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Marvel sheds light on the end of Jason Aaron's era of Avengers in 'Avengers Assemble'
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Avengers Assemble: Alpha’ #1 introduces Avengers Prime

‘Avengers Assemble: Alpha’ #1 is the beginning of the end of Jason Aaron’s epic run.

The end of an era begins with Avengers Assemble: Alpha #1. Jason Aaron is wrapping up his epic multi-series multiverse spanning story starting this week with artist Bryan Hitch. The story doesn’t just span the multiverse, but time itself, and as we learn today, the Avenger Prime, Mephisto, and the Avengers of 1 million B.C. are all involved.

Avengers Assemble: Alpha #1 opens at The God Quarry, where the final Avengers Tower rests at Infinity’s End. If that doesn’t sound epic enough, you don’t know half of it. This issue opens and closes with new details on where he goes from here, with the meat of the issue focused on the Avengers of 616 fighting the ancient Avengers. The latter Avengers were first announced in 2017, and it’s exciting to know we’re getting their potential final battles before Aaron wraps things up.

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As far as setting up the story, Aaron and Hitch do an excellent job of giving us just enough to pique our interest. I wouldn’t say this issue has a fast-moving plot, but it keeps your interest with the action and teases where things are going. Questions abound, like who Avengers Prime is, how Mephisto knows him, and what’s going on with Ghost Rider, which will have you returning for more.

Avengers Prime is an intriguing character with a secret identity that’ll likely bring gasps to readers. We don’t have much to go on, but he’s a central focus and likely a lynchpin in this story’s resolution. Considering he’s just a guy in a suit–with a green tie that might be a hint–he’s juxtaposed well with all the superheroes in fantastical costumes throughout the issue.

Most of the issue has Avengers fighting Avengers in a classic misunderstanding between heroes. Hitch’s art style keeps things big in a blockbuster style with good scale and scope to make the fighting seem larger than usual for superheroes. Given how many years we’ve been learning about the Avengers of 1,000,000 B.C., it’s certainly satisfying to see them fighting the modern Avengers.

Avengers Assemble Alpha

Mephisto knows Avengers Prime, but we don’t.
Credit: Marvel

It is a bit disappointing we have to go through the motions of misunderstanding battles between heroes, but it’s a fitting trope. Unfortunately, it just lasts too long, especially for an extra-sized issue. If you’re like me, you’ll wonder how long before the rational heroes convince the irrational ones to stop fighting and get on with the larger story.

Make no mistake, though: the story will look good on paper. Hitch is joined by Andrew Currie on inks, Alex Sinclair on colors, and Cory Petit on letters. The Starbrand Hulk from the Avengers 1 million looks great as Hitch captures his size well. Speaking of Starbrand, there’s a disturbing moment for the character the art team nails.

Generally speaking, this issue is new-reader friendly enough, with a handy guide at the start detailing all the main players. The introduction of the Multiversal Masters of Evil is effective and Dr. Doom is fantastic every moment he’s on the page. Hitch makes you believe he’s truly powerful, and it’s cool to see him struggle a bit in this issue. Main villains and heroes get big splashy moments to be introduced, establishing each side.

The years-long setup building toward Avengers Assemble: Alpha #1 is exciting to see unfold toward its finish. Given how many players spanning different universes and timelines, it’s impressive how well it all comes together here. There’s also enough in the first issue to get your excitement up, even if most of the pages require heroes to fight heroes in a misunderstanding you know will resolve itself in time. But that’s superhero comics, and superhero comics don’t get bigger than this.

Marvel sheds light on the end of Jason Aaron's era of Avengers in 'Avengers Assemble'
‘Avengers Assemble: Alpha’ #1 introduces Avengers Prime
Avengers Assemble: Alpha #1
The years-long setup building toward Avengers Assemble: Alpha #1 is exciting to see unfold toward its finish. Given how many players spanning different universes and timelines, it's impressive how well it all comes together here. There's also enough in the first issue to get your excitement up, even if most of the pages require heroes to fight heroes in a misunderstanding you know will resolve itself in time. But that's superhero comics, and superhero comics don't get bigger than this.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.9
Establishes all the key players and where we go from here
Epic in story and art
Plenty of action
The majority of the issue is heroes fighting heroes in a misunderstanding
8.5
Great
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