Avengers: Unleashed 1: Kang War One

avengers unleashed volume 1 kang war one cover trade paperback
6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 5/10

Return to team-family feel

Bad choice of story, art doesn't match story

Comic Info

Comic Name:   Avengers (Volume 5)

Publisher:   Marvel Comics

Writer:   Mark Waid

Artist:   Mike Del Mundo

# of Issues:   6

Release Date:   2017

avengers #3 cover variant vision hercules spider-man falcon thor wasp

Avengers (5) #3 Variant

Reprints Avengers (5) #1-6 (January 2017-June 2017).  The Avengers find themselves rebuilding again.  With Parker Industries remodeled Baxter Building as their base, Captain America and his team of Avengers find themselves caught up in a time war when they learn Vision’s actions to stop Kang have come back to haunt him.  Now, Kang and his future version the Scarlet Centurion are searching through time for what Vision took from them and the Avengers become targets themselves.

Written by Mark Waid, Avengers:  Unleashed Volume 1:  Kang War One is the fifth incarnation of the Avengers comic and follows All-New, All-Different Avengers 3:  Civil War II.  The series features art by Mike Del Mundo and ran in conjunction with Avengers:  Four.

The Avengers have hit a ton of rough patches over the years reading the series.  With a new focus, I decided to backtrack and read some of the chunks of the series I missed over the years.  I decided to knock out the first part of Waid’s run.  While there are some things I like over Hickman’s series, Waid also tackled the wrong subject to launch the comic.

The Avengers were always about teamwork and a tight-knit group putting differences aside for the betterment of the world.  With Hickman’s sprawling Avengers, the team seemed spread thin (intentionally) and more team-goal oriented.  Waid seems to be trying to bring back the family aspect of Avengers, but he doesn’t give much room for development.  The story is pretty choppy and there is little set-up with what came before.

avengers #6 cover kang alex ross art review

Avengers (5) #6

The second problem is making this initial story a time travel story.  Time travel stories are either extremely tight and smart (like Dr. Manhattan’s story in Watchmen) or sloppy and dismissible due to the fact it can all be “unwritten”.  Here, the story is sloppy.  The characters magically can fix time riffs, be protected in limbo, and other Marvel series with multi-timelines and other parallel dimensions seem to be ignored for one solid timeline.  A better enemy and better story would have been a good way to kick off the series.

I also am not a fan of Mike Del Mundo’s art especially in this context.  In really high end fantasy books, this art can work (like Weirdworld), but the Avengers seem more anchored in reality than many of the Marvel comics and the art is cartoonish, often hard to follow, and just not a good match.

Avengers:  Unleashed 1:  Kang War One is a rather unbalanced and uninspired foray into a new Avengers series.  The companion piece Avengers:  Four is a bit more manageable (but releasing multiple issues of the same series with different numbering a whole different comic book market problem).  Still, I want to like Avengers, and I hope it can land on its feet.  Avengers:  Unleashed 1:  Kang War One is followed by Avengers:  Unleashed 2:  Secret Empire.

Related Links:

Avengers:  Four

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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