Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Bryan Hitch
Color Artists: Andrew Currie & Alex Sinclair
Cover Artists: Bryan Hitch & Alejandro Sanchez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Avengers are under siege across time and space. Whether it’s through their timeline or in other universes, Avengers are under attack by Mephisto and his many variants in the Council of Red. After some time-traveling, the Avengers of the present day land 1,000,000 years in Earth’s past and meet the Avengers B.C. team. See what happens between these two teams of Avengers in Avengers Assemble: Alpha #1.
Okay, this reviewer hasn’t been the biggest fan of Jason Aaron’s Avengers run, but there are some moments and issues that are better than most. This is one of them. Admittedly, that’s a very low bar, but there are some good things in this comic.
The comic starts out simple enough and picks up where the last issue of Avengers left off with an elderly aged-up Starbrand, or Brandi, having led the Avengers back to the “Genesis point” of Avengers 1,000,000 years ago in Earth’s time. Before that, the comic finally sets up the mysterious “Avenger Prime” character that’s been mentioned here and there in Aaron’s main Avengers book and a shadowy hero figure in his Avengers Forever companion series. The comic shows him leaving the safety of his Avengers Tower to visit the two Avengers teams meeting each other and is greeted by the main villain, Mephisto of all people, as the two play spectator to the superhero shenanigans that unfold.
What follows is nothing special, rather a classic move of superheroes having a big misunderstanding that turns hot and explodes into an all-out brawl between the heroes. The fight between them is a mix-bag to put it mildly. Due to Bryan Hitch’s art, some of the art in the comic in general works, and some just doesn’t especially when the scenes call for more motion-oriented art. This includes half of the brawl between the Avengers. However, the big show-stealer in this whole comic, where the most fun comes from, is not with the Avengers fighting but with a surprise appearance of the other main villains. At least one of them, and this is major Spoilers and will go right into the Spoilers Section for this.
Doom Supreme, leader of the Multiversal Masters of Evil, the Doom Above All, shows up and essentially wrecks house on Jason Aaron’s Avengers. At least two of them before the rest of the Multiversal Masters of Evil show up and then the comic connects things to the story with Robbie Reyes and everything Aaron’s been doing in Avengers Forever. Fans of that series and story don’t get much, but the comic does end with an interesting problem for Robbie Reyes to solve.
From there, the comic ends with the story branching off back into the main Avengers run and Avengers Forever. In many ways, this comic really is about the genesis of Jason Aaron’s whole Avengers run. Despite the idea and concept failing to take off with fans for a variety of reasons, Jason Aaron found a way to cram in his latest favorite Marvel idea, after Gorr the God Butcher & writing Jane Foster, into the Avengers run. Time will tell if people grow more attracted to the idea of the Avengers B.C. team during this grand finale of his Avengers run.
The biggest problem here is that Avengers Assemble: Alpha #1 doesn’t feel like it needs to be a one-shot and could’ve easily have been the next issue in the main Avengers run, especially since it branches off back into both series.
Avengers Assemble: Alpha #1 kicks off the biggest story arc for this Avengers run. Everything with Mephisto, the Avengers B.C. team, and the mysterious Avenger Prime converges here as the two Avengers teams meet and have at it with each other. However, this issue’s not exactly a good jumping on point for new readers. The art by Bryan Hitch is good for the most part, with some scenes feeling a little more static than others, but it’s good overall.