By Al Ewing, Gerardo Sandoval and Dono Sanchez Almara
It looks like there will be a boatload of Avengers titles flooding the market in the near future. This week, New Avengers #2 hits shelves, (while Secret Wars is still unfinished), and we get another glimpse at this new team in action. In order to fairly judge a series, you should probably give it at least a full arc, but sometimes you just know how bad a series is going to be in less than that.
Al Ewing is a veteran writer who has dabbled in the Avengers universe before. He’s been pretty decent in his stint there, but this issue is awful. The premise itself is beyond cheesy. Ultimate Reed Richards is probably the only saving grace in this book. Ewing does a good job of depicting him as a demented character, and we’re all interested to see what he’ll do next. Crystal-headed anything is just ridiculous and dumb, even for a comic book. If that’s not lame enough for you, they also have some gamma radiation in them so they bulk up like the hulk. Ultimate Reed, or the Maker, has been wasted as a great villain in this story so far. Hawkeye is an A-list character that will be in this title for a bit, but he honestly has one of the cheesiest lines in the issue, asking the team if they want to be the “New Avengers” because they earned the name today. This is just absolutely below par writing and a terrible idea for a story.
The pencils are handled by Gerardo Sandoval with colors by Dono Sanchez Almara. Sandoval Has some decent panels in this issue, mostly in the beginning dealing with the Maker. The art is moody and dark, just like the character, so it works. Once we move past that, the art takes a nosedive. Characters’ bodies get disproportionate and at one point Sunspot has barracuda teeth. This whole issue just doesn’t click, but the crystal heads do look decent. The colors by Dono Sanchez Almara don’t help either. They come off as muddy in a lot of panels and just seem too dark. The art isn’t great, but it’s only one of the many problems wrong with this book.
There definitely is something “all-new and all-different” about New Avengers: it’s that the book is bad. Al Ewing is capable of a lot better than what we saw in these first two issues. The art leaves a ton to be desired and looks too much like a manga book. I have no idea how Marvel can fix this, but they need to figure it out fast.