During the recent Avengers comic sale on Comixology I ended up picking up all the comics for Mark Waid’s recent volume of the series. It was great timing as I was able to read all the issues leading into the Marvel Legacy renumbering for the series with Avengers #672. Up to this point Waid’s Avengers run hasn’t been bad but it has not been a memorable standout. Waid has done a good job building up the chemistry between this new Avengers squad, though there is still plenty of room for them to grow together. One of the big things that has kept Waid’s Avengers run back is the artwork. For being Marvel’s premiere title the artwork has ranged from sub-par to horrible, with the worst making the story harder to follow. Now hopefully with Jesus Saiz coming on board Avengers can get the type of artwork it needs just in time for a big crossover between them and the Champions. Let’s see if that is the case with Avengers #672.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Jesus Saiz
Synopsis: Both Peter Parker and Miles Morales Spider-Men talk to their team how they are running out of time to save everyone.
In West Orange, New Jersey Vision and Viv work to save people from a burning building. After saving everyone Vision comments how his daughter is still acting reckless. Viv does not take Vision’s comments well and flies off just as Falcon arrives.
At the Champion’s headquarters in Austin, Texas, Viv shows up just as Hulk is telling Nova about a satellite that was sent into space six months ago finally being in position to send them pictures from the other side of the sun.
In Cresskill, New Jersey at the Genius In Action Research Lab, Wasp tells Spider-Man that there is something the size of a planet that will be shown in the satellite pictures but it won’t be a “Counter-Earth” as some believe.
Suddenly images of an meteor are shown coming out of a rift. Both the Avengers and Champions head out to make sure the meteor does not damage the Earth.
The Avengers and Champions arrive in Lexington, Kentucky at the same time. Falcon quickly takes over leadership of both teams and has Nova and Thor act as the first line of defense and then flies up with Viv and both Spider-Men to act to assist while the others stay close to the ground as the last line of defense.
Nova, Thor, Falcon, Viv, the two Spider-Men, Vision and Wasp are barely able to slow the meteor down with their powers. Cyclops uses a full powered optic blast on Hulk and Hercules to do a modified version of the “Fastball Special.” It is successful, giving Ms. Marvel a chance to catch the meteor before it hits the ground.
As the two teams discuss how they handled the situation Thor detects an odd frequency coming from the meteor. Viv discovers broadcasts from across the world that there are buildings vibrating to the point it feels as though there is an earthquake happening.
Falcon quickly pairs the Avengers and Champions members up to respond to all the emergencies. He tells Hulk and Hercules to stay behind to keep an eye on the meteor.
With the others gone Hercules and Hulk try to break the meteor down with their individual strength. Before they can do so the meteor explodes and a huge fire-breathing monster appears. End of issue.
The Good: This may be a reflection of where Marvel has been the last few years with their heroes but Avengers #672 was absolutely a refreshing reading experience for the franchise. Rather than following the usual Marvel format of heroes meeting and instantly getting in each other’s way Mark Waid keeps the focus on a larger threat. It’s the response by both the Avengers and Champions that make this story have a greater sense of importance than normal.
Avengers #672 was all about business. Even when Waid has some characters share some awkward moments where personalities clash the Avengers and Champions always stay on mission. That focus from both teams allows Waid to focus the attention of both teams on the unknown threat from Counter-Earth. That allowed the threat from the High Evolutionary and Counter-Earth to have a strong mystery behind it even though their presence did not exist until the end of the issue.
Right from the moment the two teams get together we get to see Falcon take on full leadership of both teams. That quick action in coming up with a plan shows how much Falcon has come into his own since taking over the Avengers from Steve Rogers. Without that shadow looming over him we are able to see how quickly he is able to act as he already knew everyone’s strengths and how to best use them. That made the Avengers and Champions show of force as they stop the meteor even more impressive.
Falcon quick thinking was also a good way of showing the chip on Ms. Marvel’s shoulders as she is still getting used to being a leader with the Champions. Though she has an obvious reason for why she should complain to Falcon about taking over her team along with the Avengers, we don’t spend too much time dwelling on that. Instead, Waid treats it as more of a sub-plot that could help Ms. Marvel figure out how to be more Type A than she has been in the past.
The other sub-plot that got some good attention was the relationship between Vision and Viv. Since they were the only ones with a real big conflict within the team Waid was able to shine a bigger spotlight on their relationship. Vision bringing up how Viv continues to act reckless shows how much of a divide their is between the two. How Waid continues to push that and if there is any resolution will be interesting to see during the course of this story arc.
The rest of the members of both teams have some good moments. From Cyclops taking charge on his own to deliver a modified Fastball Special to Hercules and Hulk friendship being brought back into the fold, we got plenty of good scenes for both teams. With the team now splitting up to help out with the High Evolutionary’s attack across Earth, Waid has given himself plenty of room to explore new types of character dynamics.
After all the sub-par artwork that has been featured in Avengers up to this point it was great to see Jesus Saiz give the series the type of quality it deserves. Rather than getting in the way of the story, Saiz helps elevate the story that Waid developed in Avengers #672. Saiz’s artwork is especially impressive when he got to show of each of the Avengers and Champions powers at work when taking down the meteor. Hopefully he sticks around for the long run of this series.
The Bad: The one complaint I do have for Avengers #672 is the lack of explanation for Falcon abandoning his Captain America identity. There was no moment or even piece of dialogue thrown into this issue to explain this change. Given that the last time we saw Falcon, over in Marvel Legacy #1, he was still Captain America does make the transition to this issue feel messy.
Though it was good to see Wasp getting more time to develop her background as a scientific genius she did not come off as great with how dismissive she was of the existence of a Counter-Earth. Given that this Avengers team’s first adventure dealt with a cosmic trip thanks to the actions of multiple future versions of Kang the Conqueror, Wasp should be beyond not believing in the unexplained. If anything Wasp should’ve been shown using that information of a Counter-Earth to help her own research in what the satellite will discover to help the Avengers be better prepared for the High Evolutionary’s attack.
Overall: Avengers #672 was a solid kick off to the crossover with Champions. Mark Waid shows his clear understanding of each member of both teams. The different team dynamics and focus on the threat against Earth help make this a story that is worth giving a try if you are a fan of the Avengers or Champions in the post-Marvel Legacy future.