In the midst of battle, Captain Marvel took flight with an artificial black-hole reactor to give Scarlet Witch time to cast a neutralizing spell. But the confluence of the reactor and spell had an unexpected result, and Captain Marvel was abruptly teleported to a null-space and time. There, she was greeted by a grievously wounded Kang the Conqueror, one of the Avengers’ greatest foes. And Kang has a dire warning of what’s to come…
As he lays bleeding on the floor of a box isolated in the void of space-time, it becomes clear that Kang the Conqueror has seen better days. Ironically, witnessing this mighty time traveler at his lowest makes this comic a high point in his recent history. Kang’s frequent appearances across Marvel’s current publishing slate, undoubtedly written at the behest of Marvel’s motion picture division, have ranged from superfluous to amusing. Jed MacKay tops them all with a set-up that is the perfect homecoming for one of this franchise’s most seasoned villains.
What makes this even more satisfying is how the premise greets readers with apprehension before quickly flipping their expectations on their heads. Kang has come to warn the Avengers of a threat more dangerous than anything they’ve encountered, and extends a proverbial olive branch in the form of future knowledge that allows them to save 1000 lives in the next 24 hours. It’s an exchange that subtly re-establishes how powerful Kang is, and in turn hints at how ruthless the fiends who left him at Death’s doorstep must be to take down a man who uses human lives as currency.
For a moment, it seems like MacKay might retread the premise of 2016’s Civil War II, in which the ability to stop tragedies and crimes before they are committed creates a moral dilemma that fractures the team. Given how much of a disaster that event was, both in-universe and out, a repeat was a genuine concern. Thankfully, Avengers #12 takes a more nuanced path, as Kang’s peace offering proves legitimate and an upbeat montage
of good old-fashioned heroics ensues, continuing the snappy, nonlinear storytelling from last issue.
The Avengers are pros at this game, and the joyous, nonchalant energy they exude while catching trains and planes with their bare hands shows it. The fluidity with which panels transition from one successful mission to the next demonstrates that the team is functioning as a well-oiled machine. C.F. Villa flexes his knack for facial expressions, as Captain Marvel’s furrowed brow and focused eyes clue you in on what she’s thinking without the need for words.
Federico Blee’s colors are deep and rich with saturated lighting that grants every page a cinematic sense of depth and scope. Sam Wilson provides the issue’s heart as he saves an overworked truck driver with an empathetic talk and a helping hand, and the fact that this grounded moment is just as expressive as the bombastic action is a testament to the art team’s abilities.
Avengers #2 caps off with a foreboding stinger and a comatose Kang in custody. He seems to be the team’s key to victory against the mysterious new evil bound for Earth, and the prospect of avengers working alongside their greatest nemesis is only one of the many exciting things to anticipate in the next issue.
Avengers #12 provides a familiar yet refreshing blend of old-fashioned heroics with high-concept exposition that is bound to have readers invested in the blossoming mystery.
Avengers #2: A Glimpse Into The Future
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
User Review( votes)