Avengers: Endless Wartime by Warren Ellis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is my second Avengers comic book read, and it's closer to the movie adaptation, which might attract readers who are coming to the series from the Marvel movies. To my joyous surprise, Wolverine is fighting with the Avengers, along with Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers. Of course, the old gang is there, minus Black Panther, Ant-Man/Giant Man and the Wasp. Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Hulk make up the rest of the team.
Captain America is morose about his sense of hopelessness about his identity. What is he if he can't change the world by fighting the good fight, and with rules of engagement that are totally different form his day. Also there is corruption at the government level, where one nation can throw enough money into destablizing a smaller one for selfish reasons. He has an uneasy partnership with Tony Stark, who admits that he was involved in such murky events. But they bond over past regrets and a determination to make things right and protect the world. Hawkeye is making the wisecracks that one associates with his comic book persona, not so much with the more serious Jeremy Renner incarnation. But of course, he has all the formidable archery skills that we know and love, and the snazzy purple outfit. Captain Marvel reminds me of a mix between Wonder Woman and Superman, with a bit of the patriotism of War Machine thrown in. Of course, Wolverine is his usual laconic, snarky, lets get it done self. Black Widow is all business as usual. And Bruce Banner is barely holding 'the other guy' back for strategic use. Thor is very tortured, since he has an intimate acquaintance with the menace they face, along with Cap. He feels a personal responsibility and shame about it all, and he's not his usual hearty, arrogant self.
The storyline is pretty weird. Demons from Thor's realm mixed with technology created by the Nazis back in WWII. Although weird, it's an interesting idea. Along with the beautiful artwork, it makes for an exciting read. For lack of a better word, this graphic novel looks very cinematic.
An underlying theme is the morality of war. While some fight for the good of humanity, others do it for profit and a sheer love of the danger and glory. Through Wolverine we see that some people are tasked to do the darkest, bloodiest work for good reasons, even though they are often judged for it.
I liked this one a lot. I think it's a good starter graphic novel for people who loved the recent Marvel movies. Since I don't have a background in reading the older Avengers comics, I can't say how a veteran Avengers fan would feel, but my mom got excited about it when I was reading it, and she is reading this now.
I give this a thumbs up!
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