avengers series; which may be off-putting for anyone who missed that the first time. But it’s also a welcome sign that Waid has long term stories in mind for this series, and there’s even a one-page “trailer” for the next few issues. Minor problems aside, this was a very exciting read, and we’re eager to see what’s next for these Avengers.
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 BURRITOS
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Images: Marvel Comics