Rating: 4/5 – Marvel’s “Fresh Start” Kicks Off Here.
By ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
It’s been a while since we’ve posted any reviews and it’s 100% my fault, lots of “real life getting in the way”. Free Comic Book Day was this past Saturday, Marvel is doing a “Fresh Start” on a lot of their books trying to regain the momentum they lost with 2017’s “Legacy” campaign that didn’t go over too well with retailers and fans, and well get a fresh start on posting reviews here at ComicSpectrum as well!
This Avengers book was one of 12 “Gold” level FCBD books this year. The Gold books must be ordered by every retailer participating in Free Comic Book Day so chances are you would have seen any of the Gold books at any comic shop you went to that was celebrating FCBD. There are an additional 38+ Silver level FCBD offerings that are optional for ordering so they may not have been ordered by your shop and you may not have seen them, though the two LCS’ that I visited last Saturday both ordered all the available books.
As in past years, the Marvel Gold FCBD book was split into 2 stories. The lead off story was a look at the new Avengers run by Jason Aaron with art by Sara Pichelli (though the art on the new Avengers comic in shops has art by Ed McGuinness). I enjoyed the setup that has Odin speaking to the Black Panther about the HUGE coming threat that will be the focus of the new Avengers comic. I love Pichelli’s art and am a bit sad that she will not be the artist on the ongoing Avengers book since I’m not a huge McGuinness fan. That said, artists tend to swap off most “Big Two” super-hero books every story arc, so maybe we’ll be seeing Pichelli on the Avengers book before long.
The second story focused on the “Fresh Start” for Captain America. This is one where I was personally thinking no fresh start was needed since I have been loving what Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have been doing on Cap since they extricated the character from the depressing mess that was Secret Empire. The constant renumbering to new #1 issues and the regular rollover of creative teams is something that is a staple of super-hero comics, so it’s not surprising. The new Captain America #1 is written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine and current writer of Black Panther, with art by Leinil Francis Yu. The sample story we get here seems very politically charged and has a definite message it’s trying to get across. If you like super-hero comics that are more on the serious/”relevant” side, then this will be your cup of tea. For my own part, I look at them for escapism so I’ll be avoiding this Cap reboot… but I’ll continue to read the material Coates does for the Atlantic.
In any given month, Marvel is usually the #1 publisher of comics sold to comic shops in North America. They just had a HUGE box-office hit with Avengers: Infinity War, so it’s no surprise that people going into comic shops on FCBD walked away in massive numbers with a copy of this free comic. While it’s not the same team that we see in the movies I think the setup was compelling in the Avengers story and may hook readers to want to check out “what comes next”, especially since the new Avengers #1 is already on the stands and smart comic shops may have done something to sell customers a copy of that #1 issue to go along with this free issue. I’m not convinced that the Captain America story will be as compelling an entry point for large quantities of new readers. It will be compelling to some, but I walked away from it sort of depressed and not feeling like I really want to dive into more. That’s not a judgement of quality, it was very well done, just my personal feelings in coming away from the Cap story. Ironically, previous to reading this FCBD comic I was NOT planning to read the Avengers series and I was looking forward to Cap. This comic flipped both of those decisions and now I’m getting Avengers #1 (it’s in my “to read” pile right now), and I’ll be avoiding Cap’s fresh start.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
http://comicspectrum.com/ By Fans who Love Comics For Fans who Love Comics