Marvel puts out a number of comics that they call their Infinite line, wholly digital comics without a significant print edition. Since I read virtually all of my comics digitally anyhow, it’s not something I even notice, they look exactly like any other digital edition, but due to the way they’re put together, they actually seem much, much longer, which is kind of a cool thing. So here’s my take on what is essentially a six issue mini-series about a team of Avengers, time travel and a Hydra plot: Avengers Millennium.
When Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch stumble across a Hydra base while on vacation, Wanda senses something extremely dangerous and calls in the Avengers. They find a time machine in the basement, linked to the distant past and the end of WWII, but since the time stream hasn’t changed, Captain America sends two teams through to see what Hydra is up to, but things don’t go exactly as planned and the Avengers are trapped in the past with no way to get home. Can they work out Hydra’s plans, be returned to the present and stop an attack on a major Japanese city? Only time will tell.
Unfortunately, even though Hydra has been a major source of concern in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they aren’t particularly scary here. We never see any of the leadership, just green-clad minions who fail to do much damage to the heroes. They might as well have been fighting hordes of rabid Girl Scouts. The plot, as well, is weak and pretty pointless in the end. They go to all of this trouble to hatch a giant dragon to ravage Tokyo? It seems to be a bit much for what they get out of it. Clearly we are getting a tie-in for Age of Ultron, we get only movie-approved Avengers, plus Spider-Man, plus two characters introduced in the film, it’s marketing 101. The story is far too decompressed, the pages filled with Michael Bay explosions to cover the paucity of story, and in the end you’re left wondering if you missed something.
That’s not to say it’s a total waste, the banter between several of the characters, particularly between Quicksilver, Spider-Man and Hawkeye is priceless, with Quicksilver often playing the straight man. I think the characters are actually written quite well and quite believably, even though they aren’t given nearly as much to do as I think they should have been.
The art is quite well done as well, with Carmine DiGiandomenico doing an excellent job. I was unfamiliar with his work but I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for him in the future.
While there were things to enjoy here, I don’t think I can quite give it a thumbs up because it didn’t provide a very strong story and rather than keep a fast pace, they slowed it way down to fill more pages and thus part fans with more of their money than was necessary. They could easily have told the same story in 3 “issues”. Great characterization, fantastic art, bad, bad pacing. That’s why I give this digital mini-series: