Graphic Novel Review: All-New, All-Different Avengers: Family Business

All-New, All-Different Avengers: Family Business

All-New, All-Different Avengers: Family Business - Credit: Archant

Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Vision, Spider- Man, Ms. Marvel and Nova are the All-New, All- Different Avengers - but can they stay together long enough to be more than a footnote in the team’s great history? Maybe not, when the events of Standoff pit them against the Uncanny Avengers. Who will prove themselves the mightiest Avengers of all? Things get worse as the mysteries of Pleasant Hill deepen. Collecting: All-New, All- Different Avengers 7-12.

(Panini Books)

With the line-up and direction of the team firmly established in the first volume, there’s barely time for a breather before the A-N, A-D Avengers are plunged headfirst into the Standoff at Pleasant Hill. Of course, if you’d read the two volumes collecting this crossover then you’ll be up to speed on events surrounding Maria Hill’s villains incarceration program, and if you haven’t then it’s going to be difficult to follow exactly what’s going on, which makes including these two issues somewhat unnecessary in the greater scheme of things.

Moving past Standoff, which is covered in more depth in its own review here, we are introduced to a second generation Wasp, who turns out to be the daughter of Hank Pym and his first wife Maria, a progeny of Soviet Russia’s Red Room who comes to the States in search of her roots. She’s just in time to foil a second attempt by Kang the Conqueror to turn the Vision against his allies, an error of judgment which will have dire consequences for the time-travelling despot further down the line.

The rest of this book is a three-part story in its own right, and all the better for it. This roster of Avengers has had few opportunities to shine by its lonesome since its inception, so what finer way to do so then in an interstellar search for Nova’s father which takes them to the Negative Zone and beyond. Featuring some truly spectacular set pieces, including a no-holds-barred battle between Thor and Annihilus, in the wake of this storyline there is no question that this is an Avengers team to be reckoned with.

Writer Mark Waid, working alongside artists Adam Kubert, Paco Medina, Alan Davis and Mahmud Asrar, obviously has a long-term strategy for where he’s going with this book, and in the process admirably succeeds in blending more seasoned pros like Iron Man, Captain America (Sam Wilson), Thor (Jane Foster) and the Vision with the young generation of Nova, Ms Marvel and Spider-Man (Miles Morales).

But with Civil War II just around the corner, and the launch of a new Champions title featuring many of this book’s junior Avengers as part of the team, it’s a worry that editorial intervention may just scupper Waid’s plans for the series.