In recent years, Marvel has had a run of “retro” stories. These new tales take place in continuity spinning out of runs of the past. Some have worked and added a lot and some have stumbled in their execution. Avengers: War Across Time #1 is a take on that retro tale spinning out of Kang the Conqueror’s attack and machinations in Avengers #11 from back in 1964. And the result is rather entertaining.
Writer Paul Levitz does an amazing job at balancing classic and more modern comics resulting in an issue that has some great pacing, good laughs, and a lot of what made those original comics so entertaining. There’s a somewhat absurd aspect to them that can get the reader frustrated but its those moments that make it all stand out. Strange speeches in battle, too many coincidences, and civilians that are always in the way make for a packed issue.
Avengers: War Across Time #1 has Kang again attempting to take over this period’s Earth to fuel his forces and to do that he must stop the Avengers. He uses a robotic Hulk to attack them, upping his plan from the classic Avengers story this spins out of. Yes, a lot of the comic is a drawn out fight, but it’s down in a way that plays off the classic visuals and moments. Aunt May wishes her nephew Peter was there to protect here with a wink and a nod. Peter himself misses Bettie Brant and the Avengers as he approaches a newspaper stand. It’s small moments, but it’s moments that make the comic feel like it’s part of the larger world of the time.
Alan Davis art is solid adding to the feel of the story. With color by Rachelle Rosenberg and lettering by Cory Petit, the comic’s style looks like it could have been of the time. The character designs, the panel layouts, the composition of the images capture what I think of when I think of those early Avengers adventures. The art team eschews a modern update which would take the reader out of the concept of the series.
Avengers: War Across Time #1 is a fun comic. I generally am not a fan of these types of stories by Levitz’s writing style and the art by the team sucked me in. It balances old with new in a way that appealed to me as a reader. With Kang having such a focus this year, this could be a series to keep an eye on, as you never know what its impact across the Marvel timeline might be.
Story: Paul Levitz Art: Alan Davis
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: Zeus Comics – comiXology/Kindle