By Mark Waid, Adam Kubert, Sonia Oback, Dono Sanchez Almara, Romilo Fajardo, Edgar Delgado, and Cory Petit
Have you ever been on a date with someone and it is going well? You know the feeling when you think they are into you and they are flirting with you and giving you the big eyes. These signs make you feel confident enough to make a move, go in for the goodnight kiss. When you try to lean in, the person turns and slaps you in the face and makes you feel stupid for even attempting to kiss them. That is what this issue will do to you. This is the issue that gets you ready for a fulfilling goodnight kiss and instead leaves you looking like a jackass with your lips puckered waiting for something that will never happen. This is this issue of All-New All-Different Avengers that ties into the Pleasant Hill mini-event and this comic has a lot going on and it’s kind of difficult to follow. The issue starts with some great character development between the Avengers, with some great moments between Vision and Ms. Marvel and Captain American and Thor (Jane Foster). Then, once you get nice and comfortable and start to have expectations this book will deliver, it takes a left turn and you land in Pleasant Hill with just a tornado of characters and activity happening around you.
Usually, Mark Waid can do no harm, which is why this issue is such a disappointment. When his name appears on a comic, there is a certain level of expectation that comes with the writing, character development, and dialogue. The first eleven or so pages do deliver that, and then the rest of the pages become an overworked sequence with too many characters fighting for witty one liners and action sequences. Waid does not disappoint in terms of the great character interactions we get at the beginning of the comic, but nothing really interesting or unexpected happens once Pleasant Hill becomes introduced in a manner that feels forced and out of place. Honestly, does this new group of Avengers even need to be involved in this mini-event? What are they going to contribute to elevate the story? Hopefully, we can all put our collective trust in Mark Waid and hope for a pay-off that will make this issue feel worth it.
The art really reflected the bi-polar nature of the story throughout this issue. The art in the beginning was purposeful, with bold lines and great paneling to show character reactions to meaningful exchanges. The art team of Kubert and colors by the collective team of Oback, Sanchez Almara, Fajardo, and Delgado has delivered some truly beautiful panels with a particular favorite of the conversation between Captain America, Jane Foster, and Redwing. The juxtaposition of sickly Jane Foster, sitting next to Captain America having a meaningful conversation with Redwing eating a dead rodent in the background is truly striking. Then, bam! The art becomes jumbled and hard to follow with tons of characters competing for space and we lose the attention to detail from the earlier half of the issue.
Of course we should see the Standoff event to completion because if there is one thing to believe in with Marvel comics is, it’s to trust great writers. So, let’s chose to trust Mark Waid and believe there is a great payoff awaiting the readers of this mini-event. Sure, this comic does have some issues with the disjointed nature of the story, but that could be part of the event and thereby possibly intentional. Ether way, there is some good stuff happening between the members of Vision, Captain America, Thor, Ms. Marvel, Nova, and Spider-Man becoming a team and we deserve to give them the benefit of the doubt.