Assembled Avengers


Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #22

I lost track of this one for several months, but there was a spare copy or two at the store last week, so this seems as good a time as any to get back on the bandwagon. What is it? It’s part of Marvel’s all-ages line of comics that’s not so tied down by continuity. The members of the team include Captain America, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Storm, and Giant-Girl (basically, she’s what the Wasp woulda been if Janet van Dyne had been more interested in stomping buildings flat than in fashion).

This issue puts most of the focus on Wolverine and Storm, because the Avengers travel to Wakanda, home of Storm’s semi-ex-boyfriend the Black Panther, and try to track down Wolverine’s nemesis Sabretooth. And… well, that’s pretty much the gist of the plot. Ain’t nothing wrong with simple and straightforward.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lots of good superhero-ey action and nice artwork. Wolverine’s personality is a bit stereotyped (“Grr, I have to get Sabretooth on my own because he’s my responsibility, for some reason no one knows. And because I’m moody.”), but Storm is a good deal more interesting. The Black Panther is cool, and his costume is just about the best one I’ve ever seen designed for him. And every time I look at this, I get more and more impressed by, of all things, the coloring work by Ulises Arreola, especially in the night scenes, when the light from the moon hits all the right highlights. I had a heck of a lot of fun reading this.


Tangent: Superman’s Reign #1

Okay, back in ’97, DC came up with a temporary new imprint called “Tangent Comics” for one of their “fifth-week” events. The gimmick with Tangent was that it was an all-new superhero universe, built using new characters with familiar names — the Flash was a light-based superheroine; the Atom was an atomic powerhouse; Superman was a hyper-evolved psychic cop; the Joker was an anarchic female hero. The Tangent Universe has been established as Earth-9 in the post-“52” universe, and references to it have popped up occasionally, but this is its first major series since a short Tangent series in ’98.

The Tangent Universe is a lot different place than it used to be. Superman has taken over and is trying to “reform” most of the world’s heroes and villains, against their will. The Joker has lost most of her sense of humor under the totalitarian parole system, and Green Lantern has lost her Green Lantern, leaving her at death’s door. Manhunter and the Spectre, meanwhile, are trying to rescue the missing Atom. And over in the regular DC Universe, our Flash meets the Tangent Flash, and they and Green Lantern take Green Lantern’s Green Lantern (umm, what?) into the Tangent Universe to see what’s up.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’ve always kinda liked the idea of the Tangent Universe, though I’m worried that all the duplicate names is gonna make it rough to describe what’s going on.

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