Poor Marshmouth the frog. In one of the funniest pages of this book, a poor little unassuming frog turns to find Ms. Lion in his way. Turning from Ms. Lion, he is confronted by Hairball and then Zabu! The Pet Avengers have reunited to find Frog Thor as they all sense that he is missing.
The first “Pet Avengers” series featured the gathering of the team. This series jumps right in, picking up with a pair of teammates as they try to corral a loose hippopotamus in Central Park (yes, the Central Park Zoo in the Marvel Universe does have hippos). Hairball and Ms. Lion bicker like teammates from any other team book. After all, teams need friction. Eliopoulos does a great job ensuring this collection of Wild Kingdom renegades exude personalities as disparate as their species. After the initial crisis of the book is resolved, Eliopoulos then adds the rest of the Pets into the mix.
The Pets are fabulously rendered by Ig Guara, the artistic beast master from the previous series. Guara, thankfully, has returned for another go at the Pets, bringing expression and emotion to these critters while never failing to deliver fantastic backgrounds, foregrounds, and cursory characters. This issue only has two panels with human beings in it, but with Guara drawing Eliopoulos’ story, there is certainly no shortage of characterization.
Sotomayor and Roberts color the living daylights out of this book, making the frogs look like amphibians, and setting off Ms. Lion’s fur, giving each animal an almost tangible difference in their appearance. Sabino’s lettering is equally well-suited to this story, giving many of the animals a different tone and tenor. The rumble of the hippos is different from the resonance of Hairball’s speech.
The mystery of Frog Thor coupled with the last page reveal are a bit more than one would expect from an “All Ages” book, but it just proves that this is truly “All Ages” and not “intended for younger readers, but hoping older readers think it’s cute enough to pay for.” Well done, I say.
A single page Hulk-Pet Avengers story ends this issue with the characters teaming up with Blue Hulk to go to Ice Cream Mountain. It’s silly and fun, and nice little extra for the younger readers written by Audrey Loeb and drawn by Dario Brizuela.