This is perfectly fine for what it is. This is a somber Warren Ellis super-hero comic. With a serious tone, an introspective feel, and a very close to the movie sense of continuity. And it is perfectly fine. I liked the Arctic Harriers as odd mixes between Earth science and Asgardian magic. I especially like the way Ellis pulled the reveal of the strange creatures in the very opening of the book.
I was less enamored with his take on the Avengers. Part of that is due to his tendency to go with movie personalities for some of the main characters. But then, Hawkeye is reduced to a bumbling oaf for the entire book, so the MCU’s take isn’t necessarily the definitive one throughout the book. (Plus, Captain Marvel and Wolverine both appear here while neither has been in the Marvel movies yet.)
This is a one-shot story, but the pacing makes it clear that it shouldn’t be more. Many pages are used with the team in transit from one location to another rather than actually doing things. And while Ellis really tries to imbue the Arctic Harriers with some semblance of a personality, the lack of a true thinking, feeling antagonist keeps my interest lowered too. In my comics, I like to really look forward to the villains getting what they deserve, but I never felt very emotionally involved in the outcome of this conflict.
Mike McKone’s art is beautiful, as always. I love his use of the black and gold Iron Man armor (an armor that I’m already missing in the newer comics). I also like the cool confidence that Carol Danvers exhibits in every panel. She feels like almost an equal to Captain America, which is saying something for a team that loves Cap as much as the Avengers do.
This is a FAIR Avengers story. It wouldn’t be the first I’d recommend for folks who want a great taste of what the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes can offer, but it is a fine supplemental tale told for the movie-watching “civilian” audience.