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Marvel Adventures: Avengers #2 Review

I think that, with the second issue of Marvel Adventures: Avengers, writer Jeff Parker has officially hit all the notes that I think he was trying to hit in issue #1, to less success (although #1 was a pretty good comic as well). Marvel Adventures: Avengers is a fun, funny, easy-to-follow-but-with-extra-depth, superhero romp with an interesting plot and an interesting villain.

The plot of the comic is that the Leader is trying to draw the Hulk into an alliance with the Leader along with the Abomination. The gist of the Leader's pitch is that since the Abomination would like to be human and the Hulk hates becoming human, then the Leader will use a device to switch the two, so that the Hulk can stay the Hulk full time. It's an interesting idea, and a good use of the Hulk backstory by Parker to come up with a nice new twist.

Throughout the comic, the Leader has excellent dialogue, with Parker allowing him many good one-liners. The book, as a whole, is quite funny (there is a GREAT scene with Spider-Man being forced to carry the Hulk).

But the humor is based on characterization, and in the end, it is characterization that wins the day, with a nicely set up scene where Parker has a character recall back to a scene earlier in the comic book to make a big decision. Good writing there.

The rest of the comic is taken up by various outrageous action scenes, beginning with the Avengers taking on mutated sea life (with Parker even tossing in a few science facts for the raders about the various sea life the team fights) and then later, the Leader himself.

The book centers upon the Leader, the Hulk and Spider-Man, so there isn't a lot of room for the other characters, characterization-wise, but Parker makes sure to give them all something to do in the comic, which is good to see.

My main problem with the first issue is that the action didn't seem grounded enough - the characterization wasn't as evident. That was partially due to introducing the new reader to the concept, but I think Parker overcompensated in that respect, making the book read a bit flat (although with some funny moments still in there). This issue, on the other hand, has no such problems. The action is rampant, but the character depth is never forgotten, which makes this book such an enjoyable read.

Manuel Garcia does a solid job on the art. Nothing outrageous, but he does everything Parker asks him to do, and the one area where he really does stand out is in the facial gestures that is very important for the scenes where the Hulk is making decisions. Good work there.

I would recommend this comic without reservation.

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