Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Mark Bagley
Inks: Danny Miki
Publisher: Marvel Comics
I understand the reason for existence of Avengers Assemble. After all, the Avengers movie is going to be the biggest superhero movie of the year so why not launch a new book to try and get some more interest in the Avengers and possibly pull in some new readers? You can maximize their exposure by having it be the same roster that will show up in the feature film. Sadly, I cannot believe that with such a big launch, it’s a sub-par effort right out of the gate.
Brian Bendis has had the reigns of the Avengers franchise for some time now. Currently, he’s working on 3 Avengers titles and I guess that when you’ve probably written all you can about these characters, you have some duds here and there. This issue is exactly that. A book that doesn’t make a lot of sense and has some of the most uninteresting villains featured in the Zodiac, which is a group of 12 made up of each of the symbols of the zodiac. Thankfully, the one good thing is that it’s 12 superhumans and not just 12 guys in costumes for their sign. With a book that is clearly based on the soon to be summer blockbuster, why not go with something a bit more recognizable. The involvement of the Hulk seems to not fit with what is going on in Jason Aaron’s Hulk title. Are we working with dumb brute Hulk? That certainly doesn’t match what Aaron is doing with the Hulk. It’s the little inconsistencies like that which take the fun out of books like this.
The art is by Mark Bagley, who has worked with Brian Bendis on Ultimate Spider-Man. If you are a fan of his art, then it’s the same thing as with any other book. Bagley’s art is a good match for the action of the story. His art doesn’t really blow anyone away, but he’s consistent and his style is perfect for super heroes.
This book does seem more in the all-ages vein. While I do like the darker tones of the more sophisticated material, it’s good that there’s material like this too. Marvel has struggled to keep an all-ages line that has seen various reboots over the years. This is a title in the current Marvel continuity and it’s a good title for younger kids to pick up. One can hope that the story works out a bit better in the next issue because the first issue isn’t anything spectacular and certainly not up to par with some of the other Avengers stories that Bendis has written.