Time for some more new series from All New Marvel! This time, we got ourselves Avengers World, another series for Jonathan Hickman to tell his Avengers story (apprently two are not enough). Also riding shotgun with the guy is Nick Spencer, who co-wrote the prelude to Infinity that everyone who reads my reviews knows I simply “adore.” What is in store for us now? Is it good?
Avengers World #1 (Marvel Comics)
The Avengers have decided to work a bit more closely with S.H.I.E.L.D. and help tackle problems together. Good thing too, because the world’s gone to hell in less than a day. Typhoons, rioting, entire populations disappearing, and other events are going on all over the place! What is causing this mess?
Trust me, you being late is nothing in comparison to everything else.
Honestly, this is a serviceable first issue, but it feels kind of weird and off. The comic manages to spotlight a lot of characters (not all of them mind you, because there are ton of characters) and give them moments, even if they are questionable. It gets the ball rolling on many potential plots for the series to tackle in the future and there could be potential with them if anyone knew what the significance of them were (I have no idea what is going on with The Hand’s plan, for instance). The ending is promising enough leaving every single plotline off on a cliffhanger, but that’s kind of it. It’s mostly just the characters getting sent to a situation and reacting to it while we get some commentary from S.H.I.E.LD. command. Rinse and repeat. The writing, however, is for the most part… questionable.
It’s hard to know where to start with this comic, so I guess we’ll start from the top. The comic, like I said, is written by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer and it’s painfully clear who is writing what in the comic for better or worse. I’ve been asking for quite a while for characterization in Hickman’s Avengers works and there is some here, with the small bits sprinkled throughout the book. The problem is, some of them don’t work and there are still a lot of the same issues that plague the regular series (characters are relegated to the background, have generic personalities, etc). Bruce Banner here is basically Tony Stark to point where you can easily swap the two and you wouldn’t know the difference, Starbrand is a complete and utter juvenile idiot, Black Widow kills someone (I bring this up because it doesn’t mesh at all with her presentation in her new series), and other oddities. They are not the kind of thing a newcomer would notice (sort of like the fact that Wolverine is in the comic when he was apparently removed from the team back in Avengers #24), but for someone who has been reading the previous series that are important to this series, this feels very off.
Speaking of newcomers, while it is accessible enough to a newbie if they were to just start here, it is pretty obvious that you would have to read pretty much all of Hickman’s Avengers and New Avengers to fully get all the aspects of this comic. The reference to the Origin site in Canada (you would think the main series might mention that, but nope), the fact that AIM has its own island country, who half of the Avengers are (like Smasher and Starbrand, who have appeared in no other current Marvel comic except for Avengers), and one or two other points. Plus, with the fact that this series looks like it’ll use previous plotlines from Hickman’s Avengers and how it’s most likely that New Avengers will eventually play some part in the story, a new reader will have to start buying those two new series as well. Should a reader really have to buy two other series in order to start a new one?
And thank you for your cameo. Hope to hear you guys actually say something next issue.
The artwork is by Stefano Caselli, who you may remember drew the prelude to Infinity arc from Avengers. Unlike that unfortunate arc, his artwork actually looks decent here. This artist has the ability to make all of his characters look unique, even in their faces (though some characters don’t look like who they are supposed to be). He draws some good scenery and backgrounds in some panels and he definitely has an eye for drawing characters posing in a heroic manner. Other than that, it’s fine, if a bit boring in some areas (sometimes the comic tries to make some scenes have more gravitas to them, but the artwork doesn’t covey it well).
- Accessible enough for a new reader.
- Potentially interesting storylines.
- Artwork is decent enough.
- Not necessary now, but will eventually require additional series to read.
- Characterization is wonky and questionable.
- Reading Hickman’s other Avengers book will reveal some problems here.
Is It Good?
Avengers World #1 is a perfectly acceptable first issue, if nothing else. It is accessible enough for new readers and does do a few things right for a first issue, but has its own problems. The more one has read the previous works that are a part of the same series, the more issues arise and more apparent that this is not a standalone book. Do not buy if you are not prepared to add two more series to your pull list and fork over a bit of cash to do a bit of reading to get yourself up to date.