Al Ewing, Gerardo Sandoval, Dono Sancez Almara
New Avengers #2 is a bit of difficult comic for me to discuss. On the one hand, it’s an incredibly well done comic; it’s fun, looks great, and you can tell writer Al Ewing is having a blast with this roster and concept. I appreciate the fact that the story went on only for 2 parts, as that’s just the right length this particular arc needed to be to establish the direction of this book. On the other hand, the book felt kind of shallow, focusing mostly on the evil Ultimate Reed Richards (aka The Maker), and not giving much development to our heroes.
In Al Ewing’s defense, he tries to do a lot with this book, which sadly may have contributed to some of the book’s undoing. The cast is huge, between the New Avengers, Dum Dum Duggan and Hawkeye, Sunspot’s staff, and the Maker and his cronies. It’s a lot to balance, and again, Ewing tries to do some cool stuff with the character, but never really hits the mark. Having White Tiger bounce off of Squirrel Girl is a neat idea, but Ewing’s Squirrel Girl doesn’t seem as clever as the one we’ve been getting over in the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which is disappointing to me as a fan. He finds much more success in Sunspot, the Maker, and Songbird, the later showing the most depth out of any of the on-site Avengers. I hate to harp on Ewing, who has some genuinely fun ideas like Sunspot having a Champagne Robot and SHIELD and the Maker trying to make sense of this Marvel universe, but the highlight real is relatively short for this issue.
Ewing also doesn’t get much help from artist Gerardo Sandoval this time around, who’s art is all over the place. While I don’t mind his super stylized art for the most part, there a multiple scenes where the female character waists are insanely too thin, especially with the extremely large chests their given. Much like Ewing, he works best when it comes to the Maker material, or some of the fight scenes, but he stuffers when the action slows down, and character have to interact with each other through non-violent means. Case in point, there’s a panel where Hawkeye is saying something, and Sadoval didn’t even bother drawing the dude’s mouth (or eyebrows). Marvel deserves some of the blame, as Sandoval strikes me as an artist who would have benefited from having a single issue drop this month instead of two.
On the positive side of things, Dono Sancez Almara’s colors for this comic are absolutely stunning. He managed to nail everything Ewing and Sandoval throw at him, ranging from Lovecraft inspired madness to super heroes brawling in Paris. The colors he chooses for every scene are perfect, which helps make the art more enjoyable. Letterer Joe Caramagna also deserves praise, as he uses a ton of different fonts for this book, helping Ewing convey emotion through words. These two excel, giving the book a sense of fun and energy that may have not been present had other creators been assigned to it.
New Avengers #2 isn’t a bad comic, but I’m not sure it’s a comic I want to pay $4 a month for. It may flow better once it’s collected, so I’m willing to give it another once that trades drops, and swap it out for another book in the meantime.