|U.S.AVENGERS No. 1, March 2017|
Incredibly however, Issue One of “U.S. Avengers” actually contains plenty of action-packed suspense, and despite its narrative being repeatedly interrupted by “camera pieces” designed by Roberto Da Costa to “hopefully convince the S.H.I.E.L.D. sceptics that A.I.M. is just people… who want to help”, it also proves a thoroughly enthralling read. Indeed, considering that the British writer’s script introduces all seven lead cast members, highlights the new mantra of Advanced Idea Mechanics, resolves the very genuine threat of the Secret Empire’s volcano base helicarrier and showcases the villainous Golden Skull, it’s incredible that this twenty-page periodical isn’t just a hot garbled mess.
Of particular note has to be the gobsmackingly good entrance of Doreen Green and her Flying Squirrels air squadron, as well as General Robert L. Maverick’s stunning establishment as the (new) Red Hulk. Admittedly, a dozen rocket-propelled gliding rats attacking a zillion drone missiles and an over-muscled, shade-wearing Gamma monster ripping into a floating ‘lava lamp’ might not sound the most convincing of plot devices on bare paper, but they truly produce some astoundingly good open-mouthed moments on the printed page; “Hey! What’s he gonna do for the other fifty-nine minutes?”
Equally as engrossing as Ewing’s storyline, is Paco Medina’s outstanding pencils. Presumably “influenced by the designs worn by the Emperor's Royal Guard in Star Wars, specifically in the headpiece design and their habit of holding long ornate staves”, the Secret Empire appear regally dangerous, regardless of the absurdity of their molten-based machinations. Whilst the Venezuela-born artist’s sketch of “the Muscle” going “full Hulk” into the side of the subversive organisation’s gigantic helicarrier can actually be physically felt.
|Writer: Al Ewing, Penciler: Paco Medina, and Inker: Juan Vlasco|