It’s time for an annual! An annual about the Avengers during Christmas! This could be a lot of fun, so is it good?
Avengers Annual #1 (Marvel Comics)
It’s Christmas Eve as Shang-Chi is giving a tour of Avengers Tower to a group of down on their luck kids/teenagers. After they all leave, it turns out one of them with a rather odd power, has stayed behind to spend her time relaxing in Avengers Tower. Meanwhile, Captain America is left alone to guard the tower as Dr. Banner, Black Widow, and Iron Man all head out to do something for Christmas.
It won’t be a Silent Night for sure.
This issue was a simple one-shot by Kathryn Immonen (who recently did a run on Journey Into Mystery) and it was a ton of fun. The humor was great, with just about every single joke hitting the mark, whether a sight gag or two characters talking to one another (the entire opening is an utter blast). Everyone’s personality is a lot simpler and less serious, but with the tone the comic is presenting, that is not that much of a problem. The whole issue is akin to Deconnick’s run over on Avengers Assemble, being more focused on characters and humor rather than trying to be overly serious. It works perfectly for what the writer is trying to go for.
Besides humor, there is also a lot of heart in Avengers Annual #1. The interactions with the characters, witnessing the different ways they celebrate Christmas, and how much they care about one another is rather sweet. Perhaps the biggest example and key moment of this is the scene where Cap volunteers at a Soup Kitchen of sorts and spends time talking to a former soldier like himself. It’s rather serious in comparison to the rest of the book, but it is such a strong moment that also fits in well that the change in tone is not even noticed.
The artwork is brought to us by David Lafuente and he does a good job of things. His style has a cartoonish and sillier look to it than most books, reminiscent of Chris Bachalo to some degree. It does work for the tone of the book and really helps sell a lot of the humor, especially with the girl and her duplicates that pop up. It also really does well in capturing the serious tone during one scene, so it doesn’t slip there. It’s a well-drawn book overall.
- A well-told Christmas one-shot.
- Full of good humor, heart, and character.
- The artwork is very fitting for the story.
- Ultimately very simple in scope.
- If you like serious stories, this is not for you.
Is It Good?
Avengers Annual #1 is a very good Christmas book that has a lot of humor — as well as a lot of heart. It’s great for any Avengers fan, new or old. If you are looking for something to help get you into the season, give this a shot.