By Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, David Curiel & VC’s Cory Petit
The Avengers’ big three have been on their own separate paths and out of action for awhile, with Marvel’s focus elsewhere. It feels like a step backward at times to see them return especially when the company has been telling successful stories with the newer generation of heroes, but at the same time, when the words “Avengers Assemble”, are spoken by Captain America, you can’t help but feel as though you’re going to be in for an incredibly wild ride as writer Jason Aaron and penciller Ed McGuinness, once more unite Marvel’s heavyweights, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America under one banner, just in time for Infinity War, because after that film, you’re going to want more of these characters.
Avengers #1 is incredibly ambitious and sets the stage for the mystery well, providing a reason as to why Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Thor Odinson, now unworthy of Mjolnr, should get back together in the first place. Several panels focus on the three of them talking and catching up on past events, a convenient but entertaining info-dumping for new readers who aren’t caught up on Tony or Thor’s adventures respectively and are perhaps wondering why they’re different from their movie counterparts, but the banter between the three is always fun. VC’s Cory Petit’s lettering really helps make the dialogue of the key players stand out, emphasising Thor’s dialogue and really helping to flesh out the unique voices of each of the three characters.
They aren’t the only three Avengers who you’ll meet in this issue as there are other fan-favourite characters that show up here as well as Avengers #1 goes big in embracing an epic scale. It’s largely a set-up issue, but Aaron manages to avoid the cliché X-Men: First Class-style assembling montages in favour of throwing us right into the thick of things. The mystery is interesting and it’s something compelling enough to instantly engage readers.
Whilst the team hasn’t quite united together yet, the idea of a Captain America, Captain Marvel, Thor, Doctor Strange, She-Hulk, Black Panther and Iron Man team sounds really fascinating and has loads of potential, especially for those fans new to comics who may be wondering how Captain Marvel would interact with the team. With much of the main focus on Iron Man, Thor and Captain America, there isn’t much time spent with the other characters. Readers do get a taste of what they can do in action, though, as the issue establishes what the Avengers are and what they’re about, with every character feeling like they belong and aren’t merely tacked on.
Ed McGuinness’s pencils are really good here and stand out, bringing his own unique visual flair that’s able to get the most out of the action sequences as much as the quieter moments around the bar. His visuals aren’t overly cartoonish and almost have a cinematic feel at times that fits right at home in Marvel’s line-up whilst at the same time, bringing his own distinctive visual flair to the table that clearly makes this a McGuinness book. More importantly, the art rises to the occasion that the sheer scale of this book requires – it is quite literally, a universal affair. David Curiel’s colours help add an extra dynamic to the art that doesn’t feel too extravagant, bringing plenty of detail to character expressions and the actions sequences alike, allowing McGuinness’ pencils to truly feel fleshed out and dynamic, helped along by Mark Morales’ inks. There is no poorly drawn page in this book – each panel is a visual treat.
Avengers #1 makes the old feel new again and the book is, based off the first issue alone, a worthy relaunch. With the book in the safe hands of the premiere creative team of Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, David Curiel and VC’s Cory Petit, things can only go up from here.