Marvel Action Avengers #4 is a strange comic. In the previous issue we saw the Avengers take down the monstrous Fing Fang Foom, as well as freeing Tony Stark from mind control, but discovered that the villain Count Nefaria had used this distraction to steal the Ruby Egress. This issue begins with Thor and Captain Marvel trapped in some strange dimension, looking for Doctor Strange.
At first I thought that this was a separate mission that the two of them were on that would somehow tie into the main story, yet as the issue progressed it was revealed that Count Nefaria had trapped the two of them there when he infiltrated Avengers Tower; something that we had not seen. The rest of the Avengers had even laid a trap for Nefaria thanks to information given to them by Doctor Strange – another thing that we had not seen. There was such a big jump in the narrative structure that I had to go back and check that I had not accidentally skipped an issue.
If Matthew K. Mannings wanted to skip certain aspects of the story, to jump forward in time in order to keep things interesting that’s fine, but it does feel like some very important story points have been missed out. A simple solution would be to show a couple of panels of flashbacks, but that doesn’t happen here. Instead the story choices left me feeling confused and somewhat lost. As a result, I found it very hard to stay in the story.
Jon Sommariva provided the art for the issue, and it all looks great throughout, with some fun and dynamic action sequences, and some interesting designs to new enemies and even a fancy new stealth suit for Iron Man. There are some nice contrasts between the other world and the real world thanks to colour palettes that are unique to each, with reds and oranges for the strange dimension where Thor and Captain Marvel find themselves, and blues and other cooler tones dominating the real world.
Overall Marvel Action Avengers #4 is a decent enough single issue, filled with action that moves the plot forward. However, taken as a part of the whole story it feels completely out of place, like there are huge amounts of the story missing.