All-New Invaders #2 (Comics Review)

James Robinson being one of my favourite writers, thanks largely due to his work on DC’s Earth 2 title, All-New Invaders is one of the new series from Marvel that I was really looking forward to, even though I don’t have all that much experience with the characters involved. I’ve read some Captain America stories here and there, and some Winter Soldier stuff, but other than that, I am very unfamiliar with them. Still, it was a chance to jump in on a new superhero team with a new series from a writer I enjoy so that was my sole motivation for this title. Reading the first issue in January, I wasn’t all that impressed, largely because the story happened to be very lore-heavy.

The second issue however, has turned things around. It sums up the events happening both in the past and in the present quite nicely, catching me up to what is really going on. It is a gesture that I appreciate and in this issue James Robinson’s writing skills seemed to be at the fore. He always writes his characters with precision, focusing on their core aspects, and that’s what I got here. The art by Steve Pugh however I still have some reservations about, and that is largely because of how he draws faces.

All-New Invaders 02What I found to be the best part of this issue was the writer’s no-nonsense approach to the story and the revelations as they happen. The previous issue was all about the setup and introducing a villain for the first arc, so the second issue goes the other way and it gives a lot of revelations for those readers who may feel lost, such as myself, in the first issue. While this means that the issue is a bit too much talking heads and there are long moments of exposition, James avoids making it all seem stale and keeps the flow of the story going.

Another great thing was that I got to read more about Winter Soldier and Captain America here, plus some background on the Invaders as they were during WWII, when they were formed and when they first got involved in the events that have led to the Kree warrior Tanalth the Pursuer from invading their lives and giving them a solid beating. More development of the overall story is combined here with development of the characters as well. While some of the dialogue et all can feel a bit cliched and overbearing, I won’t deny either that I found this issue to be much more engaging and exciting than the debut issue of the series.

With all these characters being a bit old-school, especially Cap who is as old-school as they come, there’s a nice dynamic between Cap, Bucky and James. Robinson does well to bring out their easy and comfortable rapport with each other, especially their friendships. What with Marvel Studios’ next, Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier coming out soon, I read this issue in an entirely new light. In the movie, Bucky and Cap are going to be against each other, but this issue, and this series, is set at a time much further in the future, when the two are back to being the friends they were before Bucky “died”.

And with the way that Robinson starts off the issue, giving solo time to both Cap and Bucky, it was much easier to get into the entire story. The approach mirrors that of the first issue, but since this time the focus is on three heroes and not one, the overall effect is much better.

On the art side of things, we have some very nice splash pages from Steve Pugh. Lots of action as well in this comic and Pugh certainly knows how to handle these characters. He is comfortable with them, and it shows. My only criticism on that regard would be that Pugh’s details are not quite as detailed as I would like them to be. Still, he juggles two art styles, one for the flashbacks during WWII and another during the present time, and I think that overall he pulls it all off. And where colourist Guru eFX is concerned, the art is definitely better than it could have been. Lots of nice choices in the dialogue heavy panels are combined with the less narrative heavy panels. Good mix.

Overall, in all respects, All-New Invaders #2 is a better issue than All-New Invaders #1. Can’t wait to see what James Robinson turns out when he begins to hit his stride on this title.

Rating: 8.5/10

More All-New Invaders: #1.

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Posted on March 25, 2014, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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