The Kang War continues with this trip through the timestream, as the Avengers hope to deliver baby Kang to his original time to prevent their own child selves from being wiped out. It’s somewhat complicated and we jump in right in the middle of it. As a result, there’s a heavy amount of exposition in this newest issue, but Mark Waid is a good enough writer to make it work.
My only real gripe with the storytelling is that you would think this group would have learned their lesson from Age of Ultron. This is a different story, structurally, but hits many of the same beats. It’s still following the same trope of going back in time to punish someone before they’ve committed a disastrous crime. This is the classic “would you kill Adolph Hitler as a child?” idea, only this version features many Kangs.
I do like the inventiveness of the different Kangs and appreciate the fact that even in such an action-heavy issue, each member of the Avengers gets a moment to shine. All of them feel completely in character and their own, individual voices are made clear. That seems like a small feat, but it’s sometimes amazing how often larger action scenes overlook those details.
If there’s any singular main character in the issue, it’s Wasp. Vision, who kicked this whole arc off by stealing baby Kang in the first place, surprisingly takes a bit of a back seat. This is about Wasp’s journey through time to set things right and, by the end of it, she succeeds. But the victory is short-lived, as the comic sets up yet another big secret. Vision whispers something into Wasp’s ear and we don’t get to hear it.
With Marvel, it’s almost impossible to tell how that is going to play out. It could all be explained in the next issue, or it could take years, as it slowly builds through the Marvel universe to lead into the next big event. I’ve come to expect the latter, but it feels like whatever he whispered would have to have some kind of impact on this ongoing storyline in the immediate future. What exactly that might be remains to be seen.
It should be noted that the artwork in this issue is fantastic. It’s my favorite thing about it. Mike Del Mundo gives us a colorful, adventurous style that makes the whole thing feel like a retro ‘60s pastiche in a very good way. The vibrant, painted style and almost minimalist linework he provides always make for interesting visuals, like an unexpectedly gorgeous cross between Alex Maleev and Alex Ross. Of course, Ross provided the cover for the issue and Del Mundo’s art provides appreciated visual consistency.
Overall, Avengers #3 is a solid outing that does everything it needs to further the ongoing story, while also addressing some interesting moral questions, albeit not in any kind of way we’ve ever seen before. The character work is strong, the art is fantastic and the question of what Vision whispered into Wasp’s ear is sure to spark lively Internet debate.
Avengers #3 continues to further the ongoing story in a satisfying manner while setting up larger mysteries for the future.