A new team of Avengers, Post Secret Wars Assembles to handle a threat no single hero could. Well, one did and he made a mess of it.
WRITER: Mark Waid
ARTIST: Adam Kubert
COLOR ARTIST: Sonia Oback
LETTERER: Cory Petit
COVER ARTIST: Alex Ross
EDITOR: Axel Alonso
STORY: As the old saying goes: “There would come a day like no other where a threat no single hero could defeat.” Of course one tried and look what happens.
In this case, the arrival of Sam Alexander Nova’s foe, Warbringer, last seen hurtling towards the Sun in volume 1 #31 of his own series. The Chitauri warlord teleports into the former Avengers Tower now owned by a mysterious and apparently powerful CEO Mr. Gryphon. However, Warbringer’s arrival was secretly manipulated by Mr. Gryphon, who hates Nova too for some reason and has more powers than Loki. The two start to formulate a deal when Gryphon discovers Miles Morales has been watching them the whole time. A fight breaks out leading to the assembling of Nova, Captain America (Sam Wilson), Iron Man where Warbringer quickly defeats the heroes leading to the Vision, Thor (Jane Foster), Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) and Nova (Sam Alexander) to help the fledgling heroes stop Warbringer from opening a portal to a future Chitauri army from laying waste to the Earth. In the end, this mix or new and old heroes defeat Warbringer and decide to form a new team. Even though they have no funding, no government ties or anything, but hey, it’s good old super heroing.
THOUGHTS: In the first issue is a nice set up, the characterization between everyone is spot on. I really enjoyed the opening between Sam and Tony with the girl scout cookies and how Tony has seen better financial days. I also enjoyed seeing Miles using his chameleon powers here, most writers tend to use Miles venom blast for his appearances, but Mark Waid handles Miles powers and introduction very well. Adam Kubert’s artwork is always a treat and I did enjoy his pages with the power of the mysterious Gryphon and Warbringer. His Miles and Iron Man/Hulk Buster were well depicted. I also enjoyed the battle and quieter scenes. For a first issue it’s nice, but nothing ground breaking.
The second issue was not bad, but I was waiting for the big push, Warbringer shouldn’t be this much of a problem for these heroes and he comes across a little too clever, not to mention Kamala gets a bit too angry at Nova being in on her turf. While it was established in the back up story in issue #1, why Ms. Marvel and Nova aren’t getting along it seems like a bit of a plot contrivance to have it happen when Warbringer is threatening everyone and Nova is just trying to help. Because one thing Kamala has never come across is making a teenager fit when people need saving. I get that Waid was trying to show they don’t like each other much, but that so forced.
The Vision showing up was also just a little too convenient, but it was the Vision and his characterization was perfect. Issue 3 finally put all the ducks in a row and put everything into perspective. How Iron Man comes up with the plan to defeat Warbringer. How Ms. Marvel drops her anger at Nova to save the day and the very chilling ending between the Vision and Nova when it’s revealed that Warbringer would have never attacked or found his way back to Earth if it wasn’t for Sam and the Vision basically blackmailing him. Which puts into a nice tie in with the Visions own book right now. Something the first two issues had a major problem with was on a lot of status quoes that were not being answered due to the delay of Secret Wars. Why was Tony Stark not having the funds, how Miles is now swinging around New York and why he would be at the old Stark Tower. Now, that the book has ended, we got most of our answers now, but delays hurt the set up for this book. Especially, when the Free Comic Book Day of ANAD Avengers was fantastic story to characterizations as a done in one issue. Waid has always been about the character then the story. In fact, Miles and Tony have some of the best characterization in all three issues with Captain America/Sam Wilson right behind them. However, Sam and Kamala’s characterization comes off way too Switched at Birth emotions. Basically, they are two teenagers reacting in two different ways. It was ok for the backup story, but issue 2 was really forced. However, I did like how Miles plays the peace keeper as the story goes on.
A big problem is Mr. Gryphon, who is apparently an established villain in a new identity. While he does come across as both powerful and a bit chilling. His motivations are hidden, just so they can be hidden. It’s the classic: “I have a master plan, but no one will hear about it, because then the story is over in issue 1.” In fact, issues 1-2 could have been one book with the conclusion with issue 3. Also, both Miles and Tony drop the fact that they know Gryphon is hiding something, especially when Miles witnessed Warbringer and Gryphon talking with each other. Yet, it’s quickly swept under the rug in: “We’ll check that out later.” I have to admit, Warbringer wasn’t a bad villain to use for the setup of the All-New, All-Different Avengers and his fate was really shocking to the point you felt bad about it. However, with issue 1 being so paint by the numbers book and issue 2 dragging, it was nice to see it all wrapped up in a nice bow with issue 3 and does want me to stay with the book for the near future.
Issue 1: C+
Issue 2: C
Issue 3: B-