Digest-sized comics are great for smaller hands, but even greater for folks who want quick and easily digestible stories. More often than not comics are part of six issue arcs that don’t tell a complete story until months after the first issue. That makes Marvel’s Avengers Assemble: Game On such an enjoyable read. This book contains eight chapters, each a self-contained story for all-ages.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
It’s Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in an exhilarating collection of stories! Hyperion wants to be the strongest there is, no matter who he has to defeat to win that title! Hawkeye, Black Widow and Ant-Man learn just what it means to be a reformed villain. The Venom Symbiote bonds with Thor?! And more action-packed adventures await Iron Man, Captain America and the rest of the Avengers!
Why does this matter?
This is a great way to get a taste of Avengers action with multiple villains and conflicts for the heroes to overcome. Running high from Avengers Infinity War? This will scratch that itch.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This collection has a bonafide B-list collection of villains for the Avengers to beat on save for a Kang adventure and a story that involves a Symbiote (which is displayed on the cover). As a long time Marvel Comics reader it’s a delight to see the likes of Plant Man and Hyperion rear their dastardly heads throughout the volume. As I stated above, each story is self-contained with only some slight continuity required to get through them due to Hyperion showing up at the start of the book and later near the end. The Kang story is about as mainstream as these battles get, and it involves time travel, which helps separate this from any recent adventure the Avengers have been on.
Speaking of the Avengers, writers Joe Caramagna, Ralph Macchio and Ivan Cohen do a good job with the team banter and teamwork of the team. There’s certainly a goofiness to the dialogue with plenty of one-liners, but that’s an endearing quality that kids will love and adults will snicker at. The characters are never too stressed out or overly worked up, but have an easiness about them that keeps the story moving.
The art by Ron Lim, Craig Rousseau, and Mario Del Pennino is clean and easy on the eyes, much like a cartoon. I reflected more than once how simplistic a panel might look, but it’s harder to notice in the smaller digest format. Characters like Thor have a bit more detail due to the chainmail look he garnered during the All-New All-Different period for the character. The art tends to gravitate to a more comical look, like Hulk randomly holding a sandwich in one scene, which helps keep everything light.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is a bubblegum sort of read so don’t expect great character development. And we know they’re already rather simple stories since each is done in one. Aside from Hulk and Thor’s recurring tiff over video games, there isn’t much to hold onto. That’s okay though, as not every comic experience needs to be dark, deep, or thought provoking. Let’s just have fun!
Is it good?
I enjoyed this digest sized comic as it allows you to turn off your brain and enjoy superheroes fighting villains. It’s also quite good at mixing up the dynamics between the characters and showing off the team working together. That’s all you can really ask for at the root of any Avengers tale.
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