Image: Marvel Comics

Occupy Avengers has been Marvel’s strongest Avengers series this year, so it’s a pity that the book has struggled to gain an audience. Much of the blame can be placed on the title, which ties the book to a social movement that lost steam years ago. But it didn’t help that the book spun out of Civil War II, a messy event that hurt nearly every character that was involved. But there are a lot of storytelling possibilities in the concept of Hawkeye hitting the road and building his own team of superheroes to solve the problems faced by smaller communities, and writer David F. Walker has used this idea to comment on larger American issues with a cast that represents the diversity of this country. Time-displaced Native American warrior Red Wolf, reformed villain Tilda “Nightshade” Johnson, and Wheels Wolinski, a forgotten face from the ’80s Marvel miniseries Wolfpack, have all joined Hawkeye on his mission to help the little guys, and the series has showcased Walker’s appreciation of Marvel history and the characters that have faded away over time.

Occupy Avengers has only gotten better with each new storyline, and the addition of artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta and colorist Jordie Bellaire has given the book a very different tone. Readers of The Vision know that this art team has a talent for grounding superhero stories in a recognizable reality, and this exclusive preview of Occupy Avengers #7 highlights that skill as the story reveals more about the team’s technologically advanced mode of transportation. Walta’s attention to environmental details and subtle character work make him an excellent fit for a horror-tinged story about a town of Skrulls trying to keep their alien background a secret, and Bellaire’s coloring adds extra grit by amplifying the texture in the line work. The stakes of this series aren’t as big as the other Avengers titles, which have superheroes taking out enemies that pose a threat to the entire world/universe/timeline, and having an understated art team like Walta and Bellaire brings a greater sense of intimacy to the book.

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Image: Marvel Comics; cover by Nic Klein
Image: Marvel Comics
Image: Marvel Comics

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Image: Marvel Comics
Image: Marvel Comics