OK, so I’ve been finishing up Jason Aaron’s Avengers run over on Marvel Unlimited, but for some reason, Marvel decided to release the first issue of Jed Mackay’s new run onto the service early and before they finished putting all of Aaron’s story there. Normally, I might be a little concerned that the new run might ruin the old one’s climax, but I have been enjoying Mackey’s Moon Knight series while Aaron’s Avengers has been a little disappointing. Not overly so, just not as good as I would normally expect from Jason Aaron.
Point is, I figured I’d check this new first issue out.
Issue: Avengers #1, May 2023
Writer: Jed Mackay
Artist: C.F. Villa
The Plot: Carol Danvers puts together a new Avengers team.
Commentary: You know, and I mean this in the best possible connotation, I felt like Mackay’s take on the team is to treat it similarly to how Grant Morrison approached the Justice League, namely as a team if icons. To be sure, this is Marvel: they’ve always been better about treating their characters as people first while DC liked to emphasize impressive feats with superpowers, but Mackay’s team is made up entirely of “classic” Avengers. There are not outsiders or new characters who had never really been Avengers before or anything along those lines. This is an Avengers team made up of recognizable Avengers, all under the leadership of Carol “Captain Marvel” Danvers. Heck, the issue itself refers to the different members of the team with more representative titles, namely the Star (Carol), the Icon (Sam Wilson’s Captain America, the closest to an outsider in the bunch), the Witch (Wanda), the Construct (Vision), the God (Thor), the Engineer (Tony), and the King (T’Challa).
As such, this first issue is mostly Carol gathering a team. Scattered between individual recruitment pages is the team battling the alien giant Terminus, and some of the team members are a harder sell than others. To be sure, no character’s recruitment takes more than two pages or so, but some of the team needs more convincing than others. T’Challa is the hardest, and there’s some conflict going on with him and Sam, while Wanda is the easiest. Vision is having an existential crisis, Thor finds his role rejuvenating, and Tony, well, he was the one who set Carol up as the new team leader and then became her first recruit.
Factor in two other things: Carol is using a new guiding philosophy where the team isn’t so much “cops” as “firefighters,” and Terminus seemed to be doing his best to get off the Earth because something bad is coming that he doesn’t want to be around for.
Bottom line: if this series plays out like Mackay’s Moon Knight has for me so far, I am going to enjoy this.