Thoughts on “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”

Because I’m a good boy (and a homebody at the best of times), I’m not shopping in stores very much — I stop in at Walmart sometimes to pick up various household goods and to look for cheap horror movies — but I am picking up a few things from Amazon every month or so.  I dislike browsing on Amazon, so what I’ve been doing is making a list of things to search for — it’s pretty easy when one of the big things I’m buying are graphic novels — and then sorting through those to find things that are interesting.  And one of the things that popped up as a paperback book on “The Avengers” called “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”.  The premise is that a number of villains are all enacting world-conquering plans at the same time, and the Avengers need to split up and stop all of them and also stop an overarching plan that is instigating them.

This sounded interesting, but the book itself manages to fumble it.  The problem is that unlike most of the cases in the comics where the Avengers have to split up, the book starts with each of them pursuing their own issues that tie back into the premise.  It also makes it so that they can’t communicate with each other.  So this leaves us with individual adventures for most of the book, with them all coming together at the end, and with each group believing that they were on a separate unique mission and being worried about why they couldn’t contact the rest of the team while we, of course, knew precisely what was happening.  While it can work if we know more than the characters, that needs to be used to increase drama and tension and this reduces it.  After all, a ticking clock would provide enough reason for them to not be able to help each other and so force us to focus on their individual missions without them ever having to comment on why the other Avengers seem to be missing.

So, ultimately, it reduces the book to set of individual missions, which is not what we come to an Avengers book for.  And since it’s one novel, the individual missions aren’t very well done, since the missions have to be short to all fit in the book.  There was much more that could have been explored, but there just isn’t room.  Add to that the fact that they aren’t all that well written, and often rely on contrivances and conveniences.  So we have separated Avengers clashing with their established foes in a rushed and shallow manner.  That’s … not what I buy an Avengers book for.

Ultimately, it was very disappointing.  Some parts of it are decent, but for the most part it just squanders all of its potential.  I won’t be reading this one again.

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