Friday, August 5, 2016

Trade Weight: The New Avengers Vol 1: Everything Is New

Trade Weight is a quick look at the heavy stacks of trade paperbacks (graphic novels, etc) that were purchased with excitement but left on the shelf, unconsumed for too long.

2015 - Marvel

The New Av... ugh. UGH!
Ugh ugh ugh.

I can hardly even talk about this trade without...ugh!

It's not good.  It's so not good.
It pains me that Squirrel Girl is in this, because I want to read anything with Squirrel Girl because Squirrel Girl makes everything awesome.  Except that she doesn't here, nothing makes this awesome.  There is nothing awesome here.

I've read some of Al Ewing's work before and he's a solid writer.  He gets superhero comics and the craft of writing them.  But New Avengers is...just...ugh.

There's no character development here over six issues, and no team building.  I can barely even recall off the top of my head who is on the team.  Is Deadpool in this one?  I don't think so.  Squirrel Girl, and uh... White Tiger, and ...uh... the new(ish) young Power Man (whose powers I'm still baffled by), and Wiccan (who gets called out on appropriating a religion he doesn't believe in for his name) and Hulkling, and erm...Songbird?  Is that her name?  All led by Sunspot from the New Mutants except he's not Sunspot anymore, just a guy in a suit who now owns A.I.M. and has them working for the good guys but in international waters. 

Why is Squirrel Girl on this team?  It doesn't make any sense.  Why is anyone on this team?  None of it makes sense.  There's no reason for any of these people to be here.  Except Hawkeye, they give him a reason to be there.

Ewing has brought back The Maker, aka the Ultimate Universe's evil Reed Richards as the main nemesis of the book.  Why?  After Secret Wars hasn't the Ultimate Universe blinked out of existence?  This makes no sense then.  Even if it didn't, Ultimate Reed Richards wasn't a teeth-gnashing supervillain, at least not like he's portrayed here, which is as a teeth-gnashing supervillain. 

Storylines are set-up, but there's no teasing them out.  In the first couple of issues there's this thing turning people into crystal-headed things... which is acceptably comic-book ridiculous.  It's up to the A.I.M. team to rescue the New Avengers with super-science, thus establishing a few members of A.I.M. as supporting players.

Then, Hulking is stolen, whisked out into space and made King of the Skrulls or something, and then immediately fights some Cthulhu-esque demon from multiple timelines prior.  The demon is easily defeated (for some reason the New Avengers show up when they're not all that necessary) but it escapes into Wiccan and takes over the world like 30 years from now.  You would think the reveal that Wiccan is a traitor in their midst would be a long-game for Ewing, something to play out in, say, year 2 of the book, but no...issue 3 finds a team of Future Avengers traveling back in time to kill Wiccan and save the day.  Things don't go down exactly like that but it completely sidesteps any real drama and launches into an unwarranted (and unspecific) XX-years-later Avengers that gets better team and character development than the regular one.  In the end Wiccan excises the demon and changes his name, because that's what constitutes character growth in this series.  A name change.

There was a second story in this bit but I've forgotten it already.  This book is eminently forgettable, and utterly frustrating.  The art from Paco Medina isn't terrible, but it doesn't appeal to me at all.  In particular his Squirrel Girl (and Tippy-toe) are kind of exaggerated abominations (in fact, his figure work is often nothing but exaggerated abominations).

New Avengers, as a thing that exists, doesn't really make a lot of sense.  It's got a few refugees from Ewing's Mighty Avengers, members of the Young Avengers, an exile from Thunderbolts, a New Mutant and Hawkeye.  But this isn't a Young Avengers team, because not everyone is young...just like on the All-New, All Different Avengers, which sees all the premiere legacy characters coming together: New Thor, New Cap, Miles Morales, new Ms. Marvel, kid Nova... that team makes sense.  This one seems like castaway city with no real driving purpose except to have as many Avengers books out as possible to capitalize upon movie success.

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