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MARVELS SNAPSHOTS AVENGERS #1, available from Marvel Comics on November 18th, tells a slice of life story between two first responders against the backdrop of Avengers battles in the Big Apple. Written by Barbara Randall Kessel, this story looks at how the Avengers’ escapades affect the citizens around them.
Alex Ross produces another winner with his hyper-realistic depiction of Iron Man in flight. Although this is an Avengers title, a majority of appearances are with Iron Man/Tony Stark, so the cover subject is fitting for the content. Iron Man is a bold, singular figure against the plain white background, and you can almost imagine his trajectory pulling the reader along at hypersonic speeds. It’s a beautiful Ross painting.
Kessel’s story, true to the intent of the Snapshots series, successfully looks at superheroes through a radically different lens. The main characters, Kerry and Jay, partner up to help wounded civilians in a bunker while an Avengers battle rages on the city streets above them.
This is a light-hearted romance story with a decidedly New York flavor to it. New Yorkers (speaking as a former Brooklynite) have an uncanny ability to roll with the punches, even in the most extreme or bizarre situation, and this issue reflects that quirk perfectly. I enjoyed the hometown (for me) sensibility, and the snappy banter between the lead characters felt as good as any comedic romance film, ala When Harry Met Sally.
Staz Johnson’s pencil work hits the right tone by giving the main characters some action proportional to their role as first responders without going over the top. The visuals were good enough to hold my attention, but I didn’t feel like the movements were so exaggerated as to not make sense for who the characters were or what they were doing.
Tom Palmer’s inking work is mostly good with a few rough sports. Palmer uses a lot of thick lines to provide depth and contour to the surroundings well enough, but sometimes the line thickness looked sloppy on the page, especially when you have multiple pages with six grid layouts and higher. Also, the inking tended to distort faces, making them look droopy. Overall, the art’s good, but it needed some refinement.
Jim Charalampidis’ colorwork is exceptional in this issue, specifically because this is a grid-heavy issue. Working within small, tight panels, Charalampidis’ added tons of clean, multi-layered shading to make each character distinctive without looking smudged or blotchy.
VC’s Ariana Maher does a great job working within such a confined space to mix in copious amounts of narration captions and dialog. The art was never crowded out, and the words flowed smoothly.
MARVELS SNAPSHOTS AVENGERS #1, available from Marvel Comics on November 18th, works as a light-hearted romantic comedy in the unlikeliest of settings. The story is chock full of witty banter, and the art is fairly solid. This is a recommended buy.