Hey kid… ever heard of the multiverse? With the multiverse playing a larger part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is only natural that the comics side would take advantage of this renewed interest in the concept. And what better series to dig into the craziness of the multiverse than the flagship Avengers book, written by wordsmith Jason Aaron himself?
We’ve got a review of the massive Avengers #750 along with a few other new Marvel books in the Rapid Rundown section, all ahead on this week’s Marvel Rundown!
Written by Jason Aaron and Christopher Ruocchio
Art by Aaron Kuder, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Ed McGuinness, Javier Garron, David Baldeon, and Steve McNiven
Colouring by Alex Sinclair, David Curiel, Matt Hollingsworth, Rachelle Rosenberg, Israel Silva, and Frank D’Armata
Lettering by Cory Petit
Cover by Ed McGuinness and Laura Martin
This series has been frustratingly up-and-down for me since it started back in the summer of 2018. There have been some cool stories and it’s been evident what Jason Aaron’s overall arc is with this series: the Avengers are a team, so what if we did a story with a whole bunch of teams? The One Million BC Avengers, Namor’s Defenders of the Deep, Dracula’s vampire army, the Winter Guard, the Squadron Supreme, the Agents of Wakanda… it’s a team-up book about team-ups, which is a fairly clever idea. Aaron’s stories have levelled up tremendously since the Heroes Reborn crossover, however. It was clearly a story he’s been waiting to tell, and one that had been set up earlier in the series. The following “World War She-Hulk” story also rocked, which concludes in this massive tome of an issue.
All this to say, this was a sublime comic. It was wacky and indescribably huge in ways Avengers comics should frankly always be. Characters from all corners of the Marvel universe are utilized in ways I didn’t see coming at all. Aaron and his team of artistic collaborators introduce yet another team to throw into the mix, the Masters of Evil, comprised of alternate versions of villains in the 616 and led by Doom Supreme. It’s bonkers and I loved it.
This is ultimately a succinct highlight of what Aaron such a fantastic writer. He taps into his more indie/crime side with the opening scenes and then just splashes every page with crazy Marvel cosmic goodness and action, and some great Doom dialogue. There are a multitude of artists who worked on this comic, and they all bring the story to life quite beautifully. The highlight would have to be Ed McGuinness, who has worked on this series since its inception three years ago whose visual style has really defined this volume despite the wide breadth of artists who have collaborated with Aaron. Javier Garron’s work is something I’ve been struggling with. It’s visually interesting a very emotive, which is a little odd for a book like this, but his characters haven’t always been his best feature and it stands in contrast to all the other capable artists in this issue that point out this discrepancy for me. Aaron Kuder will be drawing the Avengers Forever book and if his pages here are any indication of what we’ll see coming, I’m very excited to read more.
The less said about the plot of this issue, the better, because this is a wild ride. I mentioned Doom Supreme and the Masters of Evil, which is certainly a culmination of all the anti-Avengers teams that have sprung up throughout this series. They’re a threat I’m genuinely curious to see the Avengers deal with, especially since all of them are pretty interesting mashups. I mean, Black Skull? Come on!
Final Verdict: BUY. I wholeheartedly recommend this. While this reads as a culmination of Aaron’s run on the title so far, this is still fairly new-reader friendly save for the She-Hulk stuff. If you want to get in on the ground floor of what’s likely to be a great Avengers story, then buy with confidence.
- Daredevil #36
- Marvel’s ongoing Daredevil series officially goes on hiatus while the Devil’s Reign event is running, and this issue sends the title off with all of the elements readers have come to expect from Chip Zdarsky‘s tenure as writer on the series. If you were expecting a big, loud cliffhanger leading into the event, you might be disappointed, as Zdarsky and a team including penciller Manuel Garcia, inkers Cam Smith, Scott Hanna, and Victor Nava, colorists Marcio Menyz and Bryan Valenza, and letterer Clayton Cowles deliver a series of character-driven scenes that advance or outright resolve arcs that have been in play since the series began. Every issue of this series has been a joy to read, and this one is no exception. The teaser for Devil’s Reign in the final pages is intriguing and impressive for how it ties together disparate elements from multiple different DD runs in a new and exciting way. —JG
- Darkhold: Black Bolt #1
- In the penultimate one-shot tie-in for the Darkhold crossover event, we get the spooky story that shows us what befalls Black Blot after he reads from the Book of the Damned. This “anthology” of short stories has benefited from its willingness to jump from one subgenre of horror to another, and Darkhold: Black Bolt #1 continues that trend by offering one of those types of creepy stories that hinges on a twist and mostly succeeds in getting under your skin not while you’re reading it, but afterwards, when you can’t help but think back on the Schrödinger’s Cat of an ending. While it isn’t clear whether or not each of these horrific tie-in issues will end up directly connecting with one another in the two issues that remain in the Darkhold event, these morbid stories featuring familiar Marvel superheroes have been a lot of fun. Hopefully we won’t have to wait through another pandemic for the next Marvel horror crossover! —AJK
- Star Wars: Darth Vader #18
- After the events of War of the Bounty Hunters, Darth Vader is on a crusade to bring order to the universe, and he sees the elimination of Crimson Dawn as part of that order. His first step in that goal, forming a team of skilled warriors/bounty hunters with hatred for Crimson Dawn. There’s a storytelling axiom that the villain is the hero of his own story and writer Greg Pak along with artist Leonard Kirk showcase Vader’s mastery at twisting these warriors so that they look to him as savior. A solid pivot for this run as we continue on this dark road with Vader. —GC3
Next week, Devil’s Reign! For real this time!