Sunday, 7 January 2018

U.S.Avengers #1 - Marvel Comics

U.S.AVENGERS No. 1, March 2017
Described by author Al Ewing as a super-group who work “with S.H.I.E.L.D. while not being a part of it” and featuring a heavily-moustached Red Hulk, an alternative universe Captain America (who scarily resembles Bernie America) and the ever-effervescent Squirrel Girl, it’s easy to imagine that most of this comic’s 110,729 bibliophiles probably thought that they buying into some sort of tongue-in-cheek series similar to “Marvel Comics” Silver Age self-depreciating title “Not Brand Echh”. It’s certainly hard to understand just how this comic became the biggest selling book of January 2017, even if Rod Reis was commissioned to draw over fifty unique variant covers pairing an Avenger with either an American state, Canada, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, or United Kingdom, in order to celebrate the launch of the new series…

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


  1. Another super hero group I had no idea that existed! I do like some of these alternative universe spin offs, and the art looks great, with the female captain america above looking awesome. I this in a TP yet?

    1. U.S.Avengers have only been about a year, but the first 6 issues are available as a tpb already. Its probably too early to tell whether its any good or not yet, as I've literally only read #1. But I thoroughly enjoyed this first one, and the artwork is excellent, imho.