AVENGERS: ENDLESS WARTIME
A new graphic novel by Warren Ellis and Mike McKone
With all the excitement surrounding the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. you'd think there'd be more tie-ins for fans of the visual medium to welcome them easily to their comic counterparts, yet so far very little has been actively done to encourage movie fans to pick up a comic while they wait for the next film to arrive. There have been several stand alone, movieverse tie-ins of course, such as Captain America: First Vengence and Iron Man 3: Prelude. However most MCU fans might not know the Tony Stark they recognize has more in common with his Ultimates Comics version than the one in the main Marvel continuity, or that film favourite Agent Coulson has joined the comicverse in the ongoing title Secret Avengers.
Thankfully we now have Avengers: Endless Wartime to potentially bridge that gap. Written by the ever popular Warren Ellis (Iron Man: Extremis, Nextwave) and illustrated by Mike McKone (Fantastic Four) this book is part of Marvel's Original Graphic Novel (OGN) line and can be read as a standalone story, so no previous knowledge of comic continuity is required. The plot revolves around many of the ideas found in the Avengers film, such as the struggle to reconcile the existence of magic in a science-based world, and the ethical dilemmas of doing unpleasant thing with the best intentions. Featuring a giant mythical creature from Asgard, Whedonesque snarky banter and plenty of dramatic action this story feels like it could easily be a film in it's own right.
A: EW then has arrived at the perfect time - not only because of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s debut on television, but to serve as a counterpoint to the possibly overwhelming chaos of the INFINITY event currently raging across the Avengers titles, and is a far more suitable initiation to the 616verse to interested newcomers. The familiar gang is represented here - Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow etc, and even Wolverine, so it should be easy to begin without having to be invested in other characters or ongoing plots. Plus it serves as an introduction for those new to comics to one of my favourite characters, superpowered, thrill seeking Air Force pilot Captain Marvel, someone who definitely belongs in the MCU (and if rumours circulating the internet at the moment are true, hopefully very soon will be).
Marvel's track record with their OGN line over the years has been haphazard at best, but with Warren Ellis headlining to draw in established fans and word of mouth to let MCU fans know this could be their gateway to comics, Avengers: Endless Wartime should be a success.