Written By Mark Waid
Art by Adam Kubert, Sonia Oback, Mahmud Aspar, & Dave McCaig
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: November 11, 2015

The opening panels of this issue were incredibly dynamic, capturing a play-by-play of Sam rescuing a family of four from their minivan, careening off of the Queensboro Bridge. As Tony and Cap trade banter, a couple of mysterious villains are making plans…

After reading the FCBD issue of All-New All-Different Avengers, this issue was a bit surprising. However, I think that was a good thing overall. This issue encapsulates how a lot of modern comics discuss a de facto ‘origin story’ of a team. Not everything gets answered in the first issue, and not everyone is together. For me, there was enough to want to keep reading. I would have liked everyone to have been front and center, but I can definitely understand why that kind of quick-paced storytelling may not lend to the long haul of a story arc.

Mark Waid seems to understand these characters in a very deep, introspective way. There is a lot of inner dialogue that I feel really contributes to the atmosphere of the issue. Kamala and Nova’s inner speeches are great contrasts to each other, and the panels help to physically fill the space as a representation of how dense that circumstance was for them. Waid did great by bringing out the unique aspects of each character, and I think that’s going to contribute to an awesome series as more characters show up.

The art is perfect for a mainline series. In our first story, Adam Kubert and Sonia Oback work together to make easily palatable images and colors. The first half of the series felt more structured, with a slight sense of gravity, which is deftly conveyed through the art. The second half of the issue, wonderfully done by Mahmud Aspar and Dave McCaig, with Nova and Kamala, on the other hand, is more free-form and adventurous. The lines are thicker and the colors are more vivid, adding levity to Nova and Ms. Marvel’s story. Aspar and McCaig captured the youth of Miles, Kamala, and Nova against the age and maturity of Cap and Tony, an important distinction I hope will be carried through future issues.

Sam’s mention of the media spinning everything he does as a racial narrative served two important purposes. For one, he highlighted rather simply how Black people are too often considered to be doing things for our race or that we are supposed to be the shining examples of Blackness, especially in the public’s eye. But, two, not everything we do is for Blackness or about race. This is not your ‘Everyone is human, we are all the human race argument,’ but rather this expectation that we are always doing things from a racial perspective. We’re not. At the end of the day, I’m Black, but my Blackness does not inform each and every thing I do. Did I get on a soapbox there?

ANAD Avengers #1 was a great start to the series. I hope it fares better for me than past Avengers titles have, but considering I’m excited for the next installment, I trust that it will. There’s some excellent interplay between characters and mixing young and older heroes will help change the Avengers mantle, reviving it for a more modern and refreshing taste.

The Verdict: 8.0/10

EDIT: Credit was initially not given to Mahmud Aspar and Dave McCaig for their work in the backup of this issue. Apologies to this stellar team.


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