Saturday, 3 September 2016

New Avengers: AIM, Volume 1: Everything Is New Review (Al Ewing, Gerardo Sandoval)

Al Ewing tanks another Marvel title with New Avengers! 

I don’t read everything but I do read a fair amount of Marvel’s output and I don’t remember when Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM – the beekeeper villains) suddenly became the good guys, but that’s what they are in New Avengers… for reasons, I assume?! I guess Everything Is New, like the subtitle says (an upbeat reversal of Jonathan Hickman’s first New Avengers book, Everything Dies, probably signalling renewal after Secret Wars - fart).

And while I’m not a huge Hickman fan, what I read of his New Avengers was surprisingly decent – his team made sense and their goals were clear. I have no idea how this arbitrary assortment of characters came together or why. The New Avengers in this series are: Songbird, Wiccan, Hulkling, Power Man, White Tiger, Squirrel Girl, and Clint Barton Hawkeye led by Sunspot (who’s also now head of AIM). 

Squirrel Girl… I’m starting to hate this character. Patton Oswalt had a great bit about the Avengers and how Cap hangs around sporting goods stores recruiting the customers. “I like the way you tetherball sir, how would you like to fight ULTRON?” – that’s basically how I feel about Squirrel Girl. Fucking ANYONE can be an Avenger if a girl who looks like a squirrel and has a pet squirrel can be asked to defend the planet! If you’re conscious and can hold a knife then you’re already more capable than she is. 

Ewing does no character work on any of them so if you don’t know who they are, tough titties! Songbird, Power Man and White Tiger are written as generic male/female toughs while Squirrel Girl is the “hilarious” quip-y one. I already knew Hawkeye from his solo series and Wiccan and Hulking from Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie’s Young Avengers but I can see newcomers wondering who they are – hell, new readers are gonna be lost, full stop! Everyone in this book comes off as utterly one-dimensional. 

The stories stink. The Maker (evil Reed Richards with a funny hat) has survived Battleworld and wants to give the French diamonds for heads… yeah, the guy’s a genius… and then Hulking gets a magic sword and has to fight Wiccan who’s been taken over by a Cthulu monster. Hoho, Hawkeye’s a SHIELD spy and he’s spilled the beans to everyone – that plot point goes nowhere. Oh and please let’s have some time-travel horseshit because Marvel don’t do enough of that already! They’re like disposable Saturday morning cartoon storylines that are just thrown together without any thought – directionless, unfocused and instantly forgettable gibberish. 

Gerardo Sandoval’s art is slightly better than it was in the horrendous Secret Wars Age of Apocalypse tie-in but it’s still ghastly - way too busy, flat and ugly. The dude has no idea how to draw anatomy – everyone looks weirdly distorted especially their hands. I bet his biggest artistic influence was Rob Liefeld… 

And that’s Al Ewwwwwing’s New Avengers: Everything Is Garbage!

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