ALL- NEW, ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS
released OUT NOW! Publisher Marvel Comics
Writer Mark Waid
Artist Adam Kubert
The Avengers have traditionally fought on the side of the marginalised, the oppressed; ordinary folks on the wrong side of great power. So, in a year when representation in entertainment is a major talking point, it’s pretty great that Marvel have assembled their most diverse line- up yet for their flagship title.
A Muslim teen ( Ms Marvel), a black Captain America ( Sam Wilson), a mixed- race Spider- Man ( Miles Morales), and a female Thor ( Jane Foster) join Nova, Vision and team leader Tony Stark ( Iron Man) to form the new- look group – creating the most fun Avengers ever, with Vision the only true straight man in a super- team full of wisecrackers. It should be a triumph for inclusivity, if Marvel have the courage of their convictions.
But, putting aside politics for a second, the formation of the team is just one talking point in a book that has plenty. All- New is a fun, easy read, forming a perfect jumping- on point for anyone who hasn’t been following the complex recent events of Secret Wars. The opening three- issue arc is full of gleeful moments. If Spidey surfing into battle on Iron Man’s back doesn’t make you punch the air, we can only assume you’ve recently had both arms broken.
The plot is basic, with Loki- like villain Mr Gryphon needing artefacts to open a portal to bring Chitauri warriors to Earth. Mark Waid’s dialogue is banter- packed, which matches Adam Kubert’s cartoony art perfectly. It’s the sort of title we’d love to recommend to readers of all ages, but Marvel has slapped a T+ on the cover ( ages 13+). This is a bit baffling, because it’s not excessively violent, sexual, or sweary. Which brings us to the saddest aspect of All- New.
This team should have come together like it was the most normal thing in the world but Waid peppers the book with criticisms from bystanders. “Not my Captain America…” in issue one; “Where are the real [ Avengers]? Man, the world’s getting so politically correct these days…” in issue four. Giving a voice to the book’s inevitable detractors not only weakens its impact, but strengthens their ( dumb) argument. Without this more adult element, perhaps All- New would have been rated more realistically, and all ages would be able to admire a group of people who now look just like they do. Sam Ashurst
All- New should be a triumph for inclusivity
Don’t catch that scarf in the escalator…