Up until this point All-New All-Different Avengers has been nothing short of terrible, could this be the moment where the series turns the corner? Of course not. Why on Earth would it be?
The biggest problem with this series has been the atrocious choice in villains leading to underwhelming storylines. The success of both Justice League comics has come through the use of inspired antagonists, namely Rao and Darkseid. Both of these characters are fascinating God types who are steeped in mythos and intrigue. Their power is the stuff of many a nerdy argument and that is what makes them so great as comic characters. The best Mark Waid could manage was Warbringer. He brought some war. Not even a good war. More like the Anglo-Zanzibar one which was over in 38 minutes. Noteworthy only for how hilariously ill-conceived it was.
This issue takes place after the brief interlude with Warbringer and introduces another pointless rogue in the form of Cyclone. He is present for around half of the book and makes it a little bit windy. He also just spills the beans on who hired him whilst doing one of those moronic villain monologues that lazy writers tend to employ. He is taken down when his wind is no match for an ultra-dense Vision. Vision may not be the only name on this book that’s dense.
The rest of the book focuses on these new Avengers setting up shop in an abandoned hangar. That had the potential to be interesting as the group hasn’t been in such dire financial straits before. The door was open for all sorts of fun little additions to make a fuller narrative but all of those opportunities were missed in favour of giving them basically everything they need. They honestly don’t seem to be lacking any of the must have items from when they were rich aside from big Heli-carriers and Stark Tower. It would have made more sense for them to have absolutely nothing but they have all they need and the only ‘poor’ aspect that Waid has introduced is the dilapidated building that they keep it all in.
There is no greater attention paid to the building of relationships between characters either. Every interaction feels forced and devoid of personality just as the individuals do too. There is no spark between anyone and no real time afforded to create one. It seems that Waid is expecting his audience to just create their own pairings and, despite Tumblr being particularly efficient at that tedious practice, that just isn’t going to happen.
One absolutely ridiculous thing that happened in this comic came after the team had saved numerous people’s lives. Some of the survivors were shown to be disappointed that it wasn’t the real Avengers saving them and even angry that the team now had a black Cap and a female Thor. Yes, there are some ‘fans’ who have been vocal about these developments online but to insinuate that anyone would still be so unwarrantedly negative after having their life saved is asinine and undoes any helpful social commentary they were going for with this script. They could easily have added in some moments like these through news broadcasts and non-action sequences and it would have been much more believable and powerful.
There is, you’ll be relieved to hear, one good thing about this book. At the end there is a big question mark thrown up regarding the new Thor and whether she is quite as immortal as the last. It stems for something she says to Cap and has the potential to be an interesting avenue to go down although hopefully it will be in her own title and not this one.
Mahmud Asrar and Dave McCaig do a serviceable job on art although nothing really pops out as being above average. Each character looks as they should but none of them have any flair or defining feature that can make a book much better. If you want an example of character depiction helping a book to be all it can be you need look no further than the sublime ‘Lucifer’ which is on issue two of its run at the moment. One place where things go right is the lettering work whenever Thor speaks. It is suitably old timey and regal which conveys her manner of speech quite effectively. Cory Petit definitely deserves some props for that little slice of brilliance.
If this review feels at all like a summation of the entire series rather than just this one title, it is. The reason being that it is now off of the haul list and no further reviews will be done for this book. It has not been a fun ride and luckily it is now over. You may want to follow suit and spend that money on a better comic. Perhaps Old Man Logan?
Score: 1 out of 5.
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