Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #17
This, you’ll remember, is one of Marvel’s “all-ages” comics, safe enough for kids to read, but still fun for grown-ups, too. The stories don’t really fit into Marvel’s normal continuity, but you don’t need no stinkin’ continuity, do ya? The Avengers members include Captain America, Iron Man, Giant-Girl, the Hulk, Storm, Wolverine, and Spider-Man.
Oh, and this issue features a new writer — Jeff Parker left the title last issue, so now Ty Templeton has stepped on board.
In this issue, we get introduced to the Vision, an old Avengers member, an android who can change his density. But here, he’s a villain who takes over the Avengers’ HQ and tries to throw everyone out. Most of the action takes place during a power outage, so no one can see anything, no one knows who’s attacking them, everyone’s paranoid and nervous. It’s a very moody story, and feels like a Halloween story, even though there’s nothing outwardly spooky or Halloween-y going on.
I do have some misgivings about the story, because in Marvel’s normal continuity, the Vision was created by Ultron, one of the Avengers’ enemies, and the Vision in this tale has an origin completely different. On one hand, I’m disappointed that the character’s classic origin wasn’t preserved. But on the other hand, that would’ve required the creators to introduce Ultron, have the team fight him for an issue, then bring him back to create the Vision — for a comic that’s being kept free of continuity to make it accessible to kids and new readers. So I think I understand why it was done, even while the fanboy in me wishes it was done differently.
Verdict: Thumbs up. Not perfect, but this comic has always been great, and I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.
Metal Men #3
Well, the Death Metal Men — Uranium, Thorium, Radium, Lithium, Polonium, Ferium, and Strontium — make their debut. The Robot Renegades try to fight them off and are generally helpless. Dr. Morrow reveals to Magnus that the Death Metal Men are actually the Metal Men with a few extra protons added (I don’t think that makes any actual sense, but it’s comic-book science, so we’ll roll with it). The Metal Men get reconstituted back to normal — except that Gold and Lead are now made out of each other. On top of that, there’s more time travel, more alchemy, an appearance by Chemo, and even more. Frankly, it’s confusing as heck.
Verdict: I’m not sure. I think thumbs down. Some of the stuff going on here really is thrilling. But good grief, it’s so confusing…