iFanboy Mini Video Podcast

iFanboy Mini #54 – Avengers: The Initiative #12

Show Notes

Avengers: The Initiative #12 marks the first year of the ongoing comic book series that spun out of the Civil War event and was meant to focus on the 50 state initiative as imagined by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four and Iron Man — which would place a super team in every state. But over the first year of the comic, it was bogged down with confusing storylines and characters that didn’t really connect.


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  1. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about (you asked for it), but that’s nothing new with iFanboy lately. Gordon’s the only one who seems to share my opinion on most of your topics, as he plays the part of the "every man" and takes things in stride, allowing him to enjoy his books/films that much more. There is such a thing as being overly critical guys.

     While I’m on the subject, I’d like to point out your shared opinion on Secret Invasion as exhibit "A". I’ve heard you as a group stating that the story is "spinning it’s wheels" and having continuity issues. Do you guys remember a little story called Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars? Arguably one of the best events of all time, and one of Bendis’ favorites, it developed slowly and didn’t sync up flawlessly with continuity ether. We are in the age of decompressed story telling, where things happen in a relatively short amount of time over several issues, and fit into current continuity ether before, during, or after other related "events". In short, and this goes for all three of you, lighten up guys. Try to enjoy yourselves, and don’t read too much into things.

  2. Ouch.

    If we’re not supposed to read into things, what the hell are we supposed to talk about?  The content mill is hungry, and quickly consumes thought.  If people want us to just like everything, it would be a pretty boring site and podcast.

    And Gordon doesn’t like superhero books, so there’s that. 

  3. I’ve been reading Avengers: The Initiative and enjoy it. i do think Ron’s criticisms are valid, though. At the end of issue 12 (when they show Cloud 9 as part of an Initiative team saving a girl from a fire), I really didn’t feel any connection to her. I think Ron’s idea of focusing on different Initiative teams, maybe in five isssue arcs, might be a good way to go for the book.

  4. I thought the first issue of Avengers the Initiative was amazing but by issue three I had dropped it. that being said I know the book does have fan base so I wonder what they are going to do with it.
    Also wasn’t it supposed to just be a miniseries and it got extended to an ongoing. I thought I read that somewhere.

  5. I don’t know anything about the previous twelve issues of Avengers: The Initiative but I picked up issue 13 last week and I LOVED it. I’ll definitely continue to buy this book if it maintains what I read in the last issue. 

  6. The Initiative was sort of satisfying to me for a long while, in the sense that I hate the Fifty State Initiative and this book has portrayed it as the sinister and misguided super-draft I wanted it to be. The issues where Spider-Man spanked them and told them what a bunch of fascists they were hit a particularly sweet spot.

    That said, I do think it had too many balls in the air for the first year which made it hard to connect to anybody on a character level. It would have been greatly improved by an "anchor" character, picking Cloud 9 for example and following the story through her eyes so we had someone to relate to or root for. It seemed to have 40 characters and tried to make anchors of all of them… and then the ship didn’t budge for a year.

    I get the sense, right or wrong, that upcoming arcs will take more of an anthology approach, spending time with various states’ teams across the nation instead of the one class at Camp Hammond. Assuming it doesn’t get strangled in the crib, I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out. 

  7. Aw! You should have looked at #13 instead. That was great little one shot that deserved some recognition.

  8. I wouldn’t call it a great book but it a good book most of the time. The Spider-man issue, #12 and #13 were probably my favourite issues in the run. Everything from the first year comes together in #12, and #13 is just a good single-issue story of what has to happen at some point.

    Part of the appeal of the book for me is it shows that how they go about the initiative is screwed up. The idea is sound but ideally this is not how you would want to do things in the Marvel universe. So I’m always waiting for things to explode and the initiative to fail horribly. Tony Stark just didn’t think it out that well. I don’t know if the reader is supposed to look at the book that way, but it’s part of the same reason that I enjoy reading the Thunderbolts. 

    You can’t have characters that are too recognizable as anything but teachers because they would have enough training and wouldn’t need to go into this program. Of course that’s one of the typical sub plots though, characters that have some experience being forced to go for training. Having more obscure characters is a bit like an Easter egg hunt too.

  9. I agree with Ron and moron.  It started to flounder by issue 12 (so much so that I was about one issue away from dropping it), but 13 was really, really, really good, and easily the best issue of the series.  I hope there’s more like 13 coming.

  10. I like the idea of this book, but — at least based on the first trade — I don’t think the execution worked.   Jimski’s comment about ‘anchor’ characters is right on.  Even when I could distinguish the characters.

    For a similar concept executed far better, see "The Order."  I just reread all ten issues, and they fit together amazingly well.  And while each issue worked well as the story of an individual character, going back to the beginning after having read the ending, things I hadn’t noticed before fell into place on almost every page.  I think this book may have suffered from being perceived as pro-Initiative (with ‘Avengers: Initiative’ and ‘Thunderbolts’ as the corresponding anti-Initiative books), but I think it’s actually a lot more complex.  Instead of the ‘screwed from the start’ approach that I think Slott took, "The Order" basically asks us to assume everybody who’s involved in this project basically does mean to do good, and shows us what could go wrong anyway — which I find both novel and compelling.

  11. Yeah, read issue 13. It does everything right, all in a small one shot story. Hopefully they’ll take more from that issue and make it more bassed on the new recruits adjusting to their powers and getting pushed around by Taskmaster.

    I love Taskmaster.

  12. This book is one of my guilty pleasures. Admittedly I was one of those people who bought pretty much every Civil War book and sebsequently every book after just to see what happens. That being said more than a year later, I miss all that money I dropped, but at the same time i do enjoy this book. I will say that it is disappointing the book doesn’t really matter in the marvel universe, but I just don’t care anymore. It’s one of those books u can just sit down and have a good time with, while not worrying about the ramifications of what happens in the book.

    I love the Steve Uy’s art and the coloring on some of the issues has been awesome.  

  13. @ Josh


    The trick is not to read into things too much. Take some time and listen to some of your first podcasts and you’ll see what I think has been missing from your show as of late. Back then you guys were having a ton of fun, and it showed in spades. You guys weren’t bogged down with arguments about continuity (at least not on the level you are now) and you seemed much less worried about instant gratification from a story and more willing to go with the flow and see where the book would take you. As a fan, I found those casts a lot of fun to listen to. Don’t forget your roots.

  14. I’d also like to apologize to Ron for high jacking the thread for what was a pretty solid episode. My opinions that I’ve posted are just my feelings on the shows in general and have been building for a while.  Sorry dude.

  15. My problem with Ron’s argument is that he basically says; "Marvel said it would be this" and "I wanted it to be that" and it wasn’t and now I am disappointed. Okay, fair enough. But for what it was I think there are some good things to be said, like:

    1. It was a story and title that were truly spawned from the Civil War events

     2. There were some good characters–Trauma, though not great has potential to go somewhere, and I liked some of the others

     3. the artist is a rising star, I think.

     In the end, however, with the old artist gone, I find myself asking, "do I really care enough to throw in another 3 bucks. The answer, unfortunately, is no.

  16. I’m just pleased that you finally mentioned it whether you like it or not. A bit odd that you left out issue #13, seeing how anyone that read it adored it. When did you tape this mini?

    The book has room for improvement. You never really got to settle in with one character too long (something issue #13 did do). It was hard to follow and meandered. I think Slott dug deeper than he should have. Maybe Gage can right the ship. 

  17. I hope it’s still coming across, because I can guarantee you that we’re having a ton of fun doing these shows.  The arguing about continuity IS fun.  And there are a lot more events going on now.  The show is what it is, and what comes out is the way we feel when we’re saying it.  If nothing else, I can guarantee you that it’s honest.

  18. I love this site. I found this website before i started reading comic books like 2 years ago and found the seriousness about discussing comics awesome. I have no one to talk about comics with that doesnt think i’m crazy after doing so.  Thanks guys. Keep up the good work.

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