Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Avengers Assemble #1 Review
There comes a time when every Marvel reader has to ask, "What's the point of this?" We have four ongoing Avengers series, and some minis in there two. Why do we have this colorful #1 comic? Then it hits us that the film is coming out. They even proudly display the film logo and its release on the top of the cover. See, whenever a film with a comic book character comes out, the company of said character usually tries to take advantage of it with comics. Sales getting boosted being the main goal. Enter Avengers Assemble #1. What's special about this series, however, is that instead of taking place in the movie universe as a prequel, it takes place in the canon 616 universe. Basically their trying to appease both sides: current readers, and new readers looking forward to the film. And the shocking part? They succeed.
Official description from Marvel:
• The Avengers Versus The *Brand-New* Zodiac! • One Of The Greatest Avengers Villains Of All Time Gets Reinvented For The Modern Age Just In Time For The Blockbuster Movie Event Of The Summer! • A Perfect Jumping-On Point Featuring The Cast Of The Summer Blockbuster But In Marvel Universe Continuity!
Now why would I, a longtime reader, be even remotely interested in picking this series up? It's no surprise that I really can't stand the current Avengers series. I'm sure many would agree. When I saw the description and cover art for this, it was just like the first time I saw The New 52 Justice League: it looked fantastic. I wanted to read something 'fresh' with Earth's Mightiest Heroes. And this series looks to provide that. It's colorful, simple, and yet effective. Here we have the formation of the Zodiac, a classic Marvel villain group. The story isn't anything we haven't seen before. The first page has a guy calling himself 'Cancer' with a bunch of other people saying that together they're strong and all that. It's nothing new, the Avengers gather up, Hulk looks to join up next issue, etc. Longtime fans knows how the this is going to go, but it's really exciting for new fans jumping in. It is the perfect jumping on point, but I, a longtime reader, also had a blast reading it. There are some major flaws, however. Mainly the writing.
Bendis is one my least favorite writers in the industry currently. His 'street-humor' just gets on my nerves, and I'm sure many would agree. I will admit I was thrilled at the news that he will be leaving the main title. Seeing his name on the cover of this issue had me skeptical . Granted, his writing style here is different than the main title's. It's basically aimed at newer fans. It's by no means bad, except for a few things. The Hulk has some of the worst writing I've ever seen for the character, even the Marvel Adventures' version has better writing. The trying-to-be-humorous scene with Hawkeye and Black Widow was pretty awful. I will admit that there are some genuinely humorous scenes, such as Iron Man saying that he wants his building getting blown up less and that he isn't made of money. Besides these rare priceless moments, the writing isn't particurarly good most of the time. Basically, if the book had a better writer, this issue would have gotten an easy 9/10. What it lacks in writing, it makes up in the art department.
Mark Bagley is one fantastic artist. This issue just had magnificent art. It puts the main title's art to great shame. This guy is up to standards with the great Jim Lee over at Justice League. (Not quite that great, but still very good.) The art really brings out the action, it's dynamic stuff. Also, Avengers Tower has never looked more fantastic. The cover is what grabbed me from the start. It's a nice little homage (or as many would say, rip-off) of the cover to Justice League #1. Featuring just the cast of the film was a smart tactic on Marvel's part. The pacing and fast-paced action makes this comic an extremely enjoyable ride, nothing dull here folks.
Overall, Avengers Assemble #1 is pretty much everything you expected. A simple, colorful jumping on point in relation to the upcoming film. I had a blast with it. It felt good to take a breath of fresh air and read a simple Avengers comic not mentioning all the stories going on currently in the Marvel world. Explosive, simple, and just fun. The only real negative is the writing, which is holding the comic from getting a 'great' rating. The art is utterly fantastic however. If you're a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, looking to jump into the Marvel world, or just looking for a fun comic book story, you'll want to pick up Avengers Assemble #1,