Very strong start.
This is one of the Marvel Now! Series I was most looking forward to since I love the Avengers and Hickman is a great writer this was my most anticipated new launch for December so I hoped it would be good.
Ex Nihilo terraforms Mars. Iron Man meets with Captain America and they discuss the future of the Avengers and how they need to get bigger. Ex Nihilo continues to make a new world on Mars and a new species to live there. The Avengers land on Mars and attack Ex Nihilo.
This series from previews looked really good and the premise and the idea of it sounded interesting. One of the things I wanted from this series was new ideas and new villains and a new direction because although the last series was good it lost its quality towards the end so I hoped it would improve. When Jonathan Hickman is writing something you know it is full of big ideas as was a lot of his Fantastic Four run that I read bits of and the ideas where very creative so I hoped he would do some of that in this issue.
Before I get onto the actual issue I want to talk about the actual series. One of the things I was a bit apprehensive about with this series was the fact that it was going to have 28 members in it for a team that’s a lot the only team that has that many is the X-men and that’s basically a whole species and it was spread across several books where’s with this series some of these characters only appear in this series such as Hyperion, Smasher and Captain Universe they only appear in this book so I’m interested to see how they manage to get all of the characters especially the obscure ones to appear and get a running story arc through the series but I will talk about this more in the second part of this paragraph. The second point is the shipping this book ships every two weeks this a good thing because you get the next part of the story quicker and Jonathan Hickman manages to get more of his ideas out and more stories in a year because this is how I think he is going to integrate characters like Hyperion, Smasher and Captain Universe he said that issues 4-6 where going to introduce and centre on these characters so by having it on this schedule Hickman can get a 4 issue story arc over in 2 months and after that he can centre on specific characters and get more into the series than if it was monthly. Also this series looks changes artist a lot we get Adam Kubert on issue 4 to 6 then we get Dustin Weaver while the artists are great I would prefer to have a more constant artist on the series. The two weekly shipping though might cause problems with people as you spend $8 a month on one series and it will mean that people will not be able to buy as much as they could it’s cutting into my budget but I think the series will do good so I’m ok with that. Two weekly shipping can affect the quality of the book unless the writer isn’t doing much in the way of books it’s ok but if you’re doing 3 more books it can drop the quality of the book but since Hickman is writing New Avengers and that’s monthly and I think the Manhattan projects it shouldn’t worry he’s a good writer and people write more books and still achieve a good quality of their books.
The first few pages of this issue are really clever Hickman is dropping you clues as to what’s coming in the book in the future some of which is happening fairly soon such as the return of Hyperion and the Imperial guards fight on the moon but some of it I’m not even sure what it is but that’s a good thing as Hickman is giving you ideas about what he’s got planned so that you come back for more as it’s an incentive to buy this book even with the two weekly shipping. The narration to this scene is great and adds a real edge to these pages and makes them interesting.
I liked the little reference to the upcoming New Avengers book as we see Cap dreaming about the illuminati this was a nice touch to the issue and does show that this book does have connections to New Avengers apart from Iron Man being in it. We also get flashbacks to when Cap was in the Ice and when Iron Man was watching him this I think solidifies this book in the Marvel universe and even though this book is going in a new direction it still refers to previous books and is connected to them.
The new villain Ex Nihilo is an interesting choice Hickman said there was going to be new villains and while his character does show similar traits to one’s we have seen before but his powers are new and he’s pretty powerful especially if he can terraform Mars and create a new species to live there. Ex Nihilo means out of nothing and that fits pretty well with what he does he creates a new world from a dead world so I think it was a good idea by Hickman to give him this name. I also liked another tie to New Avengers with Ex Nihilo’s chest having the Omega emblem that has been seen on the New Avengers covers with this I would think that Ex Nihilo would have some tie to New Avengers it’s either that or a massive red herring.
One of the interesting choices for this issue was using the movie Avengers as the first few members of this team I think this is a logical move for Hickman as this may be the first Avengers issue people have bought and they probably got interested from the movie so using them was a clever move and it’s great to see Hulk on a team again.
We do get a short fight in this issue and the outcome is interesting and also harkens back to the first Avengers series with how Hulk is used. This fight is short but it does what it’s meant to and sets everything up for the final scenes.
The final few pages are my favourite we get the appearance of the rest of the Avengers team and well who do they rally behind the greatest Avenger of all time (in my opinion) Captain America and it makes sense why he does this his team are trapped and he needs to get them out and he also decides to fulfil Tony’s idea by getting the rest of the Avengers the final page is great we see the team and who’s going to join the team.
The art wow almost everything looks really good in this issue the pages are dynamic the facial expressions are so nicely done and the action scenes look perfect and I love the detail to the book my only problem is that Hulk looks weird in some panels but that’s only a minor problem.
This is a great first issue and truly shows potential I love the ideas being put forward here and this series could go down as an all-time great and thanks to this issue I have now decided to buy New Avengers #1 because Hickman has done really well in this.
I have got all the covers together for both Avengers and New Avengers that have been released.