The Secret Wars event is almost over due to delays but Marvel jumped ahead to what comes after. I just finished the first issue of the All-New All-Different Avengers so I thought I’d report on the many changes to the Marvel universe.
To start, the Avengers aren’t a team any more. Sam Wilson, the current Captain America, had a falling out with Steve Rogers, and Steve left to form a new “Unity Team.” The Unity team is supposed to include Mutants, Inhumans, and other Superhumans, to ease tension between these groups. The Mutants and Inhumans are at each others throats at the moment because the terragen mist cloud is toxic to Mutants. Anyway, at the start of the comic the Avengers as we know them are no more. Tony Stark is broke somehow and sold off Avengers Tower. Peter Parker has formed a multinational tech business called Parker Industries where he pretends Spider-Man is his bodyguard, which mirrors Ironman’s early stories. Captain America has become a divisive figure because he dared to speak out about his liberal political views.
The story revolves around a Chitauri warrior (who Nova had previously pissed off) teleports into Stark’s old building and runs into the current owner. I couldn’t tell who that guy was but I think he might be that evil Roxxon executive (he knows a lot about technology and also seems to have magic). Either way, hes perfectly happy to help out the Chitauri in killing all humans. Ultimate Spider-Man happens to see the alien as he was passing by and uses his camouflage ability to spy on the two, though of course he had to do something dumb like say “Uh-oh” and draw attention to himself. A fight ensues and poor Miles is blasted from the building. Fortunately Captain America and Ironman happened to be in the area, so the trio team up and get their asses handed to them by one fucking Chitauri (in their defense he was a really big one).
The second story in this issue is worth the money alone. It stars Ms. Marvel who we see is still a teen girl in Jersey City after Secret Wars. She’s in Bruno’s corner store listening to her friends argue over who would make a good Avenger when the team forms up again. Of course Kamala has very strong educated opinions on the matter (having met a few superheroes herself), but she stays out of the argument for the sake of her secret identity. Suddenly, Nova (the young Sam Alexander) comes crashing out of the sky with a huge monster from the microverse. The rest of the issue is so well written, as both teens awkwardly interact. Kamala knows who Nova is but never met him, so she’s a little shy and tongue tied. Nova is instantly attracted to Kamala and wants her to like him, but comes across bossy and stupid (which honestly is kind of how Sam is). They beat the monster and send it back to the microverse (there is a great moment where Nova tries to impress Kamala by flying into the monster’s face like a rocket and Kamala chides him for hitting the “innocent creature” she’s grappling too hard). In a last ditch effort to try to come across as sincere, Nova removes his helmet and gives away his secret identity to Ms. Marvel. Kamala has her own good reasons for keeping her secret identity and feels put on the spot by this guy who seems sweet but also an asshole. Kamala insult him but instantly regrets it. They both leave with perfectly horrible first impressions of each other, happy they will probably never see each other again. We know, however, that all the characters in this issue will reform as the Avengers.
A couple observations. As far as racial makeup of the team goes we have a lot diversity. Of the known members we have Captain America (African American), Nova (Latino), Ms. Marvel (Pakistani American), Vision (Robot), Ironman (white), Thor (white), and Spider-Man (mixed race). Though it seems the team is all straight, the young ones might be bi but so far we’ve only seen the three teens on the team have crushes on the opposite gender.
Which reminds me, this team is really young! Almost half of the Avengers are not allowed to vote. Also, the three teens are some of the best characters that Marvel has created recently. Sam is a lovable dummy with real problems, Kamala is an idealistic non-violent nerd, and Miles is a good person that worries he might be a bad guy, though usually he’s funny.
And a special hat tip to Kamala and her creators. I remember when it was announced there would be a Muslim teen girl hero and there was much gnashing of teeth about Marvel pandering or being too PC or liberal. And here we are two years later and Ms. Marvel is one of the most popular and beloved characters in comic fandom. You can even see how she is front and center in Marvel promotional stuff (like the top image). She’s even been a symbol against anti-Muslim hatred.
Even though a lot of crazy stuff is different and and we have so many green Avengers I can’t wait to see the direction they take this story and the rest of the Marvel universe.