Avengers #50 is a milestone issue as the series reaches #750 legacy numbering. To celebrate, Jason Aaron, Carlos Pacheco, Aaron Kuder, Javier Garron tell a tale that spans many characters, introduces a multiversal supervillain team, and sets a new course for the Marvel universe. Running 84 pages and $9.99, it also features a pinup and one backup, making for a very good new-reader-friendly book.
This is a comic that feels generous, as it’s not holding back with its main story while also supplying a backup story too. Aaron does some recapping to catch readers up, but in a way that isn’t pandering to new readers and can be enjoyed by everyone. Key characters like She-Hulk, Ghost Rider, and Valkarie pop up in ways that suggest their stories will be changing very soon, adding interesting side-story elements.
The through-line of the issue revolves around Ka-Zar, who is on a mission for Black Panther in the past. He’s trying to make sure the timeline stays the way it should be, but at the same time a Dr. Doom from another dimension looks on in disgust. While Ka-Zar goes through some big changes we get to see Dr. Doom put his Multiversal Masters of Evil team together with some familiar figures on the team. That’s another element that adds value to this story as Aaron takes from his Heroes Reborn run using the Hydra Venom, but there are also nods to previous works before that 2020 summer event too.
If Dr. Doom’s plans sound familiar, it’s likely because something similar happened in DC’s Dark Nights: Death Metal. It’s not an exact replica, but it is funny to see Marvel following the same footsteps. The two companies tend to do that from time to time, but it does give the approach a slightly too familiar feeling.
The art team does a great job carrying over the big and boisterous nature of Aaron’s Avengers run. That makes it feel part of Aaron’s new direction while supplying ample in-your-face comics that only Marvel can provide. Think Jack Kirby on speed. Color artists Alex Sinclair, David Curiel, Matt Hollingsworth, and Rachelle Rosenberg all add good lighting, volume, and brightness to the book. Comics like this celebrate the epic and over-the-top nature of superheroes and you see that from all the artists involved.
After the epic ends, David Baldeon supplies an Avengers Mountain pinup breaking down the many rooms and areas of the Celestial Avengers headquarters. Classic comics always had great cutaway headquarter shots and this one scratches that itch and then some. Israel Silva helps lift it off the page with his colors.
Closing out the book is the backup “The Two Worthies” by Christopher Ruocchio and Steve McNiven. It’s a story involving a young boy who ends up being a monumentally important character who is saved from Brood by Thor. The twist is quite good and you won’t see it coming. The action is hyper-detailed which is quintessential McNiven. Colors by Frank D’Armata add to the moody scene set at night.
Avengers #50 is a good taste tester for where Marvel Comics stories are and where they are going. It’s new-reader friendly while also building on stories and characters Aaron has been developing for years. As a celebration of the Avengers it’s a reminder in the right hands they are truly awesome.
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