All-New, All-Different Avengers #1 Review (Week of Nov 11)
The fourth new Avengers book to drop for Marvel’s ‘All-New, All-Different’ line is aptly titled All-New, All-Different Avengers. I was already excited for this book due to it’s brilliant cast: Sam Wilson, Vision, Nova, Miles Morales, Kamala Khan, Thor, and Iron Man. Not to mention that the cast will feel fresh given the inclusion of five legacy characters (six if you count Tony not being an unforgivable dick anymore after his predecessor perished along with Earth-616). I love the original versions, but with so many stories back logged and a push to bring in new readers it makes complete sense to diversify the line-up no matter how much old fans scream in protest. Give it a rest guys. You know that the OG versions will return post-haste so just take it for what it is: something different.
Regarding the content of the premier issue I will say it wasn’t what I expected. Usually you get to see the entire team introduced in the first issue, but Mark Waid chose to go in a different direction. Instead of the usual ensemble final scene, Waid managed to restrain himself in a decision that could ultimately prove better for the series. He instead introduces Cap and Tony in an amusing, and politically charged, scene that flushes out the duo’s relationship. It’s interesting to note the similarities between the contents of this scene and Cap’s solo series Sam Wilson – Captain America. I’ll spare you the spoilers so you can enjoy the scene as I did, but let’s just say that the public/media is having a difficult time adjusting to an African American Cap (much like a portion of comic book fandom). Whatever the case Cap and Tony’s jocular and competitive relationship feels different from TonyxSteve, but echoes of their camaraderie are certainly present between Tony and Sam.
The next character introduced is Miles Morales who promptly bumps into one of young Nova’s foes: the Chi’tauri Warbringer. The youth-heavy dynamic is already interesting as we see in the scene that follows the nascent young heroes definitely need the maturity, perspective, and experience provided by the vets.
The art must be acknowledged as well since both the main story and it’s back up are visually captivating. Particularly so in scenes with lots of motion. Adam Kubert certainly knows how to convert imagined-emotion into expression and convey tension and suspense within his images.
Lastly it is great to note the amount of interaction between the Avengers and the public. We get to see Sam save a family and actually stick around to talk to the assembled crowd afterwards. I don’t know if Marvel thought this schtick was played out or if we readers were bored with it, but I cannot for the life of me remember the last time I saw that in an Avengers book (excluding Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign press conference). It assimilates the characters as a part of the world around them and not above it which was the general feel of Hickman’s most recent run. The change of pace is more in line with what Marvel began as and should be and I am grateful it was identified and corrected by whoever is responsible!
In the backup issue Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) meets Sam Alexander (Nova). I’ll admit when I saw the back up story I almost passed it up as I am wont to do when I see extra pages after the “To be continued…”. However, this supplementary story was certainly worth anyone’s time.
As an older comic book fan it is easy to lose sight of where the industry started. Initially marketed more toward young readers, mainstream comics have become almost exclusively an adolescent to adult hobby. Indeed there are few comics, even from Marvel, that I could in good conscience lend to my 7 year old nephew. Inappropriate content aside, comics have strayed away from their youthful roots in other areas. Characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men were so relatable for children in the 60’s. Saving the world is cool and all, but nowadays there isn’t a whole lot for kids to relate to in mainstream comics. The characters and stories have all matured to a point where the themes and subject matter is geared almost exclusively to the adult world. This backup story perfectly capitalizes on the brilliant new line of young heroes and splendidly channels the bright and nostalgic feel of 60’s Marvel.
Kamala and Sam have a fun and awkward encounter that feels more like a middle school dance scene than an encounter between super heroes, but they did say that this was going to be All-New and All-Different. The dialogue is natural, the interaction believable, and the atmosphere is hilarious. I haven’t smile at a comic that way in a long time.