The closer May 4th comes the more excitement builds toward the live-action Avengers film. Marvel/Disney has been building excitement since the 2008 blockbuster release of the live action Iron Man with Robert Downey, Jr. Slowly but surely, Marvel/Disney has been building a strong live-action universe with The Avengers characters. Now, with Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the Disney XD, Marvel is building a strong, solid animated universe.
I have not had the opportunity to see more than the debut episode of the animated series. If it is anything like Chris Yost's first issue of Marvel Universe Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, it is sure to be entertaining for quite a long time.
The issue opens with a page one team splash page and roll call. I like seeing Captain America with The Hulk and Black Panther together as Avengers. I always wondered why The Hulk was never brought back after the Classic Avengers 3.
Marvel Universe Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes #1 features three stories. "Enter The Mandarin" written by Christopher Yost and pencilled by Chris Jones pits Black Panther, captain America, Hawkeye, the Hulk, Iron Man and The Wasp against the Mandarin and what looks like Fin Fang Foom. the Mandarin is controlling the dragon's attack on Stark Tower in a revenge plot to destroy everything Tony Stark has built. Stark quickly catches his teammates on his history with the Mandarin and together they set about trying to figure out how to beat him. Tony is notorious for not being a team player, but Captain America convinces him that sometimes a person needs support and backup from friends.
In "The Nick Fury Files", the former SHIELD Director details Danny Rand's background and origin and approves him for use as a SHIELD operative, along with other operatives like Spider-Man and Nova.
The third story, "Assembly Line" by Yost with penciller Adam DeKraker, Acting-Director Hill and Agent Coulson list the numerous times The Avengers have saved the world. Coulson comes away with an awe of the team, while Hill reaches the conclusion that while The Avengers are a force for good, they can also be a deadly force as well.
This first issue is pretty fun. It's got action. It's got a couple of lessons. It's got Chris Jones art. Not too much or too little of any one element.
I didn't follow the "armored" Avengers cartoon in the '90's. The last time a team like this was Assembled! was in Marvel Adventures: The Avengers. That all-ages book closely mirrored what Brian Michael Bendis was doing in The New Avengers, bringing all of Marvel's heavy-hitters together. The MA Avengers were Cap, Iron Man, The Hulk, Wolverine, Storm, Giant Girl and Spider-Man. The team was only missing Thor and Black Panther.
This third version looks like the charm. It has all a reader needs to stay excited for another few weeks until the live action premiere of The Avengers on May 4th.