Bringing the Avengers to IDW, the Marvel Action line aims to create an all ages experience for fans of Marvel, and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Writer Matthew Manning has assembled a team of Avengers from some of their most iconic members to tell a story that aims to create a book that kids and long time readers can enjoy without talking down to the audience. And issue one seems to be just that.
Combining together a bright and almost cartoon like art style, courtesy of the talented Jon Sommariva, the book tells an interesting little mystery, keeping the reader guessing right up to the final reveal on the last page. It feels like it’s a story that is aimed at a younger audience, yet doesn’t alienate an older reader by being too simple, or too silly.
The story follows Tony Stark, who is out enjoying an evening meal with his partner Pepper Potts, when he is attacked by a member of the villainous organisation Advanced Idea Mechanics, or A.I.M.. From here the story seems to follow this member of A.I.M. as he attempts to steal the Iron-Man armour, having to fight Avengers Black Widow and Black Panther in order to do so.
It appears fairly simple as to what has happened, but in the final page we discover that our expectations are completely wrong, and that Manning has managed to completely pull the wool over our eyes. The end not only goes against the readers expectations, but manages to introduce a whole new series of questions as to what’s going on, and where the story will go in the next issue.
The issue also introduces the rest of this new Avengers team, Captain America, Captain Marvel, and Thor, as they execute a mission to take down Madame Masque and the U-Foes, a group of villains that have been hired by A.I.M.. Whilst the mission is short it manages to introduce the three heroes in a good way, showing their personalities pretty well, establishing how they will be acting in the book going forward, particularly Thor, who is clearly shown as a more fun-loving version of the character.
The art-style suits the book well, and each of the characters gets a great new makeover by Sommariva, who takes these iconic characters and gives them relatively small visual tweaks. The designs are clearly their characters, yet stand out well as being their own versions. For example, Captain Marvel sports her iconic costume, but has a more segmented armour look, rather than a simple fabric. She’s instantly recognisable as Captain Marvel, yet looks different enough from her regular comic counterpart for this to be clearly the Marvel Action version.
With a lot of mystery set up within this first issue I’m excited to see what happens next, what the villains are really up to, and what other characters are going to turn up, and what interesting new designs they might have. Marvel Action: Avengers has been designed to be accessible for people of all ages, and as such is a nice easy read that is sure to appeal to both casual readers, and long time fans.
Marvel Action: Avengers #1 is now available from IDW Publishing.