As I'm typing this, I don't have this week's books. Hopefully by tonight I will, and I can review some of them Friday. But for now, this book. Because I really dig the Kooky Quartet.
Avengers #1.1, by Mark Waid (writer), Barry Kitson (penciler), Mark Farmer (inker), Jordan Boyd (colorist), Ferran Delgado (letterer) - Nice try, Pietro. You're not fooling us into thinking there are five people on your team.
Thor, Iron Man, the Wasp, and Giant Man need a break from Avengering, which leaves Cap leading a team of three former criminals. And this is not Seasoned Leader Captain America, so he's struggling to keep them together. Then the Wizard decides to come and kick their asses with his Frightful Four, and that's pretty embarrassing.
It's nice to see these characters in this form, for me. This is the closest to the way I see Hawkeye I've seen in a Marvel comic in years. I like that not only does Clint decide to start the press conference without Cap, but he also does pretty good at getting the crowd with them, initially. That carnival experience of working the crowd. Wanda expressing a moment of doubt in what they're doing, and Pietro immediately deciding they need to ditch the whole idea because he's got to protect her. And then Wanda having to talk him down. A Steve Rogers that is still relatively new to this time. He doesn't have any knowledge of the people he's working with, or the people they're fighting.
I've been lukewarm on Barry Kitson. I've just always found his artwork kind of flat, technically sound but lacking in something. This is probably among his better work from my perspective. The action sequence at the end works pretty well. There's nothing flashy about it, but he does a good job of showing the progression of the fight, as it rapidly goes into the dumpster for our heroes. Captain America getting manhandled by Sandman, but in the background we can see Pietro's been incapacitated by Paste-Pot Pete, Hawkeye's in trouble, and Wanda's squaring off with the Wizard, and then in the next panel, Pete blindsides Wanda, as Hawkeye gets dumped like a sack of potatoes.
What's interesting to me is the contrast between that fight and the one at the beginning with the previous roster. Not just because the earlier roster won their fight, but how it's presented. That sense of progression, of the fight flowing isn't really there. Most of the panels are of one hero trouncing one villain, then a different pairing in the next, and so on. They're winning, but there's no real teamwork. Whereas the Kooky Quartet is getting trounced as a group. They're all in this together, but they aren't working together, so they get their asses beat.