Marvel’s foray into mecha action got kicked up a notch way back in August with Avengers: Tech-On, which is now available in trade paperback. Collected here is the six-issue run by Jim Zub and Chamba that features Marvel mainstays like Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, and Black Panther suiting up to fight to save the Earth. If you’re willing to try an out-of-continuity, all-ages adventure, it’s a lot of fun.
What you’ll notice right off the bat with Avengers: Tech-On is how clean and cool Chamba’s art is, from lines to colors. Clearly working in a digital format, the art is closer to animation than a conventional comic. The opening page features Thanos ready to swat the Avengers away like flies. We’re basically getting the Infinity Gauntlet story’s tail end, which leads into this alternate take on what happens next. It’s cool to see Chamba reveal Thanos’ loss of power at the end over the course of a few quick panels.
This epic opening leads our heroes only just reflecting on what happened to be faced with an entirely new threat. Red Skull, revealed in the preview solicit, is the main threat and he somehow is capable of taking away the heroes’ powers. Enter the main purpose of the book, which is to outfit our heroes with cool armor ala Iron Man.
You’ll notice this series has some strong Power Rangers vibes. That goes for the mecha suits, but also the dialogue and monster of the week nature of the narrative. Red Skull is the main villain and he comes off as the ultimate Lord Zedd type from his entrance and in the way he speaks. It gives the book a fun and over-the-top feel that is nostalgic in its approach. As the narrative pushes forward villains like Loki, Venom, and more pop up to get in on the mecha fun.
The visuals are fantastic and unique in their own right. Not only does Chamba bring cool action to the forefront, but he has some awesome character design. Wait till you see Red Skull to see what I mean, but the heroes themselves have cool costumes too. Chamba has elevated Red Skull visually to the point where he feels like a Thanos-level villain. If we get action figures of these armored heroes and Red Skull the world would be better for it.
There are a few twists and turns in the narrative as things play out, but somewhat surprisingly Zub takes an Avengers: Endgame turn in the final act. I won’t spoil it here, but it plays out in a way MCU fans should enjoy. Even though there’s a resolution, there’s also a hint that we could get more. Given the licensing and toy coming from this series I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets a sequel.
Avengers: Tech-On is a lot of fun and it’ll particularly resonate with the younger crowd. It has Power Rangers vibes right down to the suits, but also the epic nature of the villain. Read this one for an alternate take on the events after Infinity Gauntlet, and the promise of exploring the complexities of these heroes and who they are apart from their powers.
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