Avengers Off the Clock by Katie Cook and Chad Bowers
IDW, pb, £6.54
Reviewed by Sarah Deeming
What do the Avengers do when they are not saving the universe from Ultron or Thanos? Deal with lesser villains and Loki, obviously. This collection brings together Avengers Off the Clock #1-3, pairing Avengers in unlikely teams who must work together against bad guys, each with their own grand scheme to take over the world.
The first follows Thor and Ant-Man searching for the right birthday present for Black Widow and stopping Loki from taking over New York with giant ceramic ornaments. In the second, Captain America and Squirrel Girl must protect school children from the Trapster, and finally, Captain Marvel has to help Doctor Strange recover his cloak from the White Rabbit.
The collection is aimed at a younger audience, probably those familiar with the cartoon series, and the art ties in with that. Luckily, I have two target audience members in my household, both well-educated in Marvel films and cartoons. Once I had finished it, I handed it over and observed them diving straight in. They had no issues in following the stories through the panels and enjoyed the humour. They were excited at seeing familiar characters; they’re both big Ant-Man and Loki fans and getting to more about others, like Captain Marvel.
I’m a big fan of comics aimed at children because accessing this media type at an early age encourages them to explore different shelves in book shops and libraries, discovering stories they might have otherwise ignored. I also believe they help reluctant or emerging readers slip into stories, removing barriers they might struggle with when faced with a full page of prose. So whether you’re sharing your love for the Avengers with a young person or building confidence in an emerging reader, this is a perfect collection to spark their interest.