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The Avengers pose dramatically, looking into the distance on the cover of Avengers #1 (2023). Pictured are (LtR and top to bottom) Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Vision, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Thor, and Iron Man. Image: Stuart Immonen/Marvel Comics

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Read 5 pages of Marvel’s new Avengers #1, where it’s Captain Marvel’s time to shine

Carol Danvers leads a new Avengers team under a new creative team

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

The Avengers turn over a new leaf this May. With the close of an epic five-year story arc, writer Jed MacKay (Moon Knight, Black Cat, Doctor Strange) and artist C.F. Villa (Black Cat, X-Men, Shatterstar) take the reins on Marvel’s mightiest heroes with a new team, new threats, and new leader. Avengers #1 puts Captain Marvel in the captain’s chair.

When Polygon spoke to MacKay via email, he said that promoting Carol Danvers to head of the Avengers was simply a logical progression. “Her time as Captain Marvel has, in my opinion, really propelled her into ‘iconic’ status in a way that I don’t think she was in her Ms. Marvel days. You only have to look at the landmark 50 issue run written by Kelly Thompson to see how her star has continued to rise. [...] Applying the challenges of leading a team like the Avengers to a character with the sensibilities of a brash fighter pilot has been a lot of fun.”

The Avengers pose dramatically, looking into the distance on the cover of Avengers #1 (2023). Pictured are (LtR and top to bottom) Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Vision, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Thor, and Iron Man. Image: Stuart Immonen/Marvel Comics

You can see a bit of that fun in Polygon’s exclusive debut of five pages from Avengers #1. The issue puts a solid foot forward with Carol recruiting a hand-picked team of classic Avengers: Iron Man, Thor, Black Panther, Sam Wilson’s Captain America, the Vision, and the Scarlet Witch. But every good Avengers team needs something to ’venge against or someone to ’venge for.

MacKay has kept the true nature of the threat under wraps, but we know that it has something to do with another Marvel Comics character who has recently hit the mainstream in a big way: Kang the Conqueror.

To MacKay, Kang is on a short list of villains who belong to the Avengers more than any specific Marvel hero. “Kang has seen everything, has done everything. Unlike a lot of Marvel villains, he’s very much a human being, and sees himself as the ultimate expression of the excellence of our species. Getting into what it looks like when he’s challenged in that assumption, and when he’s thwarted in getting what he wants, and how that challenges his notions of his own relationship with the Avengers, is something that I’m looking forward to exploring.

“Kang is one of the Great Avengers Villains, and it’s kind of as simple as that.”

Check out the full cover and five pages from Avengers #1 below.

Iron Man congratulates Carol on becoming the elected leader of the Avengers. Carol says she doesn’t want to police the world, their mission is to save lives. “That’s it.” From Avengers #1 (2023).
Tony Stark tells Carol Danvers she has to pick her Avengers roster. She tells him she wants him as her XO. He agrees and asks, “Who else do you want?” in Avengers #1 (2023).
Captain Marvel and Iron Man soar through the air, battling a kaiju-sized humanoid robot “Alien cybernetic organism,” Iron Man calls it, as it blasts eye lasers into the ground in Avengers #1 (2023).
Captain Marvel and Thor stand on ramparts in Asgard. She asks him to be on the Avengers again and he replies, “I was never out, Carol. I was an Avenger at the beginning, and I will be an Avenger until the end of everything,” because mortals’ “mayfly lives” stir something in him, in Avengers #1 (2023).
Captain Marvel and Thor battle the huge monster, striking it with lighting. “Be aware, monster,” says Thor. “You would not be the first giant to be felled by Thor today.” “We’re the Avengers,” Captain Marvel adds, “and he and I are the nice ones,” in Avengers #1 (2023).

Avengers #1 hits shelves on May 17.

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