Hey, gang, it's Wednesday...or at least it is for another 9 minutes, and that means it's new article time.
Anyway, last week I tore into what's been going on in the AMAZING SPIDERMAN. To show that I'm not a MARVEL basher, I figured this week I'd offset that with a look at my favorite MARVEL title of the past year...AVENGERS INITIATIVE.
I admit to being skeptical at first. I wasn't (and am not) a big advocater of the initiative. I sided with Cap during CIVIL WAR. So, it was with much trepidation that I first picked up issue #1. But, let me tell you folks, issue #1 was all it took.
The characters, the energy, the art. This book had me hooked. More than hooked, this book quickly wormed it's way to the top of my pull-list and even higher on my read-in-this-order pile!
Why, do you ask? Well, first let's look at the other two Avengers books. While I enjoy NEW AVENGERS, it somehow doesn't feel like the Avengers. More like the DEFENDERS. New Avengers is a group that, if done right, would disband after the Secret Invasion. These guys have no ties, no links to each other, no real reason to be a team, Like the Defenders.
MIGHTY AVENGERS has a more Avenger-y team, but there is some piece Ihave yet to identify that is missing and just keeps this from being the book it should be.
AVENGERS INITIATIVE. This book has great chemistry. The characters all have an obvious reason for being a team, they are part of the Initiative, super-human armed services. The characters themselves, most are new and fresh, and the rest are c, d, and even e listers. These kinds of character are ALWAYS my favorites anyway, but the fact that this book has those types of characters is what makes it such a strong book. Freedom. You can kill these guys, you can surprise us with these guys, you can take risks that you can't take with the big guns.
And believe me, this book takes risks with the characters.
90s goofy character SLAPSTICK gets some very dark treatment in one arc. And not dark for darknesses sake, dark that really fits the story.
Heck, the first issue killed their most promising nw recruit, and started a chain of events that would lead through several statling plot twists and story arcs.
And let us not forget the rather amusing, and unlikely, juxtaposition of villainous Skrull Hank Pym's plans being thwarted by the cowardly and conving new Ant-Man.
Still not convinced? Fine, read the stand alone issue 13, featuring Butterball! To hear that, you'd think it'd be a really stupid story, right? WRONG!!
That issue was one of the most intelligent and endearing stories i've read in a mainstream, big 2, comic in a long while.
And if that doesn't sell ya, after all my whining about the various changes in the Spidey books, AVENGERS INTIATIVE actually made me like the IRON SPIDERS. In fact, the boys and their rather interesting mad-scientist and reformed Nazi "father" are some of my favorite characters from the book.
Avengers Intiative prove that the House of ideas hasn't dried up yet.
Last edited by SebastianPiccione; Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 11:13 PM.
"Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"