And so it begins. Jonathan Hickman kicks off his Avengers run with a purely story-based issue. A new threat has arrived to judge Earth, and the Avengers have to expand to have a chance against them. This is my first actual Avengers comic, apart from the Kree/Skrull War and the Search for She Hulk. Was it a good introduction to the franchise?
For the most part, yes. The storytelling in this issue is brilliant. It’s mostly lead up to what could be a rather epic story. The three “villains” have bombs that can terraform planets and even alter their biosphere. They’ve already turned a large portion of Mars into a garden, and terra-bombed two minor cities. The six movie Avengers attack them, only to find that they’re simply not enough.
While the three villains are introduced, there isn’t all that much characterization in this issue. Their basic personalities are explored, but that’s about it. The Avengers have almost no characterization at all, and with 18 Avengers in the next issue it’s unlikely they’ll get any in the first story arc. That’s not necessarily a bad thing when you’re introducing such a big storyline, but I’m already aware that some people don’t like the lack of characterization.
The art is simply brilliant. Every panel has some sort of atmospheric feel to it, and the visuals help tell the story. It’s always easy to tell who you’re looking at, even when the colour pallet is changed for “lighting” purposes.
This is a good comic. There’s a lot of story build up, a new and serious threat to Earth, and great art to back it up. I’m confident that Hickman will bring in characterization later on – he’s proven himself on that front with his amazing Fantastic Four run. If you like the Avengers movie, you should definitely check this out. If you like reading Avengers comics, or Jonathan Hickman, this is also an easy recommendation. Just keep in mind that the first few issues likely won’t have much characterization.