I’m a big fan of Al Ewing’s work on Marvel titles these past few months as I find that Ewing successfully creates a personal style for every title he writes. For his work on ‘The Ultimates’ Ewing roots the series heavily in the realm of science and the grander scale of the universe, utilizing cosmic characters such as Galactus and concepts such as the outside of the universe and quasi-dimensions. However, his work on New Avengers is a much different ball game , whereby a tone of fun, light-hearted humor and silly concepts make for an enjoyable romp through the wackier side of the Marvel Universe through lesser-known characters. Recently Marvel has announced that the ‘New Avengers’ title is to be cancelled and replaced with the ‘USAvengers’, the spiritual successor to the current story in the pages of ‘New Avengers’.
From the cover that Marvel released we get a solid glance as to the tone the title will embody and the initial roster of the team. From left to right we have Toni Ho, daughter of Iron Man’s old cave partner Ho Yinsen, sporting the Iron Patriot armor in what appears to be the promotion of a lifetime. Next is Pod, the planetary defense system who has been redesigned with a slimmer outfit. Standing proud in the center is Squirrel Girl followed by the surprise appearance of the Red Hulk, which is interesting since he was depowered in Gerry Duggan’s 2014 ‘Hulk’ series. On the far right we have a female Captain America, who Marvel has announced is the future version of Danielle Cage, daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Finally, team leader Robert da Costa is returning as Sunspot alongside his best friend Samuel Guthrie aka Cannonball.
My immediate thought was that this looks like the dumbest title to be announced thus far. It looks silly, cheesy and nothing to take seriously. However, I remembered that I felt the same way about many other titles that were announced that I now thoroughly enjoy. I slammed ‘The Vision’ for a poor concept of Vision creating a family, but now it’s probably my favorite title currently on the market. The point is, opinions change over time. And while I don’t really have much to go on besides a cover and a snippet of information regarding the basic premise, I feel very on the fence about this title. On the one hand, this could be the defining story of Marvel NOW! by showcasing a cast of odd characters in a crazy situation and placing characters like Pod and Toni Ho in the limelight. On the other hand, this could just be another title with a lame concept, uninteresting characters and an annoying and aggravating story. Perhaps my biggest concern falls under the addition of a Danielle Cage Captain America. In a time now cluttered with various Captain America personas, including Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson and Roberta Mendez, I’m not entirely certain that Marvel needs another future female Captain America, but I don’t have any other information on her other than the fact that she’s there to hunt an enemy from her time.
My final verdict is that USAvengers looks like a silly and uninteresting concept, but based off of Al Ewing’s previous work, it has the potential to impress.