All-Out Avengers #1
Introducing: the all-new Avengers series that starts in the middle of the explosive action and races to a shocking climax! An alien attack. A missing piece of wormhole tech. A city warped, its citizens transformed into hideous creatures loyal to an Empress from the far side of the universe. And a certain Captain Marvel, looking to her fellow Avengers with murderous intent...Plunge into the action and take a deep breath because you will not be allowed up for air as a thrilling new series kicks off in the strongest, strangest way possible.
It’s the first issue of the new ongoing Avengers book, All-Out Avengers, and it’s billed as being pedal to the metal, hyper thrusters a-blazin’, fun and raucous adventure featuring a who’s who of Avengers members, featuring words by Derek Landy, with art by Greg Land, and to that, this issue definitely lives up to its name. The is zero to 190 in a very short time, where the Avengers are going up against an alien empire in search of the Bow of Gabriel, which will aid the Queen and her subjects in expanding their empire across the universe. Which, you know, is pretty par for the course in regards to intergalactic empires in the Marvel universe.
If you’ve never heard of the Sinnarians, you’ll probably do what I did, and that was Google them, which is probably what I’d expect you to do since their only appearance before was in the Landy penned Black Order mini from 2018, which I found to be fairly decent, with some great art by Phillip Tan. The mini revolving around Thanos’ former strike force that played a pretty big part in the Infinity storyline in Hickman’s Avengers, and had shown up again in the, what I consider last great Avengers storyline, No Surrender, where they were pawns of the Grandmaster and the (former Grandmaster), Challenger, two incredibly powerful Elders of the Universe. If you’ve never read it before, do it. You’ll thank me for it. Seriously good stuff.
Anyway, back to the story at hand, these galactic despots are in search of the cosmic artifact known as the bow of Gabriel. The Bow of Gabriel belonged to the former herald of Galactus, Gabriel, the Air-Walker. The bow was a tool that could cleave the fabric of the space-time continuum, and transport Gabriel to worlds that could feed his master, so I’m interested in seeing where this story is going with this. Will this be the story to bring back Gabriel to the land of the living? Or of the big G in the sky, after his death in the now classic Thor opening arc by Donny Cates and Nic Klein? Who knows, I’m just glad someone besides me, Kurt Busiek and Mark Waid remembers Gabriel, so hopefully Landy can keep me interested in what’s going on here.
Greg Land is the artist here, and Land gives us a standard comic by Land, you’ll either love it, or hate it. I personally don’t hate Land, and depending on the story, can greatly enjoy, and appreciate him. He’s got a very…checkered past, with using, and reusing, quite a few of the same images from which he…used as source material, but we’re not going to delve into that, because I don’t care. It’s a style that works for me on many of his projects, and when paired with the right writer, can give us some character beats, and scenes that can be charming and fun. Like with Al Ewing, and their fun run on the (not long for this world) Mighty Avengers, led by Luke Cage and Spectrum (soon to be Photon again), that boasted a cast of some very prominent POC Marvel characters, and I loved every second of it. This is not that. The best part of the issue was Land’s depiction of the Sinnarians, with their bone/beak faces. They reminded me of Alec Baldwin’s character from Beetlejuice, I chuckled out loud.
This issue’s Avengers doesn’t quite click here for me. It could be the pace, because there’s really not much room to breathe, or the rather uninspired take on the Queen, and her army, that looks like Alec Baldwin’s character from Beetlejuice, or the Capt. Marvel, who looks like just a regular blonde woman with spikes growing from her skin, but it just doesn’t work here. There’s also the pace. Yea, I know, this was promoted as being an all-out action series, and while this is true, it’s still lacking any real stakes, or gravitas, to give us, the readers, the impetus to want the next issue. Much like Joe Kelly’s Non-Stop Spider-Man, the pacing here is frenetic, and chaotic, unfortunately it lacks the charm that was in Non-Stop. It’s a bit of a head scratcher, but hopefully things improve as the arc goes on.
While the issue delivers on the promise of being action from the jump, it lacks the necessary components to be a cohesive story to pull everything together. The dialogue is light, but seems uneven, as Landy seems unsure of the cast, and their characterizations. We have a couple of stellar nuggets, but they’re few and far between. Land’s art here is serviceable, but nothing to write home about. An uneven start to the Earth’s mightiest.
All-Out Avengers #1: No End, and No Beginning…
- Writing - 6.5/106.5/10
- Storyline - 6.5/106.5/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 7/107/10
- Cover Art - 6.5/106.5/10
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