Review: ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #9

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ALL-NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #9
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Mahmud Asrar, Dave McCaig, Cory Petit
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 11, 2016

Still adapting to life in a hangar instead of a mansion, Edwin Jarvis serves as the point-of-view character for All-New, All-Different Avengers #9. Written by Mark Waid and drawn by Mahmud Asrar, this issue gives the all-new Wasp a little room to spread her wings and win readers (and the Avengers) over. First introduced to readers in the Free Comic Book Day Civil War II offering, this Wasp has some surprises in store for readers.

As mentioned already, Jarvis has a significant role in this issue and, through Jarvis, Waid explains the connections that the Wasp has to Hank Pym, the Red Room, and even the Winter Soldier, firmly planting her in the Marvel Universe and the Avengers’ corner of it. As all of these connections are put in place in the span of twenty pages, it seems a little more than convenient, but sometimes convenience in comics can be a good thing, as Waid chooses to economize the tale, rather than draw it out over six issues.

As has been the case for this title since the start, this Avengers squad is on their heels throughout the issue, fighting a foe they don’t fully comprehend. That makes this issue a bit chaotic, especially with a new character thrown in the mix, but Waid uses all of it to round out personalities and build relationships on the squad. Through all this, the story chugs forward, the menace is temporarily thwarted, but the Avengers need a little more time to gel. Some other minor points need to be addressed as well. The story is all well and good, the fights are suspenseful, but the world around the Avengers seems to lack definition. How big is the hangar? What facilities are present? How do the heroes all converge? Any one of these items would define the context for this team a bit more, give them a little more solid ground to stand on, rather than floating through the covers of their own tale. I know Waid is working against/with solo-starring titles for the entire team, but this is his part of these characters’ lives that he can define as necessary.

Waid has a more than capable collaborator in such an endeavor with his artist, Mahmud Asrar. The teens on the team look like teens, the bodies on the team are all different, and the motion throughout All-New, All-Different Avengers #9 is easy to follow and thoroughly engaging. It seems as though Iron Man might be a little bulkier, given that it is still Tony Stark in a suit of armor, but in the flow of the story, Asrar’s drawings are consistent, clean, and powerful. Asrar does some nice work with shadows and cross-hatching throughout the issue, leaning into them a little more heavily than some of his early work did, but to great effect. With one small exception, one particular panel of Tony Stark, inside the armor, with the heads-up display illuminating his face that looks quite a bit like Tim Sale’s work, Asrar’s work is unique and solid. Colorist Dave McCaig adds the color for this band of characters, with a surprisingly array of different tones to the voluminous reds on nearly every member of the squad to the drab olive and earthtones of the hangar itself. McCaig and Asrar meld nicely, one into the other, with lighting effects complimenting the shadows present in All-New, All-Different Avengers #9. Cory Petit’s letters are crisp and solid throughout as well. He gives the characters consistency, adding in hushed tones as necessary and even presents a unique echo effect at the crux of this adventure. This artistic team congeals nicely, giving readers a strong set of visuals from cover to cover.

This issue is all about connections, and with the addition of the all-new Wasp, it deepens Marvel’s exploration into the concept of legacy. All-New, All-Different Avengers #9 gives readers a fun read, with the team fighting a slippery threat. There’s still plenty of growth for the team and the characters, but I like the direction Waid and Asrar are pointing.

The Verdict: 8.5/10

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