After the huge set up in the first issue, ‘Avengers World’ continues to look at each situation separately to see how the sub-teams of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are dealing with the various threats. In the last issue, Smasher, Sunspot, and Cannonball stepped into the spotlight as they were sent to investigate Barbuda, the sovereign island nation belonging to AIM that appears to be evolving at an accelerated rate. We also got to learn about Izzy’s implied superhero lineage while finding her in a less than ideal situation by the end of the book.
In the most recent issue, the focus shifts to Madripoor, which happens to be uprooting itself thanks to the ancient dragon whose head the island sits on. Falcon, Wolverine, Black Widow, and Shang-Chi are on the scene to restore order, but it’s really the Master of Kung-Fu that emerges a the star of this book as he takes on the Gorgon, the new leader of the Hand that is controlling the dragon.
It’s no secret that I love Shang-Chi. Every time he pops up in an issue, I’m quick to write about him in detail. One might assume that I enjoy seeing Asians represented in the pages of Marvel Comics because I myself am Asian, but I legitimately like reading adventures that he is a part of. I feel like Shang embodies an aspect of comic books that we don’t get too much of these days. There are a ton of books with action and adventure, but the medium, at least in regards to Marvel, has moved away from martial arts books. Recently, it was announced that Iron Fist would be starring in his own series and that book would contain a lot of that sort of thing, but having Shang be a member of the Avengers adds a whole new level to the genre. It manages to mix the run of the mill superhero story with the martial arts genre to create a harmonious balance that appeals to fans of both sorts of stories. This issue was a prime example of classic ninja-esque tales, but by having Shang featured in this series opens up the possibilities of more crossovers between the different styles of comic book storytelling represented by each hero on the team. Basically, I love everything that Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer are doing with the team because they offer not only a diverse roster of Avengers, but diversity in the types of stories that they can tell because of the variety of characters and genres that they’ve surrounded themselves with.
Not only was the writing extremely fun to follow and very reminiscent of Bruce Lee movies, the artwork was pretty spectacular as well. I’m a fan of Stefano Caselli’s work, but in this issue his collaboration with Antonio Fabela, Frank Martin, & Edgar Delgado got to delve into something different by paying homage to old school Asian artwork. When Shang is describing all the warriors that he’s drawing from, the panels that depicted each person were really gorgeous. Caselli emulated the style pretty flawlessly and the colorists did a great job with the colors to make them more ancient scroll looking. It was a really nice touch to accent the already awesome art of the book.
While Shang-Chi isn’t exactly in the best of situations following the battle with the Gorgon, his journey to get to the final page was action-packed and a lot of fun. It’s almost a bummer that we have to check in with another team in the next issue because I’m anxious to find out what happens to him. I can’t wait to follow up with Shang’s fate, but I’m also excited to see what the writers have for us next. This title has definitely earned it’s place on my pull list.
AVENGERS WORLD #3
Written by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Spencer
Art by Stefano Caselli, Frank Martin, Antonio Fabela, & Edgar Delgado
Cover by Rags Morales & David Curiel