"Lionheart of Avalon"
Writer: Chuck Austin
Artists: Olivier Coipel (p), Andy Lanning (I)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After wrapping up their whoís in whoís out dilemma in the previous issue, the Avengers find themselves in England. So far it appears only the core members have made the journey across the pound. Right away we see the people of the U.K. are not necessarily huge fans of the super team, or perhaps Americans in general, however the cynicism does not seem to have spread all the way down to the young ones. The action doesnít take long to pick up as the Avengers soon find what they were apparently looking for. As the battle begins in a crowded area of the city the Avengers have to skirt that fine line between taking down the bad guys and protecting the innocent civilians from harm.
I gotta say, I felt compelled to write this review just because I was so surprised that I liked it. I am sure Mr. Austin is a fine human being but what he has done to the Uncanny title over the last few months convinced me that this wouldnít be any better. Making it a $.50 issue was the only way I was going anywhere near it. That being said I feel this issue is a Very good read.
The single mother family introduced in the beginning brought a lot of depth and humanity into the story right from the start. Cleary the mother has been let down by men in her past and doesnít share her sonís optimism about the decent upstanding men left in the world. I found it quite easy to admire her poise in public, while being touched by her childrenís obvious concern for her feelings. Kudos to Mr. Austin, not halfway through the issue and I already care as much about someone I have never seen before, as I do about the Heroes I have followed for 25 years.
The dialog between Cap and Hawkeye is excellent, although nothing we havenít seen written for Hawkeye in the past. Although Austin seems to have tapped into Clintís free flowing consciousness quite well. Clint spouts ideas as they come to mind, and then he tries to put them back into rational ideas the rest of us (including Cap) can try to understand. From there the action flows quite well. Itís high energy, well written, and fun to read as the Avengers are given a run for their money by the Wrecking Crew.
Copiel goes out on a limb drawing a Captain America like I have never quite seen him before. BEEFCAKE! Comes to mind as I look at a Cap just a little to reminiscent of Cartman for my liking. Other than that his work here is decent. He doesnít seem to lose his cool on the action scenes and his take on Jan and Hawkeye seem spot on. I am quite grateful that this title does not look like its going to be as HEAVILY lined as Austinís work on Uncanny, as Lanning is much more conservative with his use of inks. Still I think they are a bit heavy here, but that seems to be a running trend with most of the Marvel core books at the moment.
What I did really enjoy was the nice use of Color employed by Chris Sotomayor. I felt he did a terrific job of setting a somewhat drab feeling background to the book. Which worked in beautiful contrast to the bright flashy colors of the Avengers and the Wrecking Crew, truly setting them apart from the humdrum atmosphere around them. Lets face it, if we are gonna put our heroes and villains in spandex customs lets make them as bright and alive as possible.
OK, lets face it, the book is 50 cents. We are not talking a huge investment here, and if any of you out there are like me, after the Nightcrawler arc of Uncanny it still seemed like a gamble to me at any price. However, after giving this first installment a fair read, I can honestly say this book would be a solid buy at the $2.99 price point. If you havenít already picked it up, go grab one. It will be the best fifty cents youíve spent in a long time.
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