AVENGERS #2 / Writer: Jason Aaron / Artist: Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, Jay Leisten & David Curiel / Letterer : Cory Petit / Marvel Comics / May 16th, 2018
Two weeks ago, I reviewed the first issue of Avengers with enthusiasm and was pleased by the way this run started off. Avengers #2 keeps bringing us high-stakes action by pitting Ghost Rider and She-Hulk against one another while the core Avengers take the fight to the Dark Celestials. Unfortunately, it does all these wonderful action set-pieces at the expense of storytelling.
Let me start off with the positive in this second issue of Jason Aaron’s run. I loved the perspective of this issue Loki’s point of view brought the story to life. It was a nice throwback to what assembled the Avengers together in the first place and it was satisfying to see him have this moment. One of my main criticism in the first issue was that the focus was spread too thin, not allowing any room for characters to breath and get their moments. This time around Aaron struck the right balance focusing the story between two parties. It brought Ghost Rider and She-Hulk together, which was the only real development in the story. The transition between the two groups was very smooth and well balanced out; it gave the comic an excellent flow making it an easy and quick read.
As much as I liked Loki’s narration and involvement it didn’t come as a surprise or even a clever reveal. This being the second issue not much has happened in the story to give this “twist” any shock value. The issue heavily hinges on this final reveal, which comes up short since it was clear from the beginning Loki was narrating. My other problem is that this comic heavily lacked in story. The action was amazing, but apart from a small development with She-Hulk, nothing other than fighting happened. This second issue was very much written for trade; there wasn’t any particular story arc for this one issue, but it is completely dependent on what is coming next and barely moves the story forward. It felt like I was reading a ten minute moment in these twenty odd pages which enforced this sentiment that nothing major was taking place. The way I feel towards this issue might change once I read the next one, but as it stands right now I’m unimpressed.
The art continues to be the driving factor for this book. Ed McGuinness puts on a clinic his art is top notch and mixed with the vibrant colors you truly get the right feel for this book. You can see in Aaron’s writing that he wants to give off this feeling of an epic conflict and McGuinness translates his vision so perfectly that this book is worth buying just for the art. As much as I praise the art I have a bit of criticism. The lack of proper backdrops is a little frustrating to look at. McGuinness draws some of the most beautiful character-centric pieces, but every background is a blurb of color. It looks good here and there during fights, but at the end of the day, it looks like a lack of attention to detail. It takes me out of the story making me forget were in New York this feeling lowers the stake which is the last thing you want with this book.
Avengers #2 looks great, gives us more Loki (we can never get enough Loki) and has a smooth flow making it a pleasant read. Despite all this, it runs into a few speed bumps by being too slow and shaving off plot development to favor epic fight scenes. This book so far is a car that looks flamboyant but is still parked in the garage while it should be getting its show on the road. I can point at it all day and say it looks fantastic, but if it does nothing more than rev its engine a little I’m just gonna go do something else after a few minutes. I need a lot more from Avengers. I’m sticking around for now because issue one really got me onboard, but the way this one panned out is making me a little skeptical of what is to come in the future.
Verdict: 2.5 out of 5 Hulk Squishes