Review by Frank Plowright
Key to the team of Avengers assembled to begin Jason Aaron’s run is that each member has a counterpart who took part in what’s been revealed as the misguided killing of a Celestial perceived as a threat a million years ago. A signature of Aaron’s run is each volume opening with a look at those earlier warriors, and that’s how World Tour starts.
Whether the opening story about the first Ghost Rider is what readers want from an Avengers title is debatable, but it’s decent sword and sorcery. It also expands on an interesting moment during the disappointing Final Host extending Robbie Ryder’s ability to transform any transportation into a suitable vehicle for his power. When Aaron heads back to the present Ghost Rider’s car alongside the Avengers makes for something different visually.
This is an improvement on The Final Host. There’s smoother interaction between the assorted Avengers, although some moments, like Thor and She-Hulk remain awkward. The title refers to Aaron expanding the viewpoint to consider how other powers on Earth have taken the revelation of humanity’s origin and coped with the destruction of falling Celestials. There’s a novel new headquarters for the Avengers, and the introduction of several threats intended to occupy the team for some while. It’s perhaps important to note there are no quick resolutions in this series. These are continuing problems, and the next few books involve skirmishes, not a definitive conclusion. The immediate threat is Namor, once again declaring war on the surface world from Atlantis, although as written by Aaron the start is unimaginative push-button shock, but he’s on better form as the threat develops and sprawls well beyond something the Avengers can contain.
Artistic sprawl is also on the agenda. David Marquez (sample art) draws more than anyone else very tidily, and it seems he and McGuinness are intended to alternate on the main feature. Some of the other artists are present as one of the collected issues was extended to incorporate a few solo stories, while Sara Pichelli’s on good form for the prehistoric opener.
World Tour is a volume setting up possibilities, yet with enough substance to satisfy. The primary Avengers consider the Black Panther ideal to lead this iteration, and he certainly has plenty of ideas about what that requires, some crowd-pleasing, some from left field. The final chapter is a joyful tour of Marvel’s second stringers and provides some answers about what’s sprung as surprises earlier. It’s the antidote to the first volume and makes War of the Vampires something to anticipate.
This is combined with The Final Host in hardcover as the first volume of The Avengers by Jason Aaron.