A month ago Marvel launched the worst comic of its entire reboot so far, All-New All-Different Avengers. Fast forward to now and issue two has hit the stands and it has actually improved! You still shouldn’t buy it though.
The story follows on immediately from where it left off last time out with Spidey, Iron-Man, and Cap recovering from their encounter with Warbringer. From the off it is noticeable that the characters have more chemistry between them as relationships begin to be defined. Spider-Man certainly has his own brand of humour back and is actually quite enjoyable in certain parts of the book. Sadly, though, he is the only one who is starting to grow on readers as the others remain horrendously one dimensional. Stark still doesn’t sound right as he has none of his cocksure swagger that made him so unbelievably popular in the first place. Instead he is nothing more than a bland automaton that may well look the part but certainly doesn’t act it. The same can really be said for the rest of the cast as Ms. Marvel is unbelievably irritating in her every action. Her focus on saving some houses over stopping a towering terror seems unrealistic and downright idiotic. How are people meant to get behind a character that is so instantly unlikable? Nova is also an empty headed caricature whose actions and motivations are not clear nor is there any incentive given to figure them out. Everyone depicted here is still just a bland, run of the mill superhero with no creative spark put into them whatsoever. Oh, and that social commentary that was so welcome last time? Yeah that’s gone.
It is honestly amazing that Mark Waid has managed to take The Avengers and make them all so dreary. It just shouldn’t be possible to do that to Marvel’s most important, dynamic, and exciting license especially in the span of just two issues. Sure they do have an altered line-up with new personalities but that doesn’t explain a failing of such epic proportions.
That’s not to say that everything in this book is terrible though. There is one, and only one, place where things have really picked up and that is the pacing of the story. Now that the team are all together it appears as though the dreaded getting to know you stage is done with. Of course their relationships will likely continue to develop and mature beyond this point but now that every team member has been introduced and united against a common enemy it allows the writer to pen a more action packed, tonally appropriate comic book.
Adam Kubert is at the helm for the art once again and just like last time there is really nothing worth mentioning from him. The characters are all flat and lifeless as are the settings which makes for a thoroughly uninteresting read. Colouring is a fair amount better but that is to be expected from someone as talented as Sonia Oback. She is actually the only shining star on this book and is honestly being wasted here, perhaps she should be transferred over to a worthier project as she has shown how valuable she is with her work on the new Hulk series.
Thanks to the pacing and Spidey this month’s offering is an improvement over the first but do not take that to mean that it is good. It isn’t and it probably never will be. The fairest and smartest thing to do would be to let the current team finish their first story arc and then reassign this book to a more able group. If that doesn’t happen then this book is doomed to join the long list of cancelled series.
Score: 2 out of 5.