Amazing Fantasy #1 Review

by Charles Martin on July 28, 2021

Amazing Fantasy #1 Review
Writer/Artist/Colourist: Kaare Andrews
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Come watch as three of Marvel's greatest heroes -- Golden Age Captain America, Silver Age Spider-Man, and a teenaged Black Widow -- are snatched into a realm of high fantasy. 

Sorry if it sounds like I'm just paraphrasing the solicitation blurb. But that leads straight to my chief criticism of the issue: This is such a number one that it barely has space to get the plot rolling.

Dividing its attention between three heroes is a big part of the comic's pacing challenge, of course. Cap gets blown out of a wartime convoy into fantasyland, where he meets a griffin per the gorgeous pulpy cover. Spidey slides out of a classic Green Goblin fight into getting captured by freaky bird-people. And the young Black Widow finds herself in the new world after an unsuccessful attempt at escaping from the Red Room.

What there is space to do in this comic is establish impressively distinct tones for each hero. Kaare Andrews conjures a different feeling for each lead in his words and, more dramatically, in his art. Spider-Man gets vibrant colours and hard outlines, evoking the simple dynamism of the 60s. Captain America is also bright, but a greater emphasis on chunky shapes preserves the distinction between the heroes.

The Black Widow's story is the most visuallyarresting part of the book. Here, Mr. Andrews forgoes outlining and employs a painterly style. Light and shadow shape the characters and smart blocking moves the story forward.

Despite their diverse starting points, all three heroes move smoothly into a unified visual style once they arrive in fantasyland. The skillful transition in the art assures me that these three stories are headed towards becoming one. And that assurance is all the more welcome given the slow development of the plot in the script.

Amazing Fantasy #1 is an interesting -- but also frustrating -- start. It completes the job of shuffling a trio of "greatest hits" superheroes into a world of high fantasy, but the hows, whys, and "what's next"s remain unanswered. Sound writing makes the introduction tolerable, and beautifully diverse art provides the cherry on top that makes this issue worth reading.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
A good problem to have: The Black Widow's Red Room story is so compelling that I'd kinda like to just stick with that rather than follow her off to fantasyland.