Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Avengers #1

   It's something of a relief, getting the title of this book back to The Avengers after a year of the All New, All Different Avengers.

   The team has gone through a change in the lineup, as (post Civil War II) the three young members - Ms. Marvel, Nova and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) - have split to form the Champions.

   With Iron Man also out of the picture (for mysterious reasons so far), the team has to do some recruiting, and brings in some big names, including the real Spider-Man, the new Wasp and the same old Hercules.

   They get a great opponent right out of the box, as Kang the Conqueror turns up, looking for information the Vision is hiding.

   Kang's a terrific villain, with some quirky new features giving him a twist this time around.

   As a few Avengers scribes have realized (including Steve Englehart, Roger Stern, Kurt Busiek and Brian Michael Bendis), Kang is a terrific opponent because you can have a helluva knock-dowm, drag-out fight with him, defeat him, and he can crawl away, heal his wounds, make new plans - and then attack you again just moments after your last fight.

   It's a handy thing, being a master of time. As in this issue, written by Mark Waid, Kang makes full use of his advantage, attacking the team in a way that they're defenseless to stop.

   I like Mike del Mundo's artwork, but I'm not sure this is the right book for him. His painted stylings are almost too surreal in places - characters are distorted, layouts can be difficult to follow, and there are odd choice here. Why is Hercules using a gun? Why is the Wasp riding Redwing?

   I'm so easily confused.

   Still, nice to see a classic version of the team back in action - and you have to love that Alex Ross cover.

Grade: B+


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