Review: AVENGERS #1

AVENGERS #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ed McGuinness, David Curiel, Mark Morales and Cory Petit
Edited by Alanna Smith, Tom Brevoort
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 2, 2018

“There was an idea…” Turn on a TV, the radio, or browse the internet and this phrase or it’s sentiment is inescapable these days. It’s a powerful statement that evokes images of “earth’s mightiest heroes” doing epic battle against the forces of evil to protect the planet. Though, the big screen version of this avenging team of men, gods, and monsters has captured our imaginations the one presented to us in comic books has been struggling lately. Avengers #1 is a valiant attempt by Marvel to bring our heroes back to a new golden age.

It’s already a hard-enough task to write a team book but when you throw in recent storylines and have to appeal to movie going audiences as well it becomes a near god-like task. Even when you are trying to get back to basics and prune things down to a more manageable state it’s hard to write a story that doesn’t leave new and old readers feeling lost or betrayed. Rebooting the universe would seem like a simple solution but often causes more problems than it fixes. Fortunately, the creative team does not use this trope to try and right the ship but instead trudges forward with what is established. Jason Aaron has absolutely done a great job at trying to accomplish this and on most accounts succeeds. Most of the comic universe storylines seem to meet up here in an epilogue type feel. As such, if you are not aware of what has been going on lately some things may leave you wondering who or what is going on. It’s not enough to get you lost but it may take you momentarily out of the story. That being said, though, Avengers #1 is indeed a return to the core membership and heart of the team. Of course there are some, relatively speaking, newer faces but they are welcome ones. The issue is action packed and takes readers from place to place in fast movie scene cutting fashion. There is a lot of dialogue catching readers up to situations in the Marvel Universe but in some cases there isn’t enough explanation about certain individuals that appear in this issue. You have to be aware of what has been going on across the storylines to understand what’s happening. It’s not enough to completely lose readers but it may be halting to a readers flow. That having been said the story that they are starting here is definitely interest piquing as is the inclusion of certain heroes. Depending on where the story goes from here will determine how successful this new run is. Avengers #1 is fun but to say it’s a complete success on it’s own is premature.

Ed McGuinness is an excellent artist and a perfect choice to illustrate an Avengers book. While his style has always been very fitting for superheroes in general, it seems to have been watered down a lot in the pages of issue 1. McGuinness’ renditions of heroes would have been the perfect fit for this attempt to get back to basics. There are a number of times when his look does shine through but for the most part it seems to be just an echo of what it used to be. The art is good though, it’s just not as good as McGuinness is capable of. He does capture a classic epic feel to the characters and there is absolutely a strong return to basics vibe in the artwork. Mark Morales inkwork on this issue is on point. His work helps to bring out the epic feel of the heroes that McGuinness injects in them. The lines are solid, thick, and bold which exhibit some of the best qualities we look for in our heroes. David Curiel’s colors are one of the best things about this issue and really bring everything to life. Everything is very nicely deeply saturated and stunning which work well for this story. It is very attractive to the reader’s eye encourages the reader to really take everything in. Cory Petit rounds out the creative team with exceptional lettering for this issue. Everything is very readable and emotion building.

Will Avengers #1 be attractive to current readers? Yes. It builds off of recent storylines while at the same time trying to make a fresh start. Will it be attractive to classic readers of the original team? Possibly. The original members have, as is so often stated in movie and comic alike, gotten the band back together. There are a number of characters and situations, though that might make these readers shy away from upcoming issues unless they are given more of a back seat to the core team. Will this issue be attractive to MCU fans? Maybe. Though these characters and the ebb and flow of their relationships are one of the closest to the MCU versions we’ve seen in a while the other storylines, again, may cause brand new readers to not want to get “chocolate in their peanut butter.” Overall, though, this issue is well worth the read. The story is nicely written and the artwork is classic. The key will be to see where the next few issues take us and if they are able to capture the magic of the movies or the classical origin era.

The Verdict: 8.5/10.0 

 

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