After three years under the pen of Jonathan Hickman, The Avengers are getting an “All-New, All-Different Marvel” update courtesy of award-winning Daredevil writer Mark Waid and artists Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar, who bring together a team that spotlights the growing character diversity of the Marvel Universe. With the exception of The Vision and Iron Man—who is still Tony Stark—the team is made up of legacy character that use familiar Marvel names but fit different racial or gender profiles than their predecessors. Pakistani-American Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel) and the biracial Miles Morale (Spider-Man) and Sam Alexander (Nova) are all getting bumped up to the big leagues, and they’re joined by Sam Wilson and Jane Foster, whose new roles as Captain America and Thor have courted outrage from fans resistant to change.
In this preview of next week’s All-New, All-Different Avengers #1, Waid leans into the controversy currently surrounding Sam Wilson by putting the character in a vulnerable PR position, forcing him to choose between a white and black Girl Cadet when he can only buy one box of cookies. It’s a silly situation that is needlessly racially charged, but that’s the kind of pressure Sam Wilson is dealing with as a black man that has stepped into a higher-profile public role. Every little decision he makes is scrutinized by a public hungry for viral content, and instead of praising his daring aerial rescue of a family and their dog, people just want to see who Sam Wilson is going to offend next. That rescue and Sam’s ensuing frustration are both captured with precision by Kubert and colorist Sonia Oback, and their bright, dynamic artwork is a great fit for Waid’s script, which has a considerably lighter tone than Hickman’s bleak epic.