Graphic Novel Review: Avengers Prime

(Panini �11.99)

THE relationship between Captain America (Steve Rogers), Iron Man (Tony Stark) and Thor (Donald Blake) was at the heart of the Marvel Universe for years, a triumvirate of Avengers whose alliance was forged in conflict but grew into a friendship.

But nothing lasts forever, and the events leading up to the divisive Civil War, which saw America’s heroes torn apart over a Superhuman Registration Act, led to this bond being broken.

The deaths and resurrections of both Thor and Cap and the memory loss of Stark, followed by their combined efforts to thwart the invasion of the thunder god’s home of Asgard by US troops under the control of the mad Norman (Green Goblin) Osborn, offered hope that a reconciliation was possible.

But even as the three men considered their options after the siege of Asgard, mysterious powers transported them to the otherdimensional realm of the Nine Worlds, forcing them to do solo battle with ice giants, trolls and undead warriors before reuniting to face a much greater foe.

Long-term Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis obviously had a plan of action with this story – separating his protagonists to focus on their individual talents before bringing them back together for the final confrontation with a deadly adversary.

For the most part this works well, especially by putting the technologically-focused Tony Stark into a world of myth and magic, but he does make rather an odd misstep with Steve Rogers’ character at one point in the tale, something which even raises eyebrows for Iron Man and Thor.

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As a means of re-establishing this trio at the heart of the MU, cementing over the cracks in their friendship which occurred over the last few years, and setting events in motion for the future, this story ticks most of the boxes. Alan Davis’ art is, as always, sublime, and yet you can’t help thinking that it’s all resolved a little too neatly.

But hey, this is comics, and at the end of the day these three heroes went through a remarkable amount together before their break-up, so maybe all that history counts for something when it comes to reforging their bonds once again?

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