This issue is light and breezy, filled with two quick-moving stories, but packed with a vast amount of information and action. The combination of depth and speed make it a very good model for all-ages reads. The depth stretches across the Marvel Universe, with the Avengers – at Iron Man’s insistence – following the Crimson Dynamo into Switzerland and an eventual encounter with the Winter Guard. Yost plays up the morals of the story in this series, specifically lessons in teamwork, which all of the Avengers seem to need to learn more about.
The backup tale features a team-up between Ant-Man and Hulk as they take on the Mad Thinker, Quasimodo, and the Thinker’s Awesome Android. Yost spins this into a light-hearted tale that pits the brilliance of Hank Pym against the twisted intelligence of the Mad Thinker. It’s a clean, sterile story that doesn’t put too much development into any of the characters involved, but it does provide an entertaining read.
The more I see of Wegener’s art, the more I want to see. Wegener effortlessly delivers very animated looking figures that exude energy and spring through the pages of this issue. His Winter Guard is expressive, fun, and entertaining, and his Ursa Major really looks like a bear, a quality that Yost plays with quite nicely throughout the story. Patrick Scherberger and Sandu Florea continue to deliver kinetic, scratchy art. Their art is less cartoon-based, but no less animated than Wegener’s, but the style they collaborate in frequently short-changes some of the issue’s storytelling. The method by which Mad Thinker and Quasimodo are defeated, through the storytelling of Scherberger coupled with some odd color choices by Beaulieu, is lost on first read and may not hit with all readers. Still, the gist of the story perseveres.
If younger readers (presumably the target audience of the “Avengers” cartoon) do pick this book up, they’re going to find a nice, wide collection of characters that will surely call on the Avengers and their world. The profiles in this issue feature a pair of Barons — Zemo and Strucker — as well as details about Crimson Dynamo and the Abomination. There’s also a spread that illustrates Hawkeye’s arrows and cycle. Those are nice filler pieces that add some additional information to the issue.
This series continues to offer fun stories for Avengers fans of all vintages. The more you know going into this series, the more you’ll get out of it, but as it is an all ages book, less seasoned fans of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will assuredly find enjoyment in these pages as well.