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The recently renumbered Avengers series is out this week and it has been seven long months in the making. Ever since Jason Aaron’s exciting yet polarizing Marvel Legacy #1 issue, fans have been pondering how he’ll tackle the greatest superhero team of all time. This issue is a lot like Avengers: Infinity War due to its epic nature and scope, and there are a lot of characters to check in on as well as villains to anticipate.
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Jason Aaron is taking over the Avengers and delivering two stories for the price of one! In one corner we have the Avengers of one million years ago who are all powerful and ready for a fight. In the other, we have the core of Thor, Cap, and Iron Man ready to take on a new era of heroics. But how do these stories connect? We find out here!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This first issue is very good at feeling new and old — and I’m not just talking about the Avengers from one million years ago. It opens with the original Avengers (which includes Phoenix, Odin, Black Panther, Starbrand, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, and Iron Fist, as revealed in Marvel Legacy) and the current predicament on Earth. The story reveals a dangerous threat not just to Earth and the prehistoric man, but to the universe itself. Aaron then cuts to Thor, Cap and Iron Man, as if to remind us it’s this core that makes the Avengers so great. It’s a reminder that we may learn about one of the wildest (and oldest) superhero teams ever, but it’s the core heroes that make give this team meaning. Scenes between the ancient Avengers and the new ones do well to capture the purpose of the team as well as the personalities on it. The teams are very different, but their purpose is the same and that gives the narrative a straight line to follow.
As the story progresses Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness check in on other characters, like the detective plot of Black Panther and Doctor Strange, or how She-Hulk plays into this. Every character that graces the cover serves a purpose in the story, which helps give it that movie feel as the story cuts between many plots and developments. The creative team does a good job juggling these stories and maintaining a coherent story and effectively ends on a cliffhanger that should have cosmic Marvel fans extra excited.
The art by Ed McGuinness is clean and easy on the eyes, as is custom for him. There’s some excellent border work in this issue, pulling the panels together with a montage look on many of the pages. David Cruiel’s colors allow Ed McGuinness’ lines to really pop, from the glowing eyes of Black Panther to some exceptional lighting effects of Captain Marvel. When the art opens up in double and single page splashes, Ed McGuinness’ art feels expensive and open in an epic way.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Readers expecting answers as far as why there’s an ancient Avengers team may start to feel a bit impatient with this one. We get a clear understanding of how Odin feels about the team, but there isn’t much time to develop the characters or give us a reason for why they’re inhabiting Earth at all (unless it’s just a battleground?). More will be revealed I’m sure, but anyone wondering if there’s an answer to the why of this million-year-old team may be frustrated here.
My only other complaint is how the art pushes in on the characters more often than not. It’s hard to gather a clear understanding of where characters are spatially. There are certainly some well-rendered backgrounds and environments, but sometimes Ed McGuinness pushes in on the characters with extreme close-ups or with no backgrounds rendered at all, giving a blurred effect. One may argue that gives the book a Kirby look and feel.
Is it good?
I’m on board for more Avengers madness, possibly more than ever, and Aaron balances an untold story of ancient Avengers juxtaposed with the current core in search of a new lineup to shake things up. This issue jives well with the recent movie as it’s epic and huge in scope but still manages to maintain your attention and keep your interest. This is an exciting new take on the Avengers new and old fans alike should enjoy.
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