Thursday, January 28, 2016

All-New All-Different Avengers #4

   Ah, that cover, designed to shock and draw in potential new readers - and I must admit, I never thought I'd see a cover of a Marvel comic that featured Thor kissing Captain America.

   But this issue of All-New All-Different Avengers offers much more than a surprising lip-lock. Writer Mark Waid has wisely returned the team to its original concept - namely, an interesting mix of heroes who band together to fight all manner of evil.

   After the terrific long-running, complex story just completed by Jonathan Hickman in Secret Wars, Waid has streamlined the series, focusing instead on character and shorter stories.

   It's astonishing to realize that this is a "done in one" issue, with a beginning, middle and end. (Of course, it does contain subplots that will thread through future issues.)

   The joy of the issue - aside from lots of hoo-hah action - is the character interactions, as this new team starts to pull together (or, in some cases, annoy each other), trying to overcome limited resources and the new team dynamics.

   Oh, and we see the return of a beloved classic character.

   I really like the kinetic, expressive art by Mahmud Asrar - he captures the lighthearted appeal of the younger heroes, while giving the established team members their due.

   The issue has a modern look, with the kind of classic storytelling and good humor Waid brought to his run on Daredevil. Here's hoping for the same success here (though I must admit I'd be happy to have the original Cap and Thor take their place on the team).

   Uh, no kissing required.

Grade: A-


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