While previous issue of this “Avengers Origins” series have been steeped in nostalgia and filled with painterly artwork, this issue breaks the pattern and delivers neither.
The story is limp and forced, hitting notes just for the sake of hitting those notes as though Sean McKeever was given a list of items to include in this issue. Have Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch join the Brotherhood (of no longer “Evil”) Mutants. Check. Give us a reason to call Scarlet Witch “Scarlet.” Check. Write a hideously uneven Magneto. Check and double-check. Have Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver join the Avengers. Not quite a check there as no Avenger (save Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) has even a syllable of dialog in this issue. Quicksilver does shake Captain America’s hand, though. There’s nothing really nostalgic here as the handling of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch is more in line with an angsty teen movie (minus the characterization those movies barely have) and completely unnecessary ogling of Wanda’s figure. Yes, that ogling is crafted by Mastermind, who has been shown to be a rather creepy individual, but it seems as ill-fit as the rest of the story. Or maybe it was simply another box to check. The fact that Mastermind depicts her drinking milk from a carton seems like another bizarre choice or oddball editorial mandate.
I’m not all that familiar with Mirco Pierfederici’s artwork. His work here is serviceable at best and at times slips into something less appealing. He uses some dramatic poses for his figures that are not well matched to the story, as Magneto breaks into a high school varsity football coach motivation speech when he simply is telling his new charges of the all-too-real harshness of the mutant situation. In other spots, Pierfederici seems to be trying out some photo-tracing chops, but poorly applies those to make the exchanges between Wanda and Magneto (as Magneto leans into his daughter’s forehead with his fricking helmet on!), and later Wanda and Pietro, seem better suited for characters who may not share bloodlines.
I skipped over the Luke Cage issue of “Avengers Origins,” but the other two I did read set a nice standard for what to expect from these books. Sure, neither of those stories are “must-read,” but both offered additional insight to the development of the titular characters and the stories of said characters finding themselves Avengers-worthy. This issue ignores the standard and offers up a sub-standard. If this brand is to continue, I’m hoping for a return to form closer to what was established in the first two issues of this series. This issue is not only forgettable, but largely dismissible. The redeeming factor here is the limited appearance of a great line-up of Avengers and the visuals of the fight between the Brotherhood and the X-Men in their original blue and yellow uniforms. Even that, however, seems to be set up as another box on the checklist.