Marvel NOW! – Week 14

When MeanOldPig shared the cover image for U.S.Avengers #1 a few months back, I thought it was a joke – a goofy fanart pin-up at best or, at worst, an authentic cover, but for some tongue-in-cheek series along the lines of Vote Loki. But, no, this was really happening. So the questions were: how is this coming together… and why? At the time, Ewing’s off-kilter New Avengers book hadn’t really established its own direction, awkwardly caught between an attempt at picking up the pieces from Hickman’s Avengers World, and the goal of defining itself as a genuine, albeit disjointed, superhero team with a place in the All-New All-Different Marvel universe.

file_000-2By the time the series ended, a few weeks ago, storylines involving triple-agents, S.H.I.E.L.D. shenanigans, and the only version of Reed Richards that we’ve seen in print for more than a year – the evil sliced-up Maker from the Ultimate Universe – had been hurriedly concluded. Now, back to figuring out exactly what this Avengers squad is supposed to be, and who makes the roster.

Roberto da Costa, formely known as the mutant hero Sunspot, and now the latest hero to adopt the alter ego Citizen V, has taken his Avengers Idea Mechanics out from the shadows and boldly partnered with the U. S. of A. His new Avengers team is just as weird as it was in the last volume. In fact, maybe even more so. But somehow, this time I’m digging it.

Gone is the token recognizable Avenger; following Civil War II, Hawkeye has his own issues (and new issues of Occupy Avengers to dick around in). That’s not Iron Man, but a new Iron Patriot, this time captained by Dr. Toni Ho. Speaking of captains, that’s not Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, or even Sam Wilson wielding the shield. That’s Danielle Cage – Luke and Jessica’s kid – as a Captain America from an alternate future. That’s not any Hulk you’re used to seeing, either. Hell, it’s not even the Red Hulk any of us assumed it to be. Round it off with Squirrel Girl, Cannonball, and a repurposed Pod, and you’ve got maybe the oddest group calling themselves Avengers since that gang of goofballs from the Great Lakes.

Maybe it’s the means of introduction, or maybe it’s the table-setting with some equally oddball adventures looming, but for now, I’m buying what you’re selling, Ewing and Medina.

DC Rebirth: Week 33
Ryan Choi is a refreshingly unconventional lead for a superhero story, with his phobias, allergies, and boring hobbies, but a fresh main character can’t save this book from feeling exceedingly fast paced. Over two years go by in this single origin story issue, which would be fine if most of it wasn’t so focused on expository dialogue and scientific jargon. That said, this is an interesting “rebirth” of The Atom, worth a read for fans of the hero. Though it would have been nice to get a taste of the teased “microverse.”- IP

December 28 | New Release Highlights | January 11