We here at Geekorama rarely review Marvel comics. That’s not an indication of support or lack thereof, it’s just the way the business goes. So when Marvel Action: Avengers came into my review queue I was curious and a bit confused. Why is there an IDW watermark on this file? The short version is that Marvel hasn’t really done many actual COMICS targeted at younger demographics for some time. IDW, meanwhile, has a great stable of talent that does it exceedingly well. Basically, Marvel shopped it out. That works.
Being aimed at the 8-12 year old market could be a disaster, so I was pleasantly surprised. The art style of Jon Sommariva is simpler, cleaner, and a bit more enthusiastic than you’d see in most superhero comics, but he thankfully didn’t go down the rabbit hole of Super Hero Squad or Teen Titans Go!
Similarly, Matthew K. Manning’s writing hits that perfect the perfect balance between the Avengers we know from the comics and movies, and less aggressive style needed for the middle school demographic. Tony Stark is still arrogant, but he’s not drunk or belligerent. Thor’s enthusiasm gets dialed up to 11, making him feel a bit teen-sidekickish, but not to an irritating level (yet). Captain America is still running the show and is also still pretty sure that property damage will not be kept to a minimum. Black Panther and Captain Marvel both make the team, although neither sees much development. Black Panther has his own title coming in the next few weeks, and of course the MCU Captain Marvel film hits screens in March. Both heroes have legitimately been part of the Avengers in the past, but it remains to see if they will fit in here or just feel like a hyped up product placement.
Most of the characters are intended to be visually closer to the MCU versions of themselves, with the exception of Thor whose classic cleanshaven look fits his new exuberant manner better. They modified Black Widow a bit as well, just to add some depth compared to her MCU look. This is Issue #1 of a series intended for new readers, so there isn’t a ton of plot. It does a good job of summing up the character intros, without relying overly heavily on previous exposure but recognizing that it’s probably a thing. If nothing else the mid-range of the target audience for this was also the target audience for Super Hero Squad when it first came out a few years ago.
So far IDW has two titles in the Marvel Action line, with a third coming soon. They’ve done a great job with this, so it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
Based on it’s intended audience, definitely worth 4 out of 5 stars.