The Avengers (and Spider-Man, I dunno his membership status right now) are stuck in time as blobs of jello! Will they survive Kang War One? Of course they will, we’ve already seen the solicits!
Avengers (2016) #2
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Mike Del Mundo
Colors: Mike Del Mundo with Marco d’Alfonso
Editor: Tom Breevort and Alanna Smith
The Avengers, minus Hercules, are all stuck in a plain white room (Guess we’re going to do a remake of “All Good Things” then.) where a mysterious figure approaches them. Revealing himself to be a future version of Kang the Conqueror, being trapped here with all other versions of him. He’s been feeding on time paradoxes to try and break the restraints holding them in limbo. (I hate temporal mechanics.) Their only hope? Hercules.
Who in the meanwhile has gone to Sybil, the oracle, who reveals that because nobody knows when he was born, since there are no records. Sybil gives him a pendant to bind him to the mortal plane (I’m willing to not question it, it’s Greek mythology.) and a key card for access to her private jet to head over to Viet-nam. (…Too easy) There, versions of Kang are eliminating a group of priests, and Hercules fails to save them before the Avengers assemble to take them on. Their Kang dies at the hands of another Kang, and they eventually are surrounded.
Seeing their fight is futile, Vision sends Wasp in time using their Kang’s time machine with Baby Kang in tow.
…Why are we reading this?
I’m not even saying that in the sense that it’s really that bad. In fact, once you get past technobabble worse than Star Trek’s, it’s actually pretty damn enjoyable. The dialogue is interesting and the characters who have more than five lines of dialogue actually have a nice dynamic. But it’s a massive slog to get to the good stuff, and worse off, it’s a time travel story. It’s one of the few things I can give Slott credit for (I Killed Tomorrow is one of his best stories in my opinion), but Waid doesn’t really condense it for somebody who doesn’t watch Doctor Who regularly to understand it. (aka Me.)
Mike Del Mundo continues to work well with pencils, but his colors cause continual suffering. Like I said in my review of the first issue, the colors work for Alex Ross’ more realistic style of art, but Del Mundo is a cartoonist first and foremost. It’s mostly the same comments I had last issue, but with less scrawny Peter Parker (none in fact) it’s vastly improved.
But, since this a Spider-centric review, let’s keep it to Spider-Man.
He does absolutely nothing.
It seems to be a curse that Spider-Man can’t escape. As cool as it is to see him on an Avengers roster (I say he can be on a team, but he has to stay solo in his solo title.) it’s notable that everybody uses Spider-Man as a joke character. They don’t really give him any role other than the slot of jokester, and even then it feels like they had no joke characters to use and just put him in because he’s beta Tony Stark.
All in all, on a Spider-Man grade, it doesn’t really live up to standards. He’s got two lines, and then he’s really just joking in the background. While focusing more on Hercules than on any of the other Avengers, as an Avengers story, it’s actually a pretty good story. If you’re only looking for Spidey material, this isn’t for you.
Spidey Grade: D+
Avengers Grade: B