FCBD 2015: All-New, All-Different Avengers Review


Spoilers! There’s going to be a Marvel Universe of some sort after Secret Wars, and we get a sneak peek of it in the Free Comic Book Day issue of All-New, All-Different Avengers.

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(Sidebar: I really need to know if the “All-New, All-Different” part is going to be an official part of the book’s title when it launches or if that’s just something we can kind of ignore. These are the minutiae that weigh on you as a writer sometimes.)

I joke, of course, because Secret Wars has always been marketed as the crucible in which the new Marvel Universe is forged. In this FCBD tale, we get a look at a new roster for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, one that puts youngsters Ms. Marvel, Nova and the Miles Morales Spider-Man front and center.

Mark Waid and Mahmud Asrar give us a relatively straightforward story that puts the junior members of the team in a situation where they have to make a quick decision about an order given to them by Captain America (still Sam Wilson here) while they’re facing the Radioactive Man. It’s about as different in scale as it’s possible to be from the just-concluded Jonathan Hickman run, which could definitely make for a nice change of pace if it carries over to the ongoing title.

Asrar’s pencils are light enough for the youth movement but still have plenty of heft in the action sequences. Waid writes a confident Cap and manages to squeeze in the little details you’d expect even in a short story, like Kamala Khan knowing exactly which founding member of the Avengers came up with the name of the team.

All-New, All-Different Avengers also raises a few questions worth coming back to while you’re reading Secret Wars:

  • What happens between Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson to make them have a falling out? Except for the time Wilson was inverted during AXIS, the two men remain close friends after Sam takes over as Captain America, but a quick exchange between Iron Man and Cap makes it clear that’s not the case.
  • Who is in that Iron Man armor? My original guess when this series was first announced was that it’s Pepper Potts, but the dialogue doesn’t sound like her. It could still be Tony Stark, especially since Iron Man talks like a veteran hero. But Ms. Marvel makes a point of saying the team doesn’t have access to Stark’s money, and Iron Man doesn’t remember who came up with the name. I also don’t think it sounds like Rhodey, so I’m stumped.

Not bad for a 10-page story. Previous Avengers runs that featured young, inexperienced heroes attempting to learn the ropes have been a decidedly mixed bag (anyone remember Rage?), but the trio here is already so popular that I expect a series with them in it will be highly anticipated. Something to look forward to, for sure, especially if Waid is the regular writer.

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