REVIEW: All-New, All-Different Avengers #14 – “The Two Wasps”

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ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #14

Writer: Mark Waid, Jeremy Whitley

Penciller: Adam Kubert 

Colorist: Sonia Oback

Letterist: VC’s Cory Petit

Release Date: 9/7/16

Price Tag: $3.99

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One of the best things to come out of All-New, All-Different Avengers is the new Wasp and her dynamic between the original Wasp, Janet Van Dyne. For the past couple of issues we have only seen glimpses of their story. Now in All-New, All Different Avengers #14 they get a whole issue spotlighted on them and their reaction to the events of Civil War 2.

Plot

Janet and Nadia continue to bond, but are interrupted by the W.H.I.S.P.E.R. After their fight with this group they learn about the events of Civil War 2. Both Nadia and Janet are devastated by the news, and Nadia feels that it’s her job to fix the current tear in the superhero community.

Story

Janet and Nadia are one of the stronger aspects of All-New, All-Different Avengers, but sadly they don’t really fit into this series. Nadia was first introduced in All-New, All-Different Avengers #9, and ever since Janet and Nadia have been separated from the Avengers team. Even though it’s a breath of fresh air to see more panel time with the original and All-New Wasp, it still feels like this story should be in another series or have a series of its own.

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The Wasp story may seem out of place but, it’s still better than the current story with the Avengers team (the characters the book should actually be about). Mark Waid and Jeremy Whitley create a believable relationship between Nadia and Janet. The All-New Wasp looks up to Janet, and Janet sees a lot of Hank in her step-daughter. This makes for a fun dynamic with an issue fully spotlighting these two characters.

It was great to learn more about Nadia in this issue because previously we didn’t know much about her character besides that she was the daughter of Hank Pym. Nadia in many ways is her father’s daughter, but also has the optimism of Janet. It makes for an interesting character that I hope we get to see more of in the future.

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Nadia was great, but the star in this issue was Janet. It’s been a shame that for the past couple of years Janet hasn’t gotten her deserved panel time. Waid and Whitley showcase Janet’s personality perfectly in this issue. They show her affectionate side through her relationship with Nadia, but what highlighted Janet’s personality even better was how she figured out the Russian agents were actually W.H.I.S.P.ER. agents through the clothes they were wearing. Janet has always been into fashion, shown by the many costumes she wore throughout the decades. This scene was a great call back to an attribute that has always been a big part of her character.

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This story was a good character building issue for Nadia and Janet, but I don’t think it was necessary for the story to tie into Civil War 2. The tie-in wasn’t as forced as other tie-ins I have read recently, but when the title does tie into Civil War 2 it unnecessarily changes the tone of the book. This could have been a stronger issue if it fully devoted itself to Civil War 2 from the beginning of the issue or didn’t tie into Civil War 2 at all.

Art

The art for All-New, All-Different Avengers has always been a weaker aspect for the series. All-New, All-Different Avengers should be a flagship title for Marvel, but the art doesn’t look like flagship artwork. It’s very simplistic, and bulky at times. Even the action scenes didn’t seem very fluid in this issue. There were good concepts in the action scenes, like showing off Nadia’s ninja skills, but the actual execution could have looked better.

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Even though I didn’t like the pencils for this issue, I did like the coloring. It was bright and it helped the bland pencils pop out more. This was especially shown when Nadia and Janet used their shrinking abilities. The coloring made the characters shine, allowing the reader to see more detail from these scenes.

Verdict

All-New, All-Different Avengers #14 is an improvement for the series, but this issue still doesn’t make All-New, All-Different Avengers feel like a flagship book. The artwork should be less bulky and simplistic, and Waid needs to find this type of character driven storytelling with his actual Avengers team.

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