Avengers: The Initiative Featuring Reptil #1

Story by
Art by
Steve Uy
Colors by
Steve Uy
Letters by
Joe Caramagna
Cover by
Marvel Comics

What better way to introduce a new character than surround him with stellar Marvel properties like Tigra, Cloud 9, and Stegron? Christos N. Gage takes the road less (or maybe never) traveled to introduce the character Marvel is already billing as their "next big thing."

Of course, the Fifty State Initiative has tabs on all super-powered people, so when a herd of dinosaurs under the auspices of Stegron comes crashing through, it doesn't take long for Val Cooper (best use of a once great but criminally underused character in a long time) to find a potential foil for Stegron.

Gage does a good job of avoiding all the stereotypes of the young hero-wannabe, for the most part. Sure Reptil (or Humberto Lopez) gushes about his new teammates, but he gets over it pretty quickly. The character comes off as likable, but the story falls a little short, as it is almost over-tailored to match the new character introduced. Still, it was fun (these are comics after all) to read about dinosaurs and Stegron. Tigra even got a chance to shine a little.

The art was decent, but incomplete. Uy did not over-render any of his characters or settings, choosing to rely on the textures and patterns of his color palette to complete his imagery. In some spots, it worked well, in others, it became a distraction. Some of the dinosaurs almost seemed like animated wallpaper. Overall, the color palette was extremely dull, but that played to the story to a certain degree. Not to bag on Uy, but what's the deal with Reptil's grandpa's mustache? Did a poster graffiti artist draw that on?

While I cannot promise that I'm going to run out and preorder any of the next appearances of Reptil (to my knowledge, there aren't any yet) I did enjoy the story. At $3.99, this issue provides almost 40 pages of story. No unnecessary reprints or filler here, just the introduction of Marvel's self-proclaimed next hot character.

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