San Diego-based indie publisher IDW is buddying up with Marvel Comics to deliver a brand-new line of all-ages titles starring such heroic household names as Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, the Hulk, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther.
The first comic out of the gate was last month's Marvel Action Spider-Man #1, written by Delilah Dawson, with art by Fico Ossio, and now SYFY WIRE has an exclusive 4-page look at the sophomore title, Avengers #1, soaring into comic shops Dec. 12.
This special partnership, first announced at SDCC back in July, finds the two companies pooling their resources to develop middle-grade comic books designed to interest a new generation of young readers raised in a Marvel universe. A third Black Panther series is expected to launch in January of 2019.
Avengers #1 reteams writer Matthew K. Manning with artist Jon Sommariva, the creative force behind the acclaimed crossover Batman/TMNT Adventures. The talented pair bring a measured does of weirdness and fun to their Avengers project as a new crime-fighting team is forged to combat a mega-sized planetary threat from A.I.M., Madame Masque, and Fin Fang Foom that's wilder than any caped crusaders and supervillains they've ever encountered.
Manning explains that the series' first arc will be centered around Iron Man. He's a self-proclaimed longtime Iron Man fan and even wrote Iron Man: The Ultimate Guide to the Armored Super Hero for DK publishing a few years back.
"In fact, one of the first comics I can remember buying at a comic shop was Iron Man #214," Manning tells SYFY WIRE. "So for me, it only made sense to start with Iron Man and build from there. Our next arc will spotlight Captain Marvel and Thor, and I have plenty of craziness planned for the rest of our team as well."
The first real challenge for the Avengers team is A.I.M., the terrorist scientists Advanced Idea Mechanics, who will put the high-profile superheroes to the test.
"As you can see in these pages, they're trying to get their hands on the Iron Man suit, and are doing a good job of it," Manning added. "This is the start of my favorite sequence in this particular issue. Jon Sommariva and I haven't had the chance to work together since Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, and he's delivering some incredible art for this series. It takes a certain type of expressive artist to get a range of emotions from a static suit of armor like Iron Man's, and Jon is just the right person for the job. Wait until you see his Madame Masque, U-Foes, and Fin Fang Foom, all of which will be appearing in this first three-issue arc, 'The Iron Mechanic.' I've given Jon a lot to work with, and he and colorist Protobunker are exceeding my expectations."
Strike out for our exclusive look at Marvel Action Avengers #1 in the gallery below, then let us know in the comments if you'd love to discover this fun-filled issue under the tree this year!