In a landscape that includes multiple current Avengers books, All-New All-Different Avengers has distinguished itself as being not only the most fun, but also the one which packs the most amount of story and characterization into each and every issue. With the publication of this sixth issue, we’ve already had two complete stories told by Mark Waid and company, already seen the team come together and then almost get torn apart, and developed the personalities and quirks of the characters on the team quite successfully.
There’s no wonder that Mark Waid is such a respected author of superhero comics, as he deftly picks up the baton for writing classic Avengers stories from prior writers like Kurt Busiek. Waid’s attention to character, interpersonal dynamics, and his ability to tell a riveting and fun story is evident on each and every page of this comic. He manages to seed story ideas without them dragging on too long, as he knows how long to develop a plotline before letting it be the main focus. In a lesser writer’s hands, it might have been months of slow burn development before we finally found out just what was going on with the Vision. Here Waid cuts to the chase, without sacrificing the drama inherent in his own story.
From a reader’s perspective, it would seem that Waid is having the most fun writing Nova and Ms. Marvel, as their interactions have been some of the highlights from this book’s young run. Their dynamics feel very honest and truthful, as we have two teen heroes who have similarities, but also distinct differences which inform how they approach super heroics. Sam Alexander has since his creation been more of an impetuous character, whereas Kamala definitely has that in her nature, but compared to Sam she’s far more reserved and rational. The interplay between the two is a huge draw, as once again it feels honest and true to who these characters are. Miles gets less characterization in this particular issue, although there’s still some great commentary that he lays down on how insane it is to be an Avenger and facing off against a character like Kang the Conqueror.
A growing element here is the expansion of how Jane Foster is used in the book, as she didn’t receive much characterization early on in this title. With this issue, and hopefully in later issues, we’re starting to see more come of her interaction with other heroes, specifically Sam Wilson, who discovered her secret identity last issue. It made me realize that Jane Foster really doesn’t have much of a support system of characters who know her secret identity, which puts Sam Wilson in a special class of his own. I look forward to Mark Waid expanding more on this burgeoning friendship.
The concept of having Kang use an agent inside the Avengers to assist him in his plan is not new or revolutionary, but it is well handled here, and makes sense given the context of this book. The concept that he’s split off from other versions of Kang is also quite intriguing, and I’m hoping it’s something that pays off in later stories.
The artwork by Mahmud Asrar felt a lot more consistent in this issue, with a concise visual sensibility. His take on Vision was exceptionally strong and I also really enjoyed the youth and vitality he gives to Nova and Ms. Marvel. It’s subtle, but really underscores the age of the characters and their relative inexperience in superheroing compared to their colleagues in the Avengers.
This series remains at the top of my read pile every week it comes out; it’s an enjoyable, fun Avengers yarn, which feels like a classic Avengers romp. The Avengers have always been more about the characters than the larger than life plots, it’s part of what has typically set them apart from the often sterile Justice League. The interpersonal dynamics at play here really make the book hum along, and give it such a sense of charm and confidence. These days you really can’t go wrong with Mark Waid, and him writing an Avengers book just feels right.