Review by Frank Plowright
War of the Realms opens with a flash forward taster of the threats currently facing the Avengers, some of which readers already know about, and some of which are new. It seems to have been drawn in a hurry by the usually reliable Stefano Caselli, but certainly works as the intended taster.
Other than the first, each volume of Jason Aaron’s Avengers has opened by spotlighting a character unconnected with the Avengers, and that continues with a spotlight on the latest iteration of the Squadron Supreme. Their story won’t fully emerge until 2021’s Heroes Reborn. However, the truth behind what they are is revealed, and the more interesting moments concern that rather than standard fights against Frost Giants. Also disclosed is a connection between the opening chapters to this series.
Despite taking its title from Marvel’s 2019 crossover series The War of the Realms, a series behind which Avengers writer Jason Aaron is a motivating force, the impact here is minimal. Aaron uses it as background noise for a series of spotlights on individual Avengers, of necessity those not currently hosting their own titles, so Gorilla Man and She-Hulk are processed and there’s a more general spin around the team. It’s all fun, and the idea of a downtime session in a hot tub proves surprisingly refreshing as drawn by Jason Masters and leading into Challenge of the Ghost Riders.
Ed McGuinness handles most of the art, though, and that’s strength and weakness. The impression given is that he barely has patience for the pages where people are standing around talking, and can’t wait to reach the next all-out action sequence, which means he’s not the ideal artist for a largely reflective series of stories where the action is secondary. On the action, though he’s astounding, everything you’d want on the Avengers.
If you think this is so good you need it in hardback, it’s combined with the previous War of the Vampires as The Avengers by Jason Aaron Vol. 2.