Welcome back to the Marvel Rundown! This week, the Avengers assemble an all new team, led by the one and only Captain Marvel — does this first issue stick the landing? Find out in our SPOILER-LITE review!

Looking to avoid spoilers? Jump down to our classic Rapid Rundown for a review of this week’s X-Men! Plus, we wanna hear from you! Have any thoughts about this week’s releases or any other Marvel news? Chat with us in the comments or on social media @comicsbeat! Be nice and maybe we’ll answer!

Avengers #1
Avengers #1

Avengers #1

Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: C.F. Villa
Color Artist: Federico Blee
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa knock this opening salvo for a new era of Avengers out of the park in a way that just feels good. We get a traditional assembling of the team throughout this issue, along with reminders of each character’s status quo and the prior status quo of this team. That’s expected at this point, and nothing to be surprised by.

But the way they’re able to truly capture these characters, while also grounding them in a way they haven’t felt in a long time, is incredibly refreshing. I’m all for bombast and adventure (and there’s plenty of that here), but without taking the time to get into the heads of these characters, it’s not gonna work.

MacKay has the voices down, and you can tell that he understands exactly who they are and what their motivations have to be. Villa is incredibly expressive in his character work, able to capture subtle nuances of the cast while not losing sight of the more explosive set pieces that come with a title like this.

Avengers #1
True that Cap’n

A dive into Carol Danvers’ thoughts, a reflection on the nature of being alive from the Vision, and the rejection of ‘godhood’ were all I needed to feel the draw of this book. It may be a stretch to call this a grounded issue of Avengers (especially for a first issue), but the stakes are far less focused on the events of the battle, and revolve much more around the needs of the team as a whole.

The main plot winds down with the reveal of Kang the Conqueror trapped in ‘the nothingness between moments,’ fresh off of his appearance in last year’s Timeless one-shot. While that issue left me scratching my head a bit, this one ends with the tease of something more, and the further continuation of whatever that story will wind up being feels more natural here. 

Colorist extraordinaire Federico Blee is the perfect partner to Villa for this issue. Blee keeps everything bright with hints of gold and orange throughout the issue, but can also match the scenery when moments become colder, and much less outright poppy. VC’s Cory Petit letters the issue with his usual precision, with a keen understanding of spacing and sfx placement that meshes the art and lettering into one seamless package.

Avengers #1
Just a gorgeous looking page

While the ending has a great hook for whatever’s on the horizon, the opening of the issue has a conversation I’m a bit more interested in. Carol and Tony have discussion about what the Avengers needed to be, and rather than act as a global police force, Carol explains how much she would prefer the team acts as firefighters: stopping threats as they happen, rather than imposing their authority on a given group of people.

I’m not an Avengers expert – more of an X-pert, I’d like to think – but this feels like what the team should be when it works. Seeing this team try to police threats and protect the world from what they think threats are leads to a lot more misunderstandings, rather than standing up for what’s right and working with the people. This team isn’t filled with Judging Leaders (no disrespect) — they’re the Avengers. They are of the people and should be for the people. And this comic does just that.

Verdict: BUY. While this isn’t a perfect comic, this is a damn good one, setting up the future of the team in a way that also captures who each of them are in a succinct package. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next.

Avengers #1
Here comes the big guy

Rapid Rundown!

X-Men #22
X-Men #22
  • X-Men #22
    • The secret organization Orchis has been chipping away at the Krakoan Nation, a step or two ahead of the X-Men, by undermining their relationship with humans and themselves. Add to that the turmoil between the team’s star heroes Cyclops and Jean Grey after the events of the recent Brood attack, and you have all the ingredients for an X-Men book. Without spoiling, writer Gerry Duggan drops some interesting gems that forward the story, develop characters, and up the ante for the Mutants as the X-Men break up an Orchis popup lab that offers “cures” to Mutants. The main X-book does a solid job of doing the superhero thing as well as continuing a bit of world-building, asking some very disturbing questions. Artist Joshua Cassara and color artist Marte Gracia deliver a gritty textured look to this high-octane issue. This book should have come out before the Free Comic Book Day Uncanny Avengers, as the events there seem to take place after this issue. —GC3

Next Week: Celebrate 60 with Fury #1 and the best X-Men gets a new mini with Storm #1!