When I first heard that Marvel was going to release a title called ‘Avengers Assemble’ that featured the team from Joss Whedon’s upcoming movie, I thought that it was just going to be a few random adventures haphazardly thrown together that featured the team from the movie. Also, I thought that it was done just to sell books to the new fans generated from the movies. It would act as a jumping on point for those new readers who’ve never picked up an Avengers title in their lives.
While I’m pretty sure that the second statement holds up to be true, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I was definitely wrong for thinking that this was going to be some lame book. When I walked into the comic book store and picked up the issue, one name changed my mind immediately: Bendis.
Brian Michael Bendis relaunched the Avengers franchise in 2004. He was one of the primary architects of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, and he wrote for major event storylines like ‘House of M’, ‘Secret Wars’, ‘Secret Invasion’, and ‘Siege’. The man knows what he’s doing when it comes to the Marvel Universe. Once I saw that name on the cover, I knew that this series was in good hands.
When I finished the issue, I was left wanting more. The story was set in the modern Marvel mainstream timeline. There was a brief introduction to the villains of the series, and then an organic gathering of the Avengers team. Each member that was sent on a mission had a purpose to be there. For example, since Black Widow and Hawkeye are spies, they were sent to spy on some criminal activity, and then when a superpowered threat attacked them, they called for backup, which happened to be Thor and Iron Man. Like I said, none of it was farfetched and all very organic.
The villains are really interesting to me too. The team of villains that forms in the first few pages refers to themselves as The Zodiac, but I wonder if it’s the same Zodiac that The Avengers have faced in the past, or if this is a whole new one together. I’m curious to see if there are any ties to the past here.
Another thing that I enjoyed was the banter between the characters, most notably Thor and Iron Man, especially when they’re teasing their opponent during a battle. I look forward to other interactions between team members, as I tend to do with Avengers books in general.
As for the art, Mark Bagley does a great job, per usual. I’ve always enjoyed his work on Ultimate Spider-man, and I still enjoy his work here. Something about the way he draws the Hulk makes him appear more human, and I really like that.
This series definitely stays afloat in the sea of Avengers titles in circulation currently. ‘Avengers Assemble’ is off to a great start and I can’t wait for issue two to hit comic book store shelves.
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #1
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art by MARK BAGLEY, DANNY MIKI, and PAUL MOUNTS