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'All-Out Avengers' #1 delivers on its title and then some

Comic Books

‘All-Out Avengers’ #1 delivers on its title and then some

It’s the end of the world — and the Avengers are just getting warmed up.

Following in the crater-sized footsteps of last year’s Non-Stop Spider-Man, Derek Landy and Greg Land’s All-Out Avengers drops readers into a horrifying alien invasion. Captain Marvel has been turned against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and things are looking grim – but that might not even be the most sinister element at play in this new series!

One of the book’s big hooks is the fact that it jumps right into the action. As you might expect from a book bearing this title and admittedly inspired by Non-Stop Spider-Man, the fight sequences in this issue are big and explosive. The story is nominally one we’ve seen before – the heroes have to disarm a deadly device while the villains pontificate about how they’ve already won –  but it serves as a nice frame upon which to hang these deadly punch-em-ups.

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There’s not a whole lot of time for the characters to really dig into meaty conversations, but the banter in the midst of the action definitely goes a long way towards reminding us why we find these heroes so endearing. I got a genuine kick out of seeing T’Challa and Spider-Man arguing over whether or not Peter should get a chance to fly a spaceship, for instance. The villains feel a bit one-note, though, as they mostly serve the purpose of being a vaguely defined army for the heroes to mow down.

All-Out Avengers #1

Your mileage may vary when it comes to how much patience you have for non-stop action, but it’s hard to deny how great this book looks. Greg Land draws the heck out of the action, giving us high-flying and explosive action from the jump. This is a book where every punch feels like it hits hard, because it has to. We’ve joined the Avengers at the very end of a difficult battle, so the book has to feel heavy right away. Bringing it all together are Frank D’Armata’s colors and Jay Leisten’s inks. Between the bright superhero costumes, creepy hues of the alien armada (which seem to have poisoned the very sky), and Leisten’s thick line work, every panel of this just pops.

I will say that, as much fun as the action is here throughout, and as well-choreographed as it all is, it does feel a bit odd to see the lengths to which some of the heroes will go here in service of saving the day. I’m used to seeing Blade being cavalier about chopping an enemy to bits, but the brutal beat downs seem to go mostly unnoticed by some of the lighter heroes in the team. Sure, this is an apocalyptic scenario, but I can’t help but wonder if this attitude toward taking lives might have something to do with whatever is going on in this story behind the scenes.

Speaking of which: The most interesting piece of this narrative may be one that’s hardly commented on. In a meta twist on the “one and done” premise, none of the heroes can quite seem to remember why they’re there! Couple that with a strangely morose omniscient narrator and you’ve got a story that definitely has more layers than the creative team is letting on. The action in this book is definitely a lot of fun, but the hints at a larger force at work is what will keep me coming back for the next issue.

'All-Out Avengers' #1 delivers on its title and then some
‘All-Out Avengers’ #1 delivers on its title and then some
All-Out Avengers #1
'All-Out Avengers' totally delivers on its promise of wall-to-wall action. This is an extremely entertaining comic that captures Earth's Mightiest Heroes at their best. However, the darkness creeping on the edges is what will keep readers hooked.
Reader Rating1 Vote
The action starts immediately and doesn't let up -- and it looks killer the whole time
The meta narrative is already a fun hook
Some of the quips are really great, especially from Spider-Man
Characterizations feel a bit thin to make room for the explosions, and your mileage may vary depending on how much you like wall-to-wall fights
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