Review: Avengers #1

*MINOR SPOILERS BELOW*

I am happy to say The Avengers are back. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s get into why Avengers #1 is such an awesome thing for Marvel, and Avengers fans everywhere. While the last Avengers story, which introduced the new character Voyager (complete with a big plot twist of who she really is), was a lot of fun, I felt that the core Avengers title was fairly lackluster for a few years. I enjoyed The Uncanny Avengers far more than the main book, and I felt the title that should be Marvel’s biggest and best book was not living up to it’s legacy (pun intended).

So how do you inject life into a title that has had so many good runs over the years while also keeping it somewhat original on the storytelling front? You bring in Jason Aaron. This is the man who has been writing The Mighty Thor for years with both Jane Foster and Odinson and all of the wonderful characters of that world. He wrote Original Sin before that as well as many other titles like Wolverine, and more. It makes a ton of sense to bring Aaron on, since he is easily one of their top writers. I could go on for quite a bit about his awesome work on Southern Bastards, and more of his creator owned work, but let’s focus on The Avengers shall we?

Avengers #1 brings us back to a status quo for some of our big classic heroes like Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. There is even a great joke in this book where Aaron takes a jab at Hydra Cap, Unworthy Thor, and gives us a new name from Tony Stark himself, Coma Tony. It is a great moment where the three of them are in a bar and discussing getting the band back together. It is great dialogue, and something Aaron excels at. You can tell the three of them need this, after what each of them has been through the last few years, even if all of them may not want to admit it yet.

We also get to see Doctor Strange and Black Panther together investigating some disturbances below the Earth. Again we get some fantastic dialogue between Stephen and T’challa, and another great joke from Doctor Strange about his Strange Sense tingling. I loved the dynamic between the characters, and can’t wait to see more conversations as more team dynamics expand. The book also gives us glimpses of Robbie Reyes as Ghost Rider, She-Hulk, and Captain Marvel all in different parts of the world, but by the end, all of them are converging on the massive threat that is hitting Earth, which is pretty awesome, and very epic in scope.

It would be wrong of me to not mention the awesome 1 Billion BC Avengers, because they are also a lot of fun, and a great set up. You may remember them from the Marvel Legacy one shot from last year, if you read it. The team is made up of Odin, Iron Fist, Ghost Rider (with a flaming Mammoth), Phoenix, Black Panther, Starbrand (who is a Hulk), and Agamotto. These characters are great not only because of their design and the introduction of them fighting the Celestials, but because of the legacy they provide to our modern day Avengers. When I first heard about this older team, I had my doubts, but they really pay off in this issue in a very cool way.

The pencils by Ed McGuinness is classic style Marvel. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that it is outdated, but that it really has that old style superhero comic approach where everyone is a bit bulkier and wider. It is nostalgic while also feeling unique. There is a lot to draw in this issue, and McGuiness drew the hell out of it. From the opening pages alone, the 1 Billion BC Avengers look fantastic, as does the Celestials, as well as our modern team. Also, the panel work that McGuiness provides is really interesting and varies quite a bit. On some pages, there’s no panels at all and the scenes just blend together in a very cool one or two page spread, where on others, the panels are done to uniquely move the story forward in different ways. The inks by Mark Morales keep everything crisp and along with the colors by David Curiel help everything pop with awesome shadows and scenes that cover such a wide array of tones.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a classic Marvel fan, a new Marvel fan from the movies, or really anyone who enjoys superhero comics or movies. It’s a great jumping on point for fans of the old and the new. It gives us the heroes we missed, while giving us some other members that I cannot wait to see shine in their new larger roles. It’s been a while since She-Hulk has had big moments, Captain Marvel deserves more of the spotlight and is getting even more popular, especially with her upcoming film, and Robbie Reyes has always been a great character, and also gives us Ghost Rider while also giving us someone new under the hood. Not since Jonathan Hickman’s last run on the book have I been so excited about The Avengers title. Avengers Assemble!

Story: Jason Aaron Pencils: Ed McGuinness
Inks: Mark Morales Colors: David Curiel Letterer: Cory Petit
Cover: Ed McGuiness, Mark Morales, Justin Ponsor

Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review