Avengers Undercover 1 review


Avengers Arena was easily last year’s most controversial series. It was basically Battle Royale, but with pre-existing characters with superpowers. While in terms of quality, the book turned out fairly well, it angered a lot of people. It didn’t help that the first issue killed off a main Avengers Academy character, a series that had some very dedicated fans. This issue is more of an epilogue to Arena than it is the first issue of Undercover, taking place three months after the previous “season”.

Avengers Undercover 1 focuses mainly on the main survivors from Arena and how the world at large reacted to their ordeal being turned into a web-series. It seems that everyone is talking about them casually. Hazmat is trying to live under the radar, and due to exploding at the end of Arena, has mostly gained control of her radiation powers. It’s nice that she can live without her hazmat suit, but it isn’t explained all that well. And with it, both of her most important plotlines in Academy are permanently gone.

Chase is eating the fame up. Nico has yet to return to the Runaways and is probably living in solitude. Each of the characters has reacted in their own way, but it’s clear they’re all suffering from PTSD. Worst off is Cullen, who has completely lost it and commenced a one man mission to kill Arcade and destroy all his properties.

The character focus works for the most part. I can’t say anything about Nico or Chase as I’ve never read any Runaway comics, but the rest of them seem true to their characters. Seeing them act out when they encounter casual talks of their antics is a bit of a highlight. On the downside, there’s no indication of anyone trying to help the teens cope with what they’ve been through. There’s no mention of any consoling by the Avengers or the Braddock Academy, not that it wasn’t offered. There’s no mention of anyone else hunting Arcade. There’s also very little in the way of this title’s story direction. The survivors are supposed to be infiltrating the masters of evil, but we only see them for about a page. There’s only so much room in one issue though, and focusing on the survivors for the opening issue was probably a wise choice.

The art is very good for the most part. There’s a lot of detail on each character and despite most of them being dressed very differently, they’re usually instantly recognizable. There isn’t always background detail, but when there is, it does a great job at setting each scene. When Chase is in an interview, you’ll see a shot of the audience, and a shot with Chase talking, and the screen behind him has a close-up on his mouth. A similar shot in a restaurant shows a live news broadcast discussing Murderworld. The colouring is overly dark and murky at times, but it works for Cullen’s video recordings.

While there’s likely not going to be as many deaths, this series is obviously going to be dark; probably as dark as Avengers Arena was. How much you’ll enjoy this one depends on your thoughts on Arena. While I have some problems with it, I enjoyed Arena. I also enjoyed this issue. Xmenxpert hated Arena, and he wasn’t a fan of this issue either. I’ve read other reviews that were simply lukewarm. This is worth recommending to anyone who enjoyed Arena, but if you hated its very concept, it may be wise to skip this one too. The lack of a death premise may help more people enjoy it, so read it before you buy it if you’re on the fence.

About healed1337

I am a relatively new comic book fan writing this blog for other new comic book fans and/or people who are interested in comics but don't know where to start. I've always been interested in writing, to the point where I have a college Creative Writing Certificate and I'm currently a year 2 Journalism student. I also have another blog where I mostly make fun of bad movies - www.healed1337.blogspot.com As for how I got into comics, I've always had a passing interest in superheroes: most notably Batman, Spider-man and the X-Men. Until February of 2011 (I think,) my only experience with any of these franchises came from the movies and video games. Shortly after I bought Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 however, I decided to check out X-23, Wolverine's female clone. I ended up reading her Innocence Lost origin story and enjoyed it. From there, I started reading various X-Men comics and it quickly exploded into my newest hobby. My other interests/hobbies include video games, movies, music, playing sports, my dogs and weird news.
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3 Responses to Avengers Undercover 1 review

  1. Pingback: Comics of March 12, 2014 | healed1337

  2. xmenxpert says:

    The idea that Arcade could manage to evade capture for three months, when every hero on the planet would be after him, is ridiculous. I don’t care how low he lays, they’re going to find him. Even a lot of villains would sell him out to the heroes out of disgust for what he did.

    And I also have trouble believing that the video would stay on the Internet for any length of time – it would get taken down every time it was put up. Not just on YouTube, but on any site. And there wouldn’t be large numbers of people treating actual murder and psychological torture as TV.

    The lack of explanation for how Hazmat now controls her power is ridiculous. Pym spent months researching it, and he mentioned asking Richards, McCoy and other geniuses to look into it, too. The future version of her we saw still had the suit, too – which means that supergeniuses spent years trying to find a solution and failed. And yet, somehow, she just magically has control now. I guess because Hopeless just wanted her to be able to control it, but didn’t want to spend any time making it make a damned bit of sense.

    Bleh. I feel completely justified in my refusal to buy anything Hopeless writes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: The Comic-Verse: Awesome Art & The Top 15 Featured Links (03/08/14-03/14/14) | The Speech Bubble

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