Overview

Avengers: The Origin #1

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Avengers: The Origin #1

Credits

  • Words: Joe Casey
  • Art: Phil Noto
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 7, 2010

Avengers: The Origin #1 promises to deliver the secret origin of the Avengers in this five-issue limited run.  It is the modern-day retelling of the gathering of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.  For the most part, the story remains true to the original: The Hulk is manipulated into almost derailing a train.  Loki manipulates Rick Jones, who calls Ant-man, The Wasp, Iron Man and Thor together to defeat Loki, thus creating the Avengers. 

In this first issue, writer Joe Casey and artist Phil Noto give the story a bit of a reboot, by having the founding members of the Avengers fight Rick Jones and his band of militant hackers, after Loki hijacks an e-mail sent by Jones’ crew meant for the Fantastic Four.  As you can see, Casey has made a few slight changes to the origin story for the purposes of adapting it to the times. 

First, as I’ve already mentioned, the technology in this issue is on the level that it is today.  Hank Pym has a couple of laptops in his workspace, there’s walls of HDTV’s in the electronics store and Rick Jones and his friends live in a digital fortress equipped with a large variety of bio-scanners.  It was a bit strange because Noto’s art has a vintage pin-up quality to it, which is reminiscent of ads from the 60’s.  There is a strange juxtaposition of old to new in this issue, with Iron Man wearing his clunky old gold armor and there being a new looking Volvo station wagon in Hank Pym’s driveway, among others.  It makes the story feel a bit scattered, and prevents the reader from fully immersing themselves in the fictional world. 

Adding to that, Noto’s art, while very nice to look at, does hold to that pin-up art style, which captures scenes from life as if they were frozen in time.  This gives you a sense of awe while reading, focusing attention on what is going on in each panel.  However, Noto’s technique makes the action feel static, as if the whole story is being shown in slow motion.  It’s very nice for dramatic effect, and for nostalgia’s sake, but it ignores the splendor of the super-hero. 

The most dynamic image in this issue is the cover for the next issue.  It shows the Hulk punching Iron Man in the head, crushing his armor.  It captures force, motion and emotion—it’s just an all-around great image.  I hope that we see more of that in the subsequent issues.

While off to a bit of a rocky start,  Avengers: The Origin shows a lot of promise.  It will be interesting to see how technology comes to play a role in the team’s secret origin.  As of now, it is still unclear if this is just a re-imagining of the origin story or an attempt to re-write canonical history.  Hopefully all will become clear in issue two.

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