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Origin is a modern retelling of the first meeting of the Avengers. At the focal point of the story is Loki, who has been cast out of Asgard for acts against his half brother Thor. Cast-out, but not without his magic, he decides to launch yet another attack on his half brother. He tricks the Hulk into nearly derailing a train full of people. The Hulk, having the worst publicist in the world, is painted as the villain and the military is mobilized after him. Rick Jones and his band of merry hackers send an encrypted message to the Fantastic Four asking for them to help the Hulk. This of course interferes with Loki’s game. He can’t stop the message, but he can send it to someone else. This is the story of how Loki, unknowingly created the Avengers. It’s such a weird origin tale. I cannot recall another team/heroes origin where the villain of the story created the hero and that’s what makes it interesting.
Joe Casey (Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Elephantmen) and Phil Noto (Beautiful Killer, The New West) knock this issue out of the park. Casey is already very familiar with the Avengers and modern takes on older storylines, but he meshes the two together perfectly in this book. Fans of Avengers that miss the good old days of the founding members can take comfort in this. Each character speaks and acts like their golden-age self, which is to say that the Hulk is without a doubt the Hulk. Not an inspired version of the character. Probably one of the strongest interactions of characters is between Ant-Man and the Wasp. They’re just working out of Pym’s garage not rich and famous. But there’s a real sense of home and uncertainty between them. They’re just starting off as superheroes and unsure what that means.
Noto pushes his skills to a new level. With the exceptions of the two landscapes that are supposed to be baron, the rest of the world is real and alive without losing his softer pencils and style. From heroes to alter-ego’s he makes them his own and yet familiar. Noto makes the world scary and new for these heroes that are suddenly coming out of the wood works. Comics have become a dark place over the years so it’s refreshing to see a book that’s bright and beautiful.
If you’re familiar with the Avenger’s origin and have no interest in a modern twist then you may not find anything to draw you into this title. If you’ve never bothered to read the Avengers origin story then this book may be for you. Casey and Noto compliment each other’s skills without stealing the spotlight from each other and in a sea of Avengers books this one truly ushers in the Heroic Age.
Score Overall – 9.0/10