Review: The New Avengers #1

TheNewAvengersMarvel has started rolling out their new Avengers titles following Secret Wars, Uncanny Avengers and The New Avengers being the first ones out of the gate. After reading Uncanny Avengers (which I also reviewed), I was very nervous about jumping into this book; I didn’t want to deal with disappointment twice. Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about that after reading this book, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with what I had read.

I was very glad to see this title following a story thread from the previous volume, where Roberto DaCosta (Sunspot) had successfully taken over A.I.M, and is now called Avengers Idea Mechanics, working as a world-wide rescue initiative, operating off an island, away from the jurisdiction of any governments, or SHIELD. The team of Avengers brought together is, again, a very odd match up: Songbird, Hulkling, Wiccan, Power Man, White Tiger and Squirrel Girl. Going off into their mission, we get a glimpse into the team dynamic, as well as a look into the tech that AIM is now able to equip them with. It didn’t really feel much like a “team”, but more like pairs being pushed into working together. White Tiger and Power Man stick together (coming from Mighty Avengers) and Hulkling and Wiccan, of course, stick close (coming from Young Avengers). Songbird seems to be the field leader of this group, and seems comfortable in the role; and Squirrel Girl…well, the less I say now about her is better.

Sunspot is the same old Roberto we’ve seen in the last volume of this book, still as confident as ever, even as he is facing an inspection from Dum Dum Dugan and SHIELD. They’ve come to see what exactly this new AIM has to offer the world, and for the moment, is treating them like the good guys. But, SHIELD would like to have one of their own assets on the team as well, someone who can keep SHIELD in the loop on the activities of this group…and Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye, is introduced as its newest member.

The villain is revealed, being the Maker, an alternate Reed Richards, who really only comes across as another mad scientist looking to take over the world, and the threat he has created for the team really feels, well, silly…crystal headed zombies gathering energy of the dead? By this point, I was asking myself if this title was aimed at Avengers fans, or something more aimed to a younger, elementary school audience.

Al Ewing brings a story that clearly lays out the reason for this new team, and introduces them to us jumping into action. The team feeling isn’t really quite there, and it feels more like a team up with various couples under the Avengers banner. And then there’s Squirrel Girl. My only reaction to her was….why?? Why isn’t she the kick ass character we saw back in New Avengers who worked as nanny for Danielle Cage (Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ daughter)? We saw her kick Wolverine’s butt and serve as a more than capable member of the team. Now, she looks like something from a BAD children’s cartoon show, and she talks as if she really is just a child (I would guess 5 or 6). Why did they do this? I used to think Squirrel Girl was a decent character, but now just comes across as a joke.

I really enjoy Gerardo Sandoval’s art (it was the saving grace for me for Age of Apocalypse in Secret Wars). I really enjoyed it here in this book, though I found it didn’t work for all the characters. I am having problems with how Wiccan looks more buffed and like a ‘typical’ super hero as opposed to being smaller, more lanky looking. I really liked that about the character; here was this kid that could easily be overlooked, but wielded realty altering abilities. And then again, there’s Squirrel Girl…I have no words. She looks like a cartoon mascot for the team. Again I ask, why?

Overall, I did enjoy this book. A new team with a lot of characters I’m happy to see back in action (notably, Songbird, Hulkling and Wiccan). The team dynamic isn’t quite there yet, but I’m confident as the book goes on, this will get stronger. The team has a clear purpose, and I’m intrigued with this new AIM, and the support staff introduced, that could lead to many interesting stories. The villain wasn’t anything special, and the immediate threat felt a little sub par for an Avengers book, but I did enjoy the ride and I am looking forward to seeing where this book goes. And here’s hoping Squirrel Girl isn’t along for the ride much longer.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Story: 6 Art: 7: Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read