Avengers #1.1 marks a tale like no other, the untold story of Captain America’s Kooky Quartet. Now a few of you out there may wonder what I mean, so let me explain. The Kooky Quartet marks the period starting with Avengers #16 vol. 1 in 1965. This period is when Iron Man, Thor, The Wasp, and Giant-Man all left the team, with Captain America being the only one left. After the team leaves, they are promptly replaced by Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Hawkeye. Mark Waid and Barry Kitson are now going to tell the tale of Captain America and his time leading the Kooky Quartet. Let’s see if this tale is as Silver as the Age or is it a Modern Age mess? Onwards as we dive into this review of Avengers #1.1!
Let us go forth into Avengers #1.1 and see the beginnings of the Kooky Quartet in a new light.
Tweaking with the format here, I adore the introduction to this story. If anything is truly successful in this book is the intro. The Wasp makes for a great way to introduce this period of the team for you. It’s Silver Age bombastic energy at its finest. Barry Kitson and Mark Farmer capture the perfect vibe with Kitson’s clean art and Farmer’s smooth inks. Jordan Boyd’s colors on this intro are also as bright as the time period they’re channeling. The colors sparkle, shine, and pop off the page. Even Ferran Delgado’s letters capture the time period perfectly, bold and powerful poppy fonts, it’s wonderful. Then Waid’s writing of The Wasp fits the period and captures the optimism of the team, until the last bit when she says the team is tired. Waid and his team work well together in giving this a great beginning for certain.
It is interesting that after the intro and Captain America gets an introduction to his new team, this is when things get uneven. Cap’s reaction to Quicksilver, Hawkeye, and Scarlet Witch is funny, I have to admit. Captain America worked for the most part here, Waid has a great handle on him from his long tenure of writing Cap’s series. After this, the issue gets weird when they introduce the antagonists. The issue might have worked better without the ending supervillain fight with the Frightful Four. This sounds odd to say considering I enjoyed the chat about how this is their time, but they didn’t entirely work here in execution. The ending to this had some of the weakest art of the issue too, it didn’t look as strong as the beginning and into the middle of the story.
When the art goes in a rough direction, believe me, it gets rough.
The interactions with the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were okay, but again they didn’t gel here. Waid had an uneven tone with them for the most part for me anyway. Hawkeye was the one that worked the best the entire way through the issue, Clint Barton was spot on and a joy to read. This is why Avengers #1.1 is so uneven. For every one aspect that works, there’s another that doesn’t quite come together.
This is the best way to describe Avengers #1.1, solid enough of an idea but the execution is messy. It’s got a good hook to get you invested at the start and by the ending, it doesn’t land as well as it should. Which is a shame as I like the idea behind this. It’s not a terrible story but I wish it worked better.
This is one of those series that if you’re curious about the Kooky Quartet, give it a try. Yet if you’re not entirely wanting more Avengers in your world, this is skippable. Despite mostly solid art and some fun moments, this may work better as a trade but as a single, it doesn’t come together well, at all.