Grand Adventures for All Ages
Last year I was on a message board and I stumbled upon a review for Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers #1. I chuckeled at the concept, all of the animal companions form across the Marvel 616 Universe teaming up to secretly save the Universe while their human companions were none the wiser. The review said the book was tons of fun and a very entertaining read.
The next week I was out at my LCS and I wandered past the shelf and my eyes fell upon that issue. So I picked it up and flipped through a couple of pages. My jaw hit the floor. The art was absolutely beautiful, the dialogue and characterizations was spectacularly done. So I quickly slapped my money on the counter and took that little treasure home with me. The rest of the series continued the high standard the first issue had and even improved on it as the Pet Avengers went on a quest to retrieve the Infinity Gems and keep them out of Thanos' hands. The series was smart, fun, and such a wonderful surprise that I recommended it to everyone and even got a copy for my nephew for his birthday, his first comic book, and we sat down and read it together.
At the end of the series was a message:
"Pet Avengers, coming in 2010"
At reading that I squeed with joy and sat back to wait impatiently for the series to return.
Well, here we are with issue two of new Mini and I can proudly proclaim that this series hasn't missed a beat.
First I'll do a little explaining about who the Pet Avengers are.
The team is composed of Lockjaw (the Inhuman teleporting dog), Throg, aka. Frog Thor, aka. Puddlegulp (A man who was turned into a frog by a curse, who then in turn retrieved a splinter of Mjolnir which found him worthy and turned him into a Frog with Thor's Powers), Hairball aka. Niels (Speedball's cat with the same powers as his owner), Lockheed (Kitty Pride's dragon), Redwing (Falcon's Falcon friend), Ms. Lion (Aunt May's misnamed boy dog), and Zabu (Kazar's Sabretooth Tiger). Bo (President Obama's dog) also shown to be a member in the last issue of the first Mini series.
The Pet Avengers is in the 616 Marvel Universe, ever wonder how the Illuminati got their hands on the Infinty Gems? The Pet Avengers gathered them for them.
That being said, this book doesn't take itself seriously, the concept in and of itself is pretty ridiculous but the way it's portrayed in art and story just plain works.
Last issue we discovered that Pet Avengers member Throg is missing and the Pet Avengers reunite to search for their friend. This issue focuses on Throg and what happened to him.
The issue opens with Throg in the past visiting Asgard and speaking with Thor about how he feels out of place in the world because of his convoluted origin. Thor tells him he's a mythological creature and he should seek out others of his kind, but reminds him that as a wielder of Mjolnir he will always be a brother of the Hammer along with Thor and Beta Ray Bill.
Throg then sets off to find other Mythological creatures to see if that helps quell his feelings.
The scene then shifts to the present with Throg searching through the Himalayas in an attempt to locate other creatures like himself. The finally stumbles upon and is subsequently attacked by the Abominable Snowman. After a brief scuffle it turns out that AS was just having some fun at Throg's expense.
We then get a wonderful section of dialogue between AS and Throg about the nature of Mytholigical creatures and a their existence in the world.
from there the issue takes off at a dead run as you see what exactly happened to those creatures of myth and it's revealed who the main protagonist for this Mini Series will be and what his actions cause. Without spoiling anything this looks to be even more ambitious than the last series was if that's even possible.
Chris Eliopoulos contines to deliver wildly entertaining scripts and fantastic character work. Throg has been a conflicted character since his first appearance in the series and here we get some thorough exploration about why and how he's dealing with it. Throg is an incredibly fun character to read because he's as serious as Thor, he even speaks with Thor's trademark Shakespearian dialogue, but the situations he finds himself in will make you laugh. Seriously, who would thought a Frog fighting the Abominable Snowman would ever happen in the Marvel Universe.
The Conversation between Throg and the Abominable Snowman about the power of belief is absoutely wonderful. I've almost always had a similar view and to see it articulated so well, and in what is essentially a younger audience comic, was just fantastic to me.
This book has never been overly violent but there was a scene in this book that kind of shocked me, but Eliopoulos quickly explained what was happening and my faith was restored in short order that this is book anyone can read.
Ig Guara and Chis Sotomayer continue to deliever absolutely breath taking art. The double page spread of Throg arriving at Asgard was probably one of the most beautiful images I’ve come across in Comicbooks. The two of them deliever in every panel. Take a gander at that cover, that’s every panel, that’s how good these two are as a team. The characters leap off the page at you, their expressions are captured perfectly, every background will astound you with the level of detail they cram into it. If the story wasn’t so good in these books I’d probably just buy the comic to stare in wonder at the panels. Here’s a link to the preview of this issue over at Marvel, take a peak at that Asgard and tell me I’m wrong:
In a world of Blackest Nights and Sieges it’s nice to have a comic like Pet Avengers on my pull list. It’s a fun light hearted adventure that’s great for yound and old alike. It’s clever, well orchestrated, and flat out one of the most enjoyable books coming out currently. If you’re like me and sometimes you need a break from Second Coming and what not, give this book a try, if your first encounter with Niels and Ms. Lion doesn’t have you litterally laughing out loud you probably have no soul.
Pet Avengers continues to astound me with it’s quality month in month out, Pet Avengers Unleashed #2 gets 4.5/5 missing Unicorn’s.