Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Steven Sanders
What starts as an apparent homage to the classic 1982 series Contest of Champions and a slight rip-off of the currently ongoing series Avengers Arena turns out to be a very basic introduction to a youth based look at Marvel’s Infinity event. While groups from around the globe make up the group, the majority still are local groups from North America adding familiarity to manyof the characters if you have read Avenger Academy, Wolverine and the X-Men, or FF. To those of you who are very in tuned with the Marvel universe continuity the appearance of Meggan, Jimmy Woo, and Sanjar Naveed (we all thought he was dead too) is enjoyable.
This, as said above, is a very simple introduction to the characters assumed to be the focus of this four part miniseries. If you aren’t completely aware of any of the characters or haven’t paid attention to any of their series lately, the issue does a perfect job of simply reintroducing you so as the series moves forward you can sit back and enjoy the action and story. It feels almost retro compared to the way so many other current first issues pan out. There is no time jump and no introduction of a character whose name you don’t know. This is a very straight forward issue. I enjoyed it for that reason, but I am sure many will dislike it for that exact reason.
Matt Kindt doesn’t hit it out of the park with this issue in terms of writing. There is nothing ground breaking and there are no huge twists and turns. This is a very classic feeling comic and with the setup of a comparison to the Contest of Champions it only helps drive the idea that this is completely intentional. With all of the youth characters in this issue, Matt Kindt does a great job of making a perfect introduction issue to a wide spectrum of the Marvel universe to many potential young and future comic enthusiasts. But because of this many who didn’t grow up reading Marvel and DC comics in the 70s and early 80s, but rather got into comics under the darker and more mature tones of the past thirty years, may not enjoy this book or Matt Kindt’s style of writing for this issue.
In terms of Steven Sanders’ art he does nothing revolutionary but rather sticks to a simple layout which also plays into a retro feel of the entire issue. His double page spread of the Avengers Academy campus (with numbered directory) threw me back to all the classic annual’s which featured the same types of maps and layouts as supplemental information to the story. Sanders’ art has a classic John Byrne meets Archie feel which again adds to the theme I keep going back to.
I can’t recommend this issue to everyone, but I do especially recommend this issue to any who are looking for modern superhero comics that are in continuity which are also appropriate for most ages.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5