Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Avengers #1: It's Been a While

Collapse
X
Collapse

  • Avengers #1: It's Been a While

    Avengers (2018) #1It’s been a while.

    I’ve always been an Avengers fan, but it’s been a very long time -- nearly 200 issues, in fact -- since I’ve read an Avengers comic. Oh, I’ve read comics called “Avengers” in that time (and sometimes “New Avengers,” or “Avengers Academy,” or “Uncanny Avengers”) and some of them have been very good. But even the ones I’ve enjoyed have had a different feel, a different flavor. Some of them were close. But it was like drinking a Coke Zero when you really wanted a Coke. Even the best of runs since the infamous “Avengers Disassembled” began in issue #500 have felt… off.

    For a few pages, Jason Aaron and Ed McGuinness’s Avengers #1 tasted wonderfully familiar.

    The centerpiece of the issue is a summit between Steve Rogers, Tony Stark and Thor about whether it’s time to get the band back together. (Why, exactly, the band is broken up after their victorious finale in last week’s Avengers #690 is not adequately explained, but that’s a minor point.) The three characters most associated with Marvel’s flagship franchise have a fine scene in which they debate whether there should be an Avengers team and, more specifically, why it needed to be the three of them who built it. It’s one of those scenes that feels like a comic book writer is tossing in a meta mea culpa, like he’s recognizing that there’s been something off and giving the reader a promise that there’s a course-correction in the works.

    I have a particular fondness for such scenes.

    Anyone who happens to pick this book up while riding the wave from last week’s little Infinity War movie will see a lot of things that feel familiar as well -- Dr. Strange and the Black Panther are on board, and Thor bemoans the loss of Mjolnir, although that the circumstances of Comic Thor and Movie Thor’s respective losses are very different is never discussed, nor is it necessary.

    This is like the beginning of most Avengers eras, in truth: a threat rears its head, different heroes independently answer the call and you know, by the time it ends, a new roster will be forged. What makes this stronger than many of the other such relaunches over the past few years is that the team itself has a very classic Avengers feel to it. Aside from the aforementioned characters, the cover reveals that longtime members Captain Marvel and She-Hulk will be joining the fold, along with the oddball choice of Ghost Rider. But an oddball choice or two is fine, it’s to be expected, even, as many of those oddball choices eventually make their way to being core members of the team (Luke Cage being a good example). It’s only when the oddballs outnumber the old-school that the book starts to lose its flavor like the proverbial chewing gum on the bedpost.

    McGuinness and Mark Morales, the art team, are doing yeoman’s work here. They aren’t called upon for any radical redesigns, just to tell the story cleanly, and they do it well. Whether it’s a scene of three old friends sitting down for a drink or a page with an enormous cosmic giant striding across a prehistoric savannah, the artwork is brisk and sharp.

    The specifics of the story aren’t necessarily outside the box, but that’s not a bad thing for a creative team trying to capture the old fashioned taste. We have a prologue with a set of Proto-Avengers from the distant past that links to a contemporary world-ending threat, because it’s Wednesday. It’s enough to get you excited, enough to make you anxious to see where the story is going, not quite the sort of thing that makes you fear it’s all about to fall apart again.

    It’s the Avengers comic I wanted to read.

    I really like getting to say that again.

    Blake M. Petit, Avengers Academy dropout, has been pontificating about pop culture online for over a decade. You can follow him online at BlakeMPetit.com and, if you're feeling generous, check out his books on Amazon.
      You must register in order to comment!

    What Do You Think?

    Collapse

    Latest Articles

    Collapse

    • The Cure For Fatigue-Modern Mytholgy
      Blake M. Petit
      Strap in, guys, I’m about to hit you with a revelation that will gut you to the core. Robert Downey Jr. will not be the only actor to ever play Iron Man. And that’s okay. It’s actually part of what superheroes are. It’s part of why we love them.

      The Cure For Fatigueis an irregular feature in which we’ll gather around the campfire, take a look at something that people may be feeling burned out on, and talk about what makes it so great in the first place. Today, let’s talk about one of the reasons superheroes, in all their forms, endure.

      I’m going to make an observation that’s older than Aunt May’s wheatcakes recipe, something you already know, but I need to say it to make my point: superheroes are our modern mythology. I know, it’s nothing you haven’t heard before. But have you ever really thought about what that means? Superheroes have power like the gods of ancient myth. They go on adventures on the scale of Perseus, Odysseus, and Jason. They are divided into...
      Yesterday, 01:25 PM
    • The Sound of the Doctor - Silenced
      Craig Reade
      The “Whoniverse” has lost a very important figure this week in Graham Strong, who passed away at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer.

      Strong never acted in an episode, nor did he write, produce, film, arrange, or direct an episode. In fact, he wasn’t involved with the production of Doctor Who at all. Graham Strong was a fan – he was one of us. And we owe him a lot.

      Younger geeks may not understand this, but in the days before the internet (and instant access to everything), we were at the mercy of broadcasters. If we wanted to watch something again, we couldn’t just pull it up on iTunes or Netflix – we had to wait for it to be broadcast again. That, or tape it!

      When I was young, I can remember taking episodes of Star Trek on a VHS recorder, so I could watch them again whenever I wanted. That is probably familiar to most geeks over a certain age - fans at that time commonly recorded episodes of the programs they enjoyed. They did this well before...
      05-18-2018, 08:39 AM
    • The 2018 Superhero Watch: Reflections on the Marvel Cinematic Universe
      Blake M. Petit
      As both a movie lover and a ginormous geek, I like to periodically set movie-watching goals for myself. I’ll try to tackle the films in a certain genre, or featuring a certain character, or built around a certain theme. And as a writer and a ginormous geek, I also tend to document some of these challenges. In the past, I’ve done film study projects about the history of horror, the legacy of horror/comedies, my favorite TV Christmas specials and, one memorable December, 25 different incarnations of Ebenezer Scrooge. That I missed out on that Family Ties episode where Alex P. Keaton plays the part is my one regret in life.

      Like so many other things, though, my movie watching habits had to evolve when my wife and I had a baby. It simply wasn’t feasible to set aside an entire month to watch slasher movies and write a detailed analysis of each one. So in 2018, I set a different kind of goal for myself: to watch as many superhero movies as possible, and in the case of those I’ve...
      05-16-2018, 02:55 PM
    • Three Wishes: Release These Comics!
      Blake M. Petit
      Having several friends who own or work in comic stores, I get a lot of good opportunities to talk about trends in the business. One thing I’ve heard almost universally over the last few years is that the comic book back issue market has completely tanked. Even though selling old comics is what the comic shop industry was built on, shop owners now have to turn to alternative sources of revenue like collectibles, toys, cards, clothing, and appearing on AMC network reality shows. With the exception of rare issues, first appearances, and other things that hold serious monetary value, there’s simply no need to hunt for back issues anymore. In the Oughts, publishers began to grow much more aggressive with their bookshelf program. What once had been reserved for “special” storylines or archival reprints soon began to apply to virtually every comic book published. Nowadays a reader can be fairly well assured that any comic book appearing on the shelf will see print in a paperback or hardcover...
      05-14-2018, 02:18 PM
    • S.H.I.E.L.D. Feels the Force of Gravity!
      Craig Reade
      There are SPOILERS ahead, but dear not - Talbot will show the world that he can indeed fix this!

      Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 21 - The Force of Gravity (IMDB)
      Directed by Kevin Tancharoen, Written by Drew Z. Greenberg & Craig Titley

      The episode cold-opens with Daisy, who has seemingly just woken up in the council chambers of the Confederacy. Before her is Tarian, Kasius’s father – who tries to convince her that she should become his disciple. He is very interested in the inhumans on Earth (as he continued to be in the future), and insists that they deserve a better life. When she refuses but fails to use her powers to break free, he reveals that none of this is real, she is still unconscious, and he is supremely confident that he will break her very soon. Daisy doesn’t have time for this nonsense, so she shows Tarian how unprepared for her he really is. She channels her abilities inward, shatters the device keeping her unconscious and starts...
      05-14-2018, 12:06 PM
    • Justice League: No Justice #1: Crazy Configurations and a Strong Start
      Blake M. Petit
      Justice League: No Justice #1 (DC Comics)
      By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Francis Manapul, Hi-Fi, and AndWorld Design

      In the aftermath of Dark Nights: Metal, the Source Wall at the fringes of the DC Universe has been breached. From the cracks comes something dark, deadly, and dangerous… so dangerous that the insidious Brainiac has taken it upon himself to create a new Justice League from members of the old, some Titans, the Suicide Squad, and a few surprise guests. The four unconventional groups will have to work together against the threat of the Omega Titans, with all life in the universe hanging in the balance.

      On the surface, there are a lot of things about No Justice #1 you could be cynical about. The four teams Brainiac has assembled seem in some ways tailor-made to capitalize on characters that are in the zeitgeist right now, and outfitting each of the squads in color-coded uniforms could be taken as a plot to crank out a new...
      05-10-2018, 02:25 PM
    Working...
    X