Review: Avengers #1

avengers__1The time has come! Their ranks shattered by Civil War, their spirits weighted down by a toll both personal and spiritual, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must find the resolve to stand united one final time against their greatest foe! Captain America! Thor! The Vision! The Wasp! Spider-Man! Hercules! When the dust settles, not a one of these valiant heroes will make it to the final page alive! This is KANG WAR ONE!

Writer Mark Waid kicks off Avengers #1 with a new status-quo following whatever transpires in the finale of Civil War II. And that’s the one armed tied behind the back aspect of this debut issue of the mightiest heroes’ latest comic series. Without knowing how Marvel’s event ends we’re left with teases and a statement here and there as to what transpired and why the team is in the situation they’re in. It’s a bit odd, and could work in a jump forward sort of way that transpired post-Secret Wars, but this isn’t a jump forward so it’s a bit clunky and the issue might have been read differently if Marvel‘s release plans had worked out originally and not be hampered by Civil War II‘s delays. So that’s the bad thing about the comic.

What’s good is Waid writes the comic so that it’s still new reader friendly and doesn’t spoil the ending of Marvel’s event. Instead, we have a new Avengers team that’s short on members and without a base. In steps Peter Parker to help them out filling the role of a socially awkward Tony Stark-ish benefactor. It’s an interesting direction for the team and Parker as a character and is just different enough that it doesn’t feel like the same ole with different characters plugged in. The inclusion of Parker/Spider-Man is interesting especially considering how he was originally part of Captain America’s Unity squad but quit due to the inclusion of Deadpool.

But, what Waid does really well is focus on the characters themselves and their interactions, both good and bad. The Wasp has issues with Spider-Man, Sam Wilson is a bit uneasy with the way things are, there’s a good bit of humor, it all blends together into a fun read and a bit of a throwback to the more “loose and fun” Avengers of old.

Waid too sets up what comes next well having the team take on Kang who is after Vision. We get a solid explanation as to why everything is going on and the end of the issue sets up what’s next really well with some twists that actually should be really fun to see how it plays out. It’s Kang, so there’s lots of time travel involved, but Waid explains it as best he can and there’s a point you just go with it.

Artist Mike Del Mundo‘s art fits the tone of the comic perfectly and the action sequences are fantastic to look at. As I said, Waid mixes action with humor and Del Mundo’s art reflects that in many ways. It’s a solid combo of writer and artist and the two together really pull things together in a visual treat that’s as much fun to look at as it is to read.

And fun is a key thing here. Waid is clearly going for a tone between this series and Champions and that tone is a return to fun comics that don’t linger on the grim and dark. I had gotten a bit tired of the Avengers as a team, but this first issue has me interested again and wanting to see where things go from here.

Story: Mark Waid Art: Mike Del Mundo
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.15 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review