Release Date: April 5th, 2006
Genre: Superhero Comics
Rating: 5/5 Stars
I really liked the first volume of this so had high expectations going into the second and, you know what? Those expectations were exceeded.
These are not the same characters we know on screen. Bucky in this world is an old man, who marries Steve’s girlfriend after his disappearance. And I love seeing them pop up in this – it’s a nice reminder of the life Steve had before, and like Peggy does in the MCU, serves as a reminder of what he’s lost, too.
This volume introduces Black Widow and Hawkeye, and they are brilliant. We get to really see them in action and understand what they bring to SHIELD. We also get the occasional glimpse of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and every time those two are on page it’s weirdly delightful. The dynamics are carefully thought out, and it’s clear the cracks in the team have the possibility of breaking the whole thing apart.
One thing I love about this less family friendly version is how messed up these characters are. Cap feels very much like he’s still trying to get his head around the situation he’s in, but at least he gets to vent his frustrations via his fists. Tony doesn’t seem to quite realise that, yes, these missions are actually dangerous and things could go wrong. Bruce is…well, he’s doing his best, sort of. Hank and Janet…well, Janet is allowed more moments to shine in this, especially compared to the trash-bag Hank.
I really like both this and Volume 1, and definitely think if you the idea of a slightly more darker Avengers, The Ultimates is the way to go.