Mind Capsules – New Avengers #3 and Black Knight #1

New Avengers #3
New Avengers #3

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Gerardo Sandoval
Colours – Dono Sanchez Almara

A while back, the Skrull Empire lost their focus and most of their population and most in the universe were not too concerned. Of late, the Kree Empire has befallen the same fate, not so much population-wise, but they no longer have a home world to call their own. There are some who think that because of these events, an ancient prophecy is being fulfilled and that a king, one who has walked among them before, born of Skrull and Kree, will do so again and be the saviour of their respective races. Enter Teddy Altman, better known as Hulkling, the once and future king. New Avengers continues on its course courtesy of Al Ewing and Gerardo Sandoval with the start of a new storyline and it picks up on events from both in the past and of those in the present and all of it centered around current team member Hulkling. Unlike The Ultimates, Ewing peppers the book with a healthy dose of funny and a very apt question, one you would never have thought to ask, by Power Man to Wiccan dealing with the latter’s name. We get a little interaction with POD who does not seem like she is all put together, there might be a traitor in the ranks or really, just somebody else, Songbird is still awesome, White Tiger is not present and Ewing introduces a new big bad by the name of Moridun who just so happens to be the Ghost Wizard of the Fifth Cosmos and who more than likely, is going to have it out for Teddy. Sandoval provides some really fantastic and energetic pencils for the book and if there is one thing you can say about it, it is that you will never be bored while reading it as the combination between his artwork and Ewing’s story makes for a very enjoyable and quickly paced read. The great thing about this book is that while it does bear the moniker of the Avengers and is made up of former members, so far, they are quite unlike any of the teams that bore that name before and yet still familiar. Though it is nice to see how teams react to villains and whatnot, it will be even more intriguing to see how they will fare when meeting other teams of Avengers, whenever that should happen. For now, Ewing and Sandoval have provided us with quite a fun tale and it looks like it is only going to get more exciting from here on out.

4 out of 5

Black Knight #1
Black Knight #1

Writer – Frank Tieri
Artist – Luca Pizzari
Colours – Antonio Fabela

One of the newest books to spin out of Secret Wars and a most unexpected one at that is Black Knight, also known as Dane Whitman, former leader of the Avengers and wielder of the Ebony Blade. Written by Frank Tieri, we find out hero trapped on Weirdworld, now the leader of his own little fiefdom called New Avalon. It has been a long time since the Black Knight has had a title or anything to really call his own, making this not only a surprise, but a welcome one at that. Being on Weirdworld, there is always a battle waiting to happen and it seems like that is all that Dane has been doing of late, though it also helps him to prepare for the day when the outsiders will appear. There is also a problem though, and that has to do with the Ebony Blade. It is a cursed blade and always has been. Despite that this current incarnation of the man is a hero, the blade wants what it wants and Dane’s ancestors have all fallen prey to it and now, it seems as if Dane might be as well. This issue sees our hero get a little bit of costume redesign though nothing too drastic. He is still the same man we have come to know and love throughout the years. Luca Pizzari’s artwork is appropriately moody for the setting, being somewhat of a cross between John Buscema and Gene Colan. The writing is solid and Tieri does a great job of setting the book up for what is to come, adding a good dose of action and mystery to keep you coming back for more. The cliff-hanger is a bit of an unexpected one, especially given that the book has just started, but it should be interesting to see where it leads. Of course with the more recent Weirdworld series ending, there are many questions that arise and it remains to be seen if any of them will be addressed here or in the ongoing series that is soon to launch, but it should also be quite a lot of fun to see just who it is Dane Whitman runs into on this world and who, out of Marvel’s large catalogue of characters, they decide to dust off. A good start for an underutilized character by all involved.

3.5 out of 5

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