ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #4
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Color Artist: Dave McCaig
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Covers by: Alex Ross; Bobby Rubio; Mark Brooks
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
“” (20 pages)
Why are these seven making odd faces? Stay tuned!!! [Despite the cover spoiling everything, humour me and read on!]
Every number is special in its own right. The number four is more so for AVENGERS lore. As far as I’m concerned, this issue is divided into four parts.
A stalwart staple of the series who has been absent for far too long makes his graceful comeback: Jarvis!! The butler, not the A.I. Much has changed: the Avengers’ HQ is now a condemned hangar, the roster itself is unrecognizable-ish, and most importantly of all – Jarvis is less than thrilled to find himself under the employ of Tony Stark. He has lost all enthusiasm, sighing the entire time before his arrival and making all sorts of snide remarks. Good thing there wasn’t a welcome back banner nor cake.
The team is slowly coming into its own. The dynamics are shifting and relationships are gelling. The emotionless Vision is having an adverse effect. He rubs Cap the wrong way with his cold, calculated logic. Ms. Marvel is genuinely creeped out by him. Later, he tosses her aside as if she were some excess cargo. Perhaps he overheard her whispers. Nova is still processing the leverage the Android Avenger has over him.
The villain of the week month is Cyclone, a two-bit player who served time with the Thunderbolts. The bad boy has amped up his game. He gives Earth’s Mightiest Heroes a run for their money. The young trinity is given a T for teamwork but are not very successful at taking him down. Even the old pros can’t get a grip. The super-solid synthezoid phases through Cyclone’s chest to short-circuit him. It was a harsh move delivered with a deadpanned pun.
After the three-course meal comes dessert with a big red cherry on top!! After the skirmish (and needless destruction), The Goddess of Thunder plants a big one on the Sentinel of Liberty :0 All signs point to…say what??? She simply wanted to do it. Rightly so! The chuckles came out with her post-smooch prognosis. Sam Wilson feels that he has to return the compliment. Thor chocks it up to the Asgardian version of YOLO.
Kiss Cam Commentary:
Cap had already remarked the hammer wielder’s unusual euphoria but this clinches it. Iron Man sees her as free-spirited as the Olympian Avenger. Thor relishes the call to battle. She gives the newbies a celebratory squeeze after the fight. The Vision has to be the destroyer of fun. He is at a loss as to why a supposed immortal would be concerned over the brevity of existence. Iron Man replays those words out loud voicing his concern to Cap. Thus, another layer of mystery is added to the ersatz Asgardian.
Until this very issue, I wasn’t really digging Mr. Waid’s spin on this current incarnation. I have read and purchased the other three because Avengers will always be in my blood. Besides, the Alex Ross covers are an added bonus. I just wasn’t turned on by Warbringer and/or the Chitauri. Even so, reading this the first time made me mutter ‘meh’. As usual, it’s a good thing I took a second look! I realize Mark Waid’s master plan. Mr. Waid is reintroducing the original era when things happened quickly and randomly. The members were getting to know each other and showed some mistrust, jealousy, insecurity. Identities were kept secret. That couldn’t be more (un)clear than the mighty Thor. Her teammates know nil about her. The chronology isn’t determined but one can presume that the lightning-bearing lady is really recent. Case in point for Ms. Marvel. Nova may have seen her unmasked but does he even know that she is Kamala Khan? For that matter, do her teammates??
Vison’s blackmailing of Nova in the previous story threw me for a loop. He knows that Sam Alexander is his true identity. Sam echoed my thoughts: how can an Avenger stoop so low?? The others are completely oblivious to this but do they know there is a second Sam among them?
The old order changeth!! Issue number four of the original series had Stan Lee bring back Steve Rogers after a ten-year thaw IRL. There can be no Avengers without Cap.
The only difference is that Sam Wilson is unexpectedly thrust into a situation rarer than anything in super-hero storytelling. The fact that he is pleased as punch yet gobsmacked [or should I say godsmacked? Natch!] is a perfectly suitable reaction. The B-level villains are a warm-up for this newly formed assemblage. It’s also an obvious indicator that until they can be completely cohesive, dealing with threats unlike any other will not materialize.
Edwin Jarvis is the loveable, reliable, outstanding one-man show. He is everyone’s favourite uncle/caretaker/counselor/go-to guy, etc. I certainly wasn’t expecting Mr. Waid to throw a wrench in the plans. He has become so dour and listless. The willingness to serve has evaporated.
Mahmud Asrar creates contrast: the humorous moments as well as some of the action scenes are cartoony; the grounded elements are given exquisite detail. The eyes have it. Cyclone’s surprise at Vision’s resilience is priceless and emphasizes his B-level status. Ms. Marvel looks extremely heroic when she veers towards the wind-maker. Thor has strength and skill but it is her fiery passion that makes her dangerous. LOL
Dave McCaig is a fellow Canadian! WOOT WOOT!! It is only today that I learn of this when I looked up his credentials. The costumes play off each other nicely. My eyes zero in on Ms. Marvel’s uniform for obvious reasons. It’s hard to ignore the primary colours. Thor has a glint in her eyes as she flies off to solo adventuring.
Cory Petit is a master calligrapher with Thor’s speech. I appreciate the ancient aesthetic. The low-emitting sentences were a bit hard to read but not impossible. Iron Man and Vision give off their mechanical vibes. This medium always has the requisite sound effects. KRAKTOOM!
I am an Avenger fan once again!! The kiss that was seen around the world…Oops! I’m thinking of the Distinguished Competition’s plot device. With the addition of Jarvis, we have seven plus one more. That is what I give this book: 8 out of 10.
Earth-shaking appreciation to my one-and-only local comic shop for selling me this book!