REVIEW: The Avengers #1 – “This Team Needs Direction”

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The Avengers #1
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciller: Mike Del Mundo
Colorist: Mike Del Mundo with Marco D’alfonso
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: 11/2/16
Price: $4.99

Avengers

Marvel Now’s The Avengers continues the adventures of the All-New, All-Different Avengers after their young heroes leave the group to create their own team The Champions. This series follows previous members Thor, Captain America, and Vision with the new additions of Hercules, Wasp, and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Plot

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After the events of Civil War 2 the Avengers rebrand themselves. The members left on the Avengers find new heroes to join their team just in time to go against one of the Avengers greatest enemies, Kang the Conqueror.

Story

When the All-New, All Different Avengers title was first announced I was very excited for the new heroes to be teaming up with veteran heroes, but sadly the series never lived up to the concept. After a 13 issue run the series never found it’s footing.

With the end of All-New, All-Different Avengers Marvel launched their new Marvel Now flagship title, The Avengers. Mark Waid is continuing his run on the Avengers, but sadly with the first issue of this new run he still can’t find direction for his Avengers team. This issue sets up his new team, but just like in All-New, All-Different Avengers the title doesn’t give the reader a reason to care about the formation of these characters as a team. Waid doesn’t give the characters chemistry, which is weird because he’s a writer who’s usually great with character stories.

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Characters like Captain America and Thor, who built a relationship in the last series, feel disconnected in this issue. There’s a scene towards the end of the story where Captain America uses an idiom to explain his emotions, “Just a…a…shudder. Like a rabbit ran over my grave”. Thor doesn’t understand the saying. So Captain America responds by saying that it’s a Midgardian thing. This scene didn’t make sense to me. Why didn’t Thor understand the saying? Jane Foster has been a Midgardian, and in the last series Waid established that Captain America knows that Thor is Jane Foster. These are the type of scenes where characters felt very disconnected.

Another disconnect I had with the series was the shoehorned Kang storyline. I know the story has been building a bit in All-New, All-Different Avengers, but Kang felt forced to me in this story. Maybe I felt this way because the team still doesn’t feel fully established to have a big gun like Kang join the story so soon.

Art

I’m usually a big fan of Mike Del Mundo’s artwork, but sadly I don’t think it fits this title. His art style fit Elektra because that series was a bit more artsy in storytelling and the action in the book somewhat felt like a dance. In Weirdworld his art style worked because the story was similar to a fairy tale.

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The Avengers #1 didn’t prove that this title fits Del Mundo’s more high adventure/fairy tale type artwork. The art actually made it hard for me to connect with the issue. From the first page to the last I never felt pulled into the story.

The coloring was a big factor of why I couldn’t connect to the art style of this book. The coloring was very bright and made for less detailed pencils for the backgrounds. Once again this type of coloring would fit in another type of book, but just didn’t fit for The Avengers.

Verdict

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Just like All-New, All-Different Avengers this flagship Avengers title doesn’t feel like it has direction. Waid needs to make the reader care about these characters as a team before going into a big story with Kang.

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