One of the main goals of superhero comic books is giving each battle enough hype so that the stakes and dangers in play feel important. Though in a week of reading comics we may read many battles, each one needs to be hyped up respectfully. After reading Avengers #4 it’s safe to say…it’s time to get hyped!
Avengers #4 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the preview to find out more!
Why does this book matter?
Mark Waid knows superhero comics–just look at his runs on the fantastic All-New All-Different Avengers and Daredevil just to name a recent pair. So far this series has made time travel feel unique and different whilst throwing the entire Avengers history in danger. Time to bring Kang what he deserves.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Make no mistake, this is a Kang issue from beginning to end so if you’re expecting superhero battles and appearances go elsewhere. Waid captures the voice of Kang via captions with nary a single bit of dialogue in this issue. Instead, this issue focuses entirely on Kang recounting how he got to where he is now, which makes you wonder if maybe history is about to be rewritten. His epic tale moves throughout time, from ancient Egypt to the year 4000 as he recounts his rise to power. He recounts his mistakes and attempts to correct his failures, which helps solidify his very human approach to it all. Waid uses this issue to effectively set up and hype the next issue as it all leads to a cliffhanger that’ll get you giddy for next issue’s fight comic extravaganza.
The art by Michael Del Mundo (with color assist from Marc D’Alfonso) is straight up gorgeous. Told via full page and double page spreads, the art does well to capture the scope of the future, time travel, and Kang’s power. A recurring theme of melting clocks ala Salvador Dali helps add a connective tissue to the issue, but also pays off later with a surprising reaction to said clocks.
It can’t be perfect can it?
When this is collected, this issue will be even better. That’s because it serves more as a transition to the next issue rather than an entertaining masterpiece on its own. For what it’s trying to do, though, it succeeds masterfully and hypes you up for the next issue. It also helps convey the storied history of one of the Avengers’ greatest villains. On its own it’s a nice primer for Kang in general, though the lack of superheroes and fighting will disappoint many. It does seem to wander in its narrative, possibly on purpose to hold back the fighting that’ll ensue in the next issue, which gives the narrative here a more wistful and dreamlike quality. The pace is fine, but slow in its purpose.
Floating clocks are cool.
Is It Good?
Get hyped–the next issue of Avengers is going to bring it. This issue does a great job setting things up, reminding us of Kang’s amazing history and it does all that with beautiful full and double page spreads. It’s a testament to art and Avengers history.
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