Most Anticipated AAA Games of 2018

Most Anticipated AAA Games of 2018

It’s that time of year where every media outlet begins to look back on the year that was, remembering and celebrating the best video games we played over the course of 2017. And there were many this year, with so many games releasing each month that many of
us—myself included—wished that good games would stop coming out so that we can finally get around to playing everything.

But while we’re looking back, it’s important to remember that 2018 looks to be just as promising for those players who want to play the games that have the biggest spectacle. And while there are plenty of AA and indie games to fill out 2018, there is still more than enough tentpole releases to get excited about. Here are CGMagazine’s most anticipated games of 2018:

Anthem

Developer: Bioware
Release Date: Q4 2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Bioware’s first new IP since the launch of Dragon Age: Origins in 2009, Anthem represents a large departure for a company that is normally known for crafting single-player experiences. While not much is known about Anthem so far, we do know that it will feature single-player and co-operative multiplayer elements in a shared world, which players explore by equipping customizable exosuits known as Javelins. The gameplay demonstration at E3 looked impressive, and if the exploration elements look to be as freeform as they did during the demo then Bioware will have quite the game that might even give Destiny 2 a run for its money. There is no word on whether or not you’ll be able to romance anything in Anthem yet, though we can hope.

Days Gone

Developer: SIE Bend Studio
Release Date: 2018
Platforms: PlayStation 4

Days Gone would be easy to dismiss as just another zombie game, or as a clone of The Last of Us, were it not for the clear emphasis on dynamic events that SIE Bend Studio have shown at various previews. Days Gone places you in an open world that is overrun with zombies—called “Freakers” here—in the role of Deacon St. John, a drifter who travels around on a motorcycle trying to survive against the hordes of creatures that have consumed the world. Part survival horror, part action-adventure, Days Gone is certainly a notable departure for a studio that made its name creating the Syphon Filter franchise. But if Guerrilla Games showed us anything in 2017, it’s that a studio tackling something outside of their purview can create an engaging and unique experience.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Developer: Arc System Works
Release Date: January 26, 2018
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

In a year when most people thought that Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite would be the biggest fighting game event of the year, Dragon Ball FighterZ‘s debut at E3 2017 quickly surpassed it. Developed by Arc System Works—the developers behind the BlazBlue and Guilty Gear franchises—Dragon Ball FighterZ already looks like one of the most faithful adaptations of the source material in a video game yet, with stunning animations and great art design seeping through each trailer and demo for the game. While this is a new franchise for Arc System Works, Dragon Ball FighterZ features Vanish and Dragon Rush moves that resemble the Roman Cancel system found in the developer’s previous games, while also including a Ki Charge to allow players to manually increase their super meter in a style similar to earlier Dragon Ball fighting games. Set for release on January 26, 2018, Dragon Ball FighterZ has the potential to not only be one of the biggest fighting games in years, but the next great competitive title.

Far Cry 5

Release Date: March 27, 2018
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

In a series whose previous entries have taken place on lawless tropical islands, a dictatorship in the Himalayas and in the heart of Africa, Far Cry 5‘s setting of Montana is a huge departure for the Far Cry series. Playing as a sheriff’s deputy who is part of a task force sent to arrest the leader of a militaristic doomsday cult known as Eden’s Gate, Far Cry 5 would be your standard Far Cry game in every other respect if not for the move to America. You’ll still shoot, stab, and run over enemies in your fight to liberate Hope County, though the developers have placed much more of an emphasis on both close quarters and aerial combat with the inclusion of multiple melee weapons and fixed-wing aircraft for dogfights and bombing runs respectively. Far Cry 5 even has a dedicated fishing mechanic, which is one of the few peaceful tasks in a series that is more widely known for gigantic explosions and memorable villains. Whether or not Far Cry 5‘s story succeeds in handling its intriguing premise is still up in the air, but the premise alone is enough for us to be interested.

Untitled Fire Emblem

Most Anticipated AAA Games of 2018 1

Release Date: 2018
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Platforms: Nintendo Switch

If there’s one thing that Nintendo has proven in 2017, it’s that the Nintendo Switch is an excellent platform for its franchises. At E3 2017, Nintendo revealed a host of new games for popular franchises in development for the Switch, including a new Fire Emblem title. This will be the first home console Fire Emblem game in more than a decade, with the most recent one being the Wii exclusive Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. We will likely hear more about the new Fire Emblem as 2018 moves forward, but the prospect of playing a main series Fire Emblem game on the Switch has us excited.

God of War

Release Date: Q1 2018
Developer: SIE Santa Monica Studio
Platforms: PlayStation 4

How does Sony aim to make Kratos and the God of War franchise relevant years after its last release? Simple: By making Kratos a dad—and by shifting the focus to Norse mythology, incorporating more roleplaying elements and replacing his signature dual-chained blades with a magical battle axe that he can throw at enemies. God of War represents a marked step forward in the franchise by forcing Kratos to protect and teach his son, Atreus, in a new world that is untouched by his vengeance. More than just a child in need of protection however, Atreus can be passively controlled with one button to fight back against enemies with a bow and to assist in puzzle solving and exploration. With a new setting, new characters, new monsters, and plenty of new tools to fight with, Kratos is looking to come back with a vengeance in 2018.

Kingdom Hearts III

Release Date: 2018
Developer: Square Enix Business Division 3
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Kingdom Hearts III was originally announced at E3 2013. In the time since, the following Kingdom Hearts games and collections have been released in North America: Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 RemixKingdom Hearts HD 2.5 RemixKingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter PrologueKingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix, and Kingdom Hearts: Unchained χ. The Kingdom Hearts series has long been mocked for its increasing absurd naming conventions and propensity for collections, but with the latest trailer at Disney’s D23 2017, we finally have a release window for the long in development sequel to 2006’s Kingdom Hearts II. We still don’t have many details about the story of the game beyond Sora, Donald, and Goofy’s quest to find seven guardians of light, and the handful of worlds that have been revealed over the years don’t reveal much about Kingdom Hearts III‘s overall scope. Kingdom Hearts fans have been patiently waiting for this game for years, and can’t wait to see what Square Enix will bring to the table when the game launches next year.

Metro Exodus

Release Date: Q4 2018
Developer: 4A Games
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are two of the most memorable survival horror games released in the past decade due to an original and atmospheric setting that combines well with the tense gameplay and resource management elements of both games. The upcoming sequel, Metro Exodus, moves beyond the Moscow Metro system and into the remnants of post-apocalyptic Russia as the player guides Artyom and the remainder of the Spartan Rangers in a journey to the far east. Metro Exodus will feature a train known as the Aurora, which players will ride over their expansive journey to start a new life, but will still retain many mechanics of previous games such as craftable bullets, the need to switch out gas masks, and horrifying mutated creatures that are more than willing to tear your throat out.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Release Date: Q2 2018
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Rockstar’s long awaited and much anticipated follow up to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption was originally set to release in the Fall of 2017, and we had originally listed the game among our most anticipated games of 2017 for that reason. But the game was delayed in May 2017, pushing the release date into the second quarter of 2018. The game’s second trailer was ultimately released in September, confirming that we would be following the exploits of the Dutch Van der Linde gang as outlaw Arthur Morgan before the events of the original Red Dead Redemption. While not revealing much, the trailer was enough to whet the appetites of everyone who was looking forward to returning to the Old West.

Spider-Man

Release Date: Q1/Q2 2018
Developer: Insomniac Games
Platforms: PlayStation 4

Sony has a habit of revealing big games at E3 and then taking years to release them, filling the gap with trailer after trailer to bide time. Spider-Man, developed by Insomniac Games, is one such title. Originally announced at E3 2016, Spider-Man has been one of the most anticipated games in Sony’s lineup thanks to its aim to bring back the massive open world and fluid web swinging mechanics that made the Spider-Man games on the PlayStation 2 so popular. In this iteration, Peter Parker is a young college student who is thrust into a conflict against a new gang called the Inner Demons that is led by Mister Negative—a villain who is not among the most notable villains in Spidey’s rogues gallery. This will be the first game in Marvel’s new strategy to create compelling console games for its roster of characters, and from what’s been shown so far Spider-Man is looking to kick that strategy off with a bang.


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Where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Should Go Next

Where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Should Go Next

After the disappointing The Amazing Spider-Man reboot films, the web-slinging hero is back and better than ever. Tom Holland’s and Marvel Studios’ take on the character is, for many, the best big screen interpretation of Spidey yet. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a critical and commercial hit, and offers a surprisingly refreshing take on a hero who’s had countless reboots and big-budget movies over the past 15 years. But with everything that transpires in Homecoming, along with the uncertain future of the Spiderverse Sony is trying to build, what’s next for Peter Parker? Quite honestly, as it stands, things seem a bit complicated.

Where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Should Go Next 4
Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming (images via imdb.com)

It’s already been confirmed that Spider-Man will indeed show up, in some capacity, in at least one of the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movies. What role he’ll play and just how big and important a presence he’ll have in the war against Thanos remains to be seen. He might just show up at the last minute to help out Iron Man then leave. Or, he’ll actually duke it out with Thanos and his baddies.

The reason why it can go either way is because Spidey’s future with the Marvel Cinematic Universe is unclear right now. Reports came out that Peter Parker won’t have much a role in the MCU after Infinity War, and the deal between Marvel and Sony is complicated. But then again, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige spoke on the plans for Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 just a few weeks ago, discussing what he and the creative team at Marvel already have planned for the inevitable sequel. So, who knows? But there are directions Spider-Man should definitely go in terms of the sequel, and his roles both in the MCU and Spiderverse.

Firstly, Spider-Man should not be heavily involved in the MCU. This might be a controversial opinion, but he should just have a small cameo role in the first Infinity War movie, then leave. One of the main reasons why Spider-Man: Homecoming worked so well—and it’s comparable to Logan and Deadpool—is that the story feels personal and grounded.

Where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Should Go Next 5
Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming (images via imdb.com)

Homecoming isn’t about Peter Parker trying to save the world from imminent destruction. He simply wants to stop a relatable blue-collar criminal while also trying to just be a teenager. That’s it, and it works so well. Throwing this small kid, who can barely control his Spidey suit, into the biggest battle the Avengers are going to fight won’t work for the character. He’ll feel out of place and won’t stand a chance against an opponent like Thanos.

As for the Spiderverse, Sony has come out and said that Spider-Man might not even show up in the recently announced solo Venom movie. Now that is definitely the wrong move. What makes the character of Venom work so well is Eddie Brock’s relationship with Peter Parker. Eddie is what Peter would become if pushed to his wits end. You understand both characters and their battle against each other. Telling Eddie Brock’s/Venom’s story without Spider-Man would be a huge missed opportunity.

In terms of Spider-Man: Homecoming 2, or whatever it’ll eventually be called, Marvel and Sony should continue keeping Spider-Man’s story small and personal. Michael Keaton’s Vulture is a fantastic villain and arguably the best baddie in the MCU besides Loki. This is because Vulture isn’t a maniacal, evil monster that just wants to kill everyone. Instead, Homecoming focuses on making viewers understand why Vulture is committing crimes.

Where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man Should Go Next
Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming (images via imdb.com)

The sequel needs to continue this type of storytelling and there are few characters to choose from. The after-credits scene already teases a certain villain and, without spoiling the story, he’ll play a great choice. The most important thing Marvel and Sony need to do is avoid the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. The former has already been used too many times, and as for the latter, you simply can’t do any better than Alfred Molina’s interpretation of Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2.

Whichever direction Marvel and Sony decide to take Spider-Man next, the most important thing is to keep his future stories on a smaller, more personal scale while also being entertaining, just like in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

A Brief History of ‘Venom’ Spin-off Announcements

A Brief History of 'Venom' Spin-off Announcements

With all the hype surrounding Marvel’s upcoming Spiderman: Homecoming, fans should be even more excited to hear that Spidey’s number one nemesis is getting his own spin-off. Exhibitor Relations, the box-office authority since 1974, tweeted on March 16, 2017 that a Venom spin-off will officially be a part of Sony’s 2018 release calendar. Slated to be released just over a year after Spider-Man: Homecoming, Venom is literally the web-slinger spin-off fans have been begging Marvel to release for years.

After 2007’s Spider-Man 3 became the highest grossing film in the Spider-Man Trilogy, it was clear what fans liked most about the radioactive webster. But his ability to dabble into the darkness of the symbiote and go head to head with Venom, one of his most ruthless foes, began to make way for the question of “If enjoy seeing Spidey fight Venom so much, what would a film with Venom fighting other heroes and villains be like?”

By July 2007, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, Avi Arad, announced that he was setting in motion the plans that would develop into a Venom spin-off in coming years. This film was set to pit Venom against the psychotic Carnage and portray Venom as the brooding yet confused antihero character we’ve grown to love with the portrayals of heroes like Wolverine or the early Hulk.

By September 2008, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, writers of Zombieland, had signed on to write. However, production remained stagnant up until March 2012 when Chronicle director Josh Trank began showing deep interest in directing. However, by December 2013 there was a complete overhaul of everyone involved and fans were told the Venom idea would be rebooted alongside 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man reboot.

Although nothing came from any of these prior announcements, the revelation of Sony’s involvement today is still grounds for excitement. the writing is helmed by Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner who are writing this year’s ‘hardly anticipatedJumanji sequel, there is still a chance they can still make Venom a box-office smash, based solely on the fact that pretty much every Marvel fan just really wants to see this happen.

Despite all the development hell, a Venom spin-off has gone through, the day it finally gets released will be an immaculate moment for all Spider-Man fans. Until then, we’ll ‘stick to the web’ and keep posted about any info leading up to the Oct. 5, 2018 release of Venom.

Mel Gibson And Violence In Comic Book Films

Mel Gibson And Violence In Comic Book Films

Do modern action movies have violence without a conscience? Are the latest Marvel flicks more violent and gruesome than a three-hour film depicting the horrors of The Second World War? Mel Gibson certainly thinks so.

The long-time actor and director of such grim movies as Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, and, most recently, Hacksaw Ridge was quoted as saying he believes comic book movies are more violent than any of his films. Now, at first glance, Gibson’s remarks might seem ridiculous. After all, how can a film about Captain America and Iron Man punching each other in the face be more dire than watching Jesus being crucified? Marvel films, and arguably every other superhero movie, are meant to be enjoyable for the whole family. They’re the types of films you take your friends to see on opening weekend, expecting to thoroughly enjoy yourself watching Rocket Racoon crack jokes and beat up some baddies. But, on closer inspection, Gibson does have a point.

Mel Gibson And Violence In Comic Book Films 2Throughout the promotion of Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson and the film’s cast were constantly questioned about some of the movie’s most violent scenes. A few critics even believe that, in its explicit violence, Hacksaw Ridge goes against the pacifism its main character stands for. The film follows the true story of a pacifist and medic named Desmond T. Doss, portrayed by Andrew Garfield, who refused to fire a single weapon during the Battle of Okinawa. Doss was eventually awarded the Medal of Honor for saving 75 lives.

Now, considering Doss’ achievements and his brave decision to renounce violence during one of the bloodiest battles in The Second World War, it does seem a little odd that Hacksaw Ridge goes out of its way to display some truly ghastly action sequences. The movie contains everything from decapitated limbs to men being set on fire. In defence of the movie’s embrace of gore, though, Gibson claims that the violence present in Hacksaw Ridge is meaningful. There is no action and violence just for the sake of it; instead, every scene is supposed to mean something. Gibson wants to display the true horrors of war without holding back, while also focusing on an individual who decided to live his life differently and peacefully, even amid such horrors.

In most comic book movies, in contrast, the bombastic action sequences and overall spectacle lack meaning. They’re mostly there to create a visually stunning and entertaining film, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The New York City attack in Avengers is a fun romp replete with incredible scenes of Hulk smashing aliens and the entire Avengers team working together. But, save for Iron Man’s mental breakdown in future films (which was poorly portrayed), this violence is there solely to titillate the audience.

Mel Gibson And Violence In Comic Book Films 4

Think about how many enemies superheroes, from Spider-Man, to Superman, to Captain America, have destroyed. Now, ask yourself when any of these comic book flicks take time to reflect on the actions of either the heroes and villains? The generic thugs the heroes face never evolve from being nameless baddies that are there for someone like Superman to kill in the most visually stunning ways. And the head villains are usually implacably evil, rather than complex individuals with legitimate grievances that could be addressed non-violently.

Criticizing Mel Gibson for the violence of his work while mostly ignoring the lack of conscience in most superhero movies is interesting to say the least. What is wrong with Hacksaw Ridge containing scenes of both American and Japanese soldiers hacking each other limb from limb? Was The Second World War and the Battle of Okinawa vicious and unforgiving? Did it really happen this way? If yes, why should Gibson hold back? By contrasting the violence of men and war, and Doss’ refusal to be another cog in the war machine, the film expertly showcases just how brave and remarkable Doss’ actions were.

First Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer is Finally Here

First Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer is Finally Here

Today, Marvel Studios and Sony revealed the first full trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, marking the character’s first full appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since his minor starring role in Captain America: Civil War. Tom Holland is back as the titular wall-crawler, along with Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark.

The two will be joined by a murderer’s row of talent, including Michael Keaton, Hannibal Burress, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Martin Starr, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, and Jon Favreau. Jon Watts, director of the critically acclaimed Cop Car, will be helming the film, working from a script by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley.

Let me be the first to assuage your fears on a surface level; the movie looks great, it’ll probably be up there with the first two Sam Rami films. None of the artificial darkness from The Amazing Spider-Man is present, Tom Holland is still a pitch-perfect Peter Parker, and hey, the Vulture finally got his due on the big screen!

But of course a money shot of Iron Man and Spider-Man flying at the camera works, of course every glorious millisecond of Michael Keaton sizzles, and of course every inch of that great new Spider-Man suit still feels like comic art come to life (in what should be the lasting hallmark of the Marvel films, not the need to cram everything into a cinematic universe). All that stuff makes for a great trailer, and this is a great trailer.

What makes me excited for Spider-Man: Homecoming is the fact that it so expertly captures why the character resonated so deeply. Peter Parker is a teenager, and like all teenagers, he wants to be taken seriously. He has to find time to keep his social life and grades afloat while also still fighting crime — he’s busy with extracurriculars. He has crushes on girls that he can’t quite articulate properly. Spider-Man, for all his superpowers, is an everyman.

Spider-Man: Homecoming doesn’t just feel like a superhero film, it feels like a teen comedy and a superhero film. Yes, we all want to see Spider-Man beat up the Vulture and save the day, but I’m more invested in Peter’s struggle to prove himself to a sort of father figure who doesn’t seem to care about him all that much. That’s how you inject stakes into a movie where you know the main character doesn’t die.

Why Insomniac Is The Perfect Studio For Spider-Man

Why Insomniac Is The Perfect Studio For Spider-Man

Just one of the surprises to come out of Sony’s E3 2016 press conference was the announcement of a new Spider-Man game. A glossy debut trailer that shows off gameplay promises a different, and hopefully, better take on everybody’s favorite New York superhero. The game was rumored to be in development a few months leading up to the show, with inFAMOUS developer Sucker Punch believed to be working on it. That rumour does make sense, given Sucker Punch’s work on its flagship superhero series. One could argue that inFAMOUS is already basically a Spider-Man game, but much to everyone’s shock, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance, and Sunset Overdrive studio Insomniac Games is actually heading development. Though Sucker Punch might seem like the more obvious choice, Insomniac is still the perfect studio to take on Marvel’s hero.

The most notable thing to note is Insomniac’s experience making games that are lighthearted, funny and visually bright and colourful. Even the Resistance series, which is thematically quite dour, has a stunningly vivid aesthetic. More importantly, all of Insomniac’s games contain relatable, flawed, and grounded characters; all major characteristics of Peter Parker. Both Ratchet and Clank are outcasts and underdogs who have to save the galaxy countless times from much more powerful villains. Ratchet is the last of his species and often feels lonely and hollow. He has questions about his past and his parenthood. At the surface he might seem like a cute, furry, and funny hero, but there’s plenty of pain buried beneath his armour and fur.

Why Insomniac Is The Perfect Studio For Spider-Man 1Clank is similar in that he is a defective robot that gets chased after because he’s different from the countless generic machines that were built to wreak havoc. One of the main reasons why people love Peter Parker is because he’s just a normal kid who’s trying to make it through high school while coming to grips with his newfound powers. He has crushes on girls, he is constantly bullied, and the people he cares most about (excluding his aunt) are all murdered or missing. He’s not some otherworldly God, a billionaire, or an immortal mutant. Insomniac has the experience and the storytelling chops to nail this character, and finally provide players one of the first truly great Spider-Man video game stories.

Also, let’s not forget, Peter Parker is pretty funny too. Comedy is often a major aspect in the hero’s comic books, shows, and movies. Insomniac is one of the best when it comes to both subtle and crass humor.

Mechanically, Spider-Man is right up Insomniac’s alley as well. Spider-Man 2, arguably the best Spider-Man game, employs highly enjoyable open world gameplay, platforming and traversal, and hand-to-hand combat. A new Spider-Man title needs to have a stunning New York City setting that allows players full freedom to swing their way to any destination they’d like. Sunset Overdrive proves Insomniac is more than capable of completely nailing fast-paced traversal. The game lets you hop, jump, and weave from one area or platform to another in mere seconds. You can make across an entire world map without touching the ground as well. It’s dynamic, exhilarating, and satisfyingly ridiculous. Much like Sucker Punch with inFAMOUS, Insomniac might as well just call Sunset Overdrive a full-blown comic book/super hero video game; it does play like one.

Why Insomniac Is The Perfect Studio For Spider-Man 2Finally, in a business and resource sense, Insomniac is the best choice for Sony. This is a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and by having Sucker Punch or another first-party studio work on the title, Sony won’t allow its developers to work on new ideas or make sequels to beloved PlayStation franchises. Sucker Punch wouldn’t have been able to make another inFAMOUS or a completely new title. Instead, Sony now has Insomniac working on yet another exclusive for it. Apart from Ratchet & Clank, the developer has been releasing multiplatform titles alongside Xbox One and virtual reality exclusives. This way, Sony has two new exclusive franchises in partnership with one of PlayStation’s oldest contributors in Insomniac. It really is the best-case scenario for Sony.

Spider-Man doesn’t have a release window yet, nor an official name, but it’s been confirmed that it won’t be tied to the upcoming Marvel film. All that’s left to do is patiently wait and see if Insomniac can finally deliver the first great Spider-Man game in years.

All-New, All-Different Avengers Volume 1 (Trade) Review

All-New, All-Different Avengers Volume 1 (Trade) Review

When the Marvel Universe rebooted after the events of Secret Wars, I was worried about the quality of a majority of Marvel’s comics. Not only were the creative teams switched and moved to new titles, but fundamentally the characters we grew to love and cherish went through a number of considerable changes. I’m happy to report that the All-New, All-Different Avengers doesn’t suffer from these dramatic changes and actually creates a team I’m eager to follow as their stories continue.

The Magnificent Seven begins right after Tony Stark lost possession of Stark Industries, a majority of his fortune and even Avengers Tower. For once, the world is without a team of Avengers to help protect it, but that doesn’t last long. Kang the Conqueror returns as Mr. Gryphon, the new, proud owner of Avengers Tower and still evil mastermind. After a powerful Chitauri named Warbringer teleports inside the tower, Kang becomes his ally and sets the warrior on a quest to find three ancient relics belonging to the Chitauran race. Thankfully, a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man named Miles Morales, eavesdropped this master plot.

All-New, All-Different Avengers Volume 1 (Trade) Review 2All-New, All-Different Avengers Volume 1 (Trade) ReviewWhile the set up isn’t incredibly strong for an Avengers tale, this story is more than enough of a threat to warrant the creation of a new team. Comprised of legacy heroes, Iron Man, Sam Wilson’s Captain America, the thunder Goddess Thor and the emotionally absent Vision, the team acquires new recruits in Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel and Nova. The joy of any Avengers comic is the interactions between its members and the cast collected here has a great amount of charisma and character to play with. The stand out members are definitely the teams latest recruits, which start as bickering teens, but grow into a powerful force that relies on each other.

A lot of The Magnificent Seven is about developing the Avengers’ chemistry. The team may be comprised of familiarly named characters, but many of them are interacting for the first time and many of their secrets, particularly Thor’s, remain deeply personal. Unfortunately, by the end of the volume, the team feels very separated between rookies and veterans. I would’ve loved to see Ms. Marvel get taken under Thor’s wing or for Miles and Cap to have a heart-to-heart conversation, but these moments never occur. It’s clear that these relationships are developing, they just aren’t highlighted in the panels or within the story.

All-New, All-Different Avengers Volume 1 (Trade) Review 1Kang has never been close to being one of my favourite villains and after reading this, that feeling still remains. Kang is just too weird for my liking and he never resonated with me like other villains. I find that the creative teams always push him as something massive and threatening, but his plots never feel like they have any weight to them and his motivations are still one-note. This being said, I’m happy Kang was used as an early villain so the Avenger’s can keep the majority of the spotlight and hopefully in later volumes, we can see stronger, more compelling villains.

All-New, All-Different Avengers Volume 1 was never intended to be the greatest Avenger’s story ever-told, but it’s definitely an entertaining read with interesting places to explore in the future. Even though all of our favourite chracters have been rebooted, the people who have replaced them feel fresh and exciting. Everyone gets their own moment to shine as a hero as they try to win your heart for attention. Miles continues to prove his worth as Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel is still as addictive as ever, and I’m compelled to follow Thor as she continues her ever-ending battle. Avengers has done its job and made me feel invested in a team that I never thought I’d care about.