Home > Marvel Comics > Avengers: The Initiative #2

Avengers: The Initiative #2

May 3, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Hero Moment
Rating:T+

The kids’ first mission is as big as it gets – save the President from Hydra!

Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Stefano Caselli
Colors: Daniele Rudoni
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Jim Cheung
Publisher: Marvel Comics

As the new Initiative recruits try to recover from the shock of watching MPV die in training, their own training has to continue, because Gauntlet isn’t about to go easy on them. Another incident on the training course, however, makes it clear that Trauma is going to need some additional training to keep his powers under control. Things get worse, though, when the call goes out that the kids are needed already – to save the President of the United States from an invading Hydra army!

This series, just two issues in, has already done volumes to convince me that the really engaging storytelling to come out of Civil War is going to come through the newer characters in the Marvel Universe. These kids are new and vulnerable, and I already care more about what happens to them than I do any of the decades-old heroes being showcased in the other two Avengers titles. It’s also nice to see them go into action so early. This little adventure demonstrates a lot of things, including the partnership between the various teams that comprise the Initiative and how the kids will factor into their battles, even though they haven’t actually “graduated” yet.

I’ve only got a couple of problems with this book, and all of them minor. First, should the Gargoyle really be in with the recruits? He’s been a superhero for years, he was a Defender – sure, he never had any official training either, but as nice as it is to see him, it’s weird to see him with the recruits. The other thing is something that’s been Marvel policy for years, but has always kind of bugged me – using real-life political figures in the story. I understand the reasoning behind it, they want to make the books seem more grounded in the real world. But we live in a climate where trade paperback collections, books that will be sold for years, are becoming more and more important in the comic book market. This issue works just fine right now, but in a few years it’s going to become as dated as old issues of Marvel Team-Up that took place maybe five years ago in Marvel time, but have Jimmy Carter’s face interacting with Nick Fury.

Stefano Caselli and Daniele Rudoni’s artwork is very strong. It’s not easy to do an exciting aerial battle sequence in a comic book, but they do a great job with all facets – the action itself and the more personal moments, just as Cloud 9’s horror when she realizes that a real fight isn’t the romanticized lifestyle she’d imagined.

This is a completely different Dan Slott than we see on the more lighthearted books he’s known for. It’s a major feather in his cap that he can do a book so different than what people expect and do it so incredibly well.

Rating: 8/10

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