I wanted to like Avengers 1959. I really did. Unfortunately, I found myself disliking this second issue of almost as much as the first, and now I think I may be done with it.
This second issue deals mainly with Nick Fury and Louise Mason trying to find out who (or what) attacked the Avengers in the previous issue. They find, and fight, the Lord of Death’s “Hollow Men,” which are basically zombies. There’s about a page and a half of action at this point, which doesn’t work to balance out the fact that there was almost no action at all in the first half of the book.
Hopefully, the sections of the book that are mainly talking heads sets up the action for the rest of the book, but the dialogue is tedious. It’s crammed with specific names and places that pile up to be a lot to remember. I found myself rereading sections a few times over to get the full idea of what was going on.
Howard Chaykin is the kind of artist who splits opinions. You either love him, or you hate him, and there’s not a lot of room for middle ground. It’s mostly due to the fact that his art, at the very least, is distinctive. The strong, square jaw lines give the book an old-school feel, and this book really doesn’t look like any other mainstream comic today.
It would be wrong to call Chaykin a bad artist. Instead, it just looks like he didn’t try to make this book look good. The art still looks rushed, all the characters still look almost the same (give Dominic Fortune an eyepatch, and he’s Nick Fury), and as a whole it just feels rough and unfinished.
Chaykin doesn’t help himself out with the panel layout, either. The constant headshot close-ups take away from the action instead of adding to it, and they’re almost omnipresent throughout the book. Between this issue and the first, I feel like I’ve seen the same two panels of Nick Fury’s face a hundred times.
If you liked the first issue of Avengers 1959, you’ll probably like this one as well. If you didn’t, there’s nothing here to change your mind. It’s the same drill: dense dialogue, ugly art, and poor pacing drag this book down. Maybe it’ll finally pick up in the third issue, but I won’t be reading it to see.
WRITING: 1.5 / ART: 1 / OVERALL: 1.25