Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artwork: Ed McGuinness, Cory Smith
Colors: Erick Arciniega
Lettering: VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: 9th January 2019 (Comixology)
While Marvel wanted this title’s audience to believe that “it’s hard to run the Avengers without a support staff”, it was probably a whole lot harder for many of this comic’s 52,427 readers to process the plethora of comic book super-heroes Jason Aaron desperately tried to crowbar into particular issue. In fact, at its most basic level the American author’s storyline for “The Agents Of Wakanda” is arguably little more than a twenty-page procession of some of the New York-based publisher’s lowest-tiered crime-fighters and anti-heroes; “As for the others… How are there not better available candidates than this? Was there recently a super hero massacre of which I was not made aware of?”
Admittedly, having recently become the leader of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, King T’Challa’s desire to create a network of intelligence gatherers makes considerable sense if “the most powerful super-team in recent memory” are actually going to become an international resource for truth and justice, as opposed to simply a ‘puppet’ for S.H.I.E.L.D. or the United States Government. But so bizarre are some of the Inkpot Award-winner’s choices that the roster debatably smacks of the writer simply throwing out a plethora of seldom-seen characters, including the likes of American Eagle, Broo and Doctor Nemesis, in the hope that the odd “agent” will somehow resonate with this book’s bibliophiles.
Aaron also seems to have taken a fair few disagreeable liberties with the personality of Ka-Zar, questionably turning the once proud Lord of the Savage Land into an unrecognisable foil for Okoye, leader of the Dora Milaje and Director of the Agents of Wakanda. Kevin Plunder’s history dates back as far as the mid-Sixties, providing him with a proven track record of working alongside some of the greatest super-heroes known. Yet in this story, the eldest son of a British nobleman has to first pass an audition so as to be deemed worthy to join a ground crew which has already recruited Gorilla-Man as the Chief of Security for Avengers Mountain?
Luckily, this publication’s puzzling plot benefits from the visual stimulus of Ed McGuinness and Cory Smith’s pencilling, which in the majority of cases makes the word-heavy discussions between Black Panther and the likes of Odin at least pleasantly palatable. That said, the artwork does suffer from some noticeable inconsistencies, seemingly due to editor Tom Brevoort employing three different inkers, presumably in order to ensure the book made its deadline at the printers.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]