Cannonball has disappeared, and the U.S.Avengers have ridden out into space to find him. The weird thing is, Sam Guthrie has awoken in a place that very much resembles a middle-American town frozen in time from the 1950s called Glenbrook. Its leader is a so-called teenager named Richie Redwood.
He also has friends named Biff, Vanessa, Becky, Bugface — do you get it? Do you get it? DO YOU GET IT?
This comic is a little too cute at times, especially with the aforementioned riffing on a long-standing slice-of-life comic series. I've never even touched an issue of said series — sue me — and I figured out the references they were dropping like beats.
They also find space prohibition-era Italian-American gangsters that literally say "Nyaaah" and reference movies from long after the 1920's for some reason.
That being said, I'd be lying if I claimed to not be entertained by a lot of it. I often laughed in spite of myself, especially when Squirrel Girl stands up for rodents and we learn one of the gangsters is named "Jimmy Robot-Face" because he's a giant robot.
The characters are charming. Sunspot is cool as ever, Squirrel Girl is endearing, Cannonball has the Midwest charm, and Toni Ho is an intellectual badass.
I followed Al Ewing's New Avengers all the way up until U.S.Avengers. I dropped it for a number of reasons: there were other titles I wanted to read, Power Man, White Tiger, Wiccan, Hulkling, and Songbird left the team, and I was really disappointed that this Red Hulk was not Thunderbolt Ross but General Maverick, who has always been a parody of Ross.
Jeph Loeb and Jeff Parker's Red Hulk comic was freaking amazing.
None of this is intended to say the book was bad, and this explanation is mostly here as a pseudo-disclaimer to give my history with this title.
I will say that Smasher is a lot colder here than she used to be. Her shyness and optimism were always her most appealing qualities back in the Jonathan Hickman Avengers and Avengers World days. You could argue that this is a result of her time with the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, but that doesn't change the fact that she's just not as likable as she once was.
Paco Diaz's artwork is phenomenal, providing very detailed depictions of the characters and making their respective costumes look awesome. Jesus Aburtov provides great color work that fleshes out the world and uses bright shades to emphasize the aforementioned Riverd– I mean Glenbrook.
I could easily see this comic being a little too winking and nudging for many people. It was almost that way for me, honestly. However, Ewing keeps things just funny and engaging enough to prevent it from falling to its own joke. Diaz's artwork is almost worth the price of admission on its own. As such, I do tentatively recommend this comic. Give it a read, if its main joke didn't turn you off to it.