You Weird-Looking Freak
For starters, Jerome Opena's art. Given that the first comic that I ever picked up was Uncanny X-Force #1, I have a special place in my heart for Mr. Opena. His art is just so damn good. He makes all the characters look mythical and deep without pencilling on over-developed abs and ridiculous cheekbones. People actually look human, even Thor, who people tend to draw with biceps larger than Captain America's head.
In this issue the villain's goals are revealed and this is the kind of villain I prefer. He doesn't consider himself "evil" like so many characters seem to. Who would actually name themselves the Brotherhood of EVIL Mutants or the Masters of EVIL. Ex Nihilo and co. simply thinks that he is in the right, some grand architect of the universe. His sister Abyss is less interesting, and I do hope that she'll play a larger role later on, as she only seems to be a henchman, with next to no dialogue.
I'm a huge fan of this Avengers roster, especially the new additions. Hickman did an excellent job blending characters with a rich back-story (Spider-Woman, Captain Marvel) and characters that have been mostly background in their appearances in other books (Shang-Chi, Manifold). I'm particularly interested in the completely new characters, particularly the new Captain Universe, for reasons that I hope others will notice when they read this. I am very curious as to exactly which Hyperion this is. Issue 1 showed him in prison, so is he the King Hyperion from Thunderbolts? I can't see him joining the Avengers...
Every complaint that I had about this book had to do with some cliché-ness that I noticed. The invasion of Earth I thought very similar to the Ultimate Avengers movie storyline, and Ex Nihilo's background and plans somewhat reminded me of the Tabula Rasa storyline from Uncanny X-Force, though maybe that's just because both were drawn by Jerome Opena.
I also wasn't a fan of the way that Opena drew the Hulk. It reminded me too much of the old days when the Hulk looked like and acted like a troll, not showcasing at all the growth and development that that character has gone through over the years.
Aren't Wolverine and Cannonball teachers? I had hoped that the number of books that Wolverine is in would've scaled back but I guess that's just too much to hope for.
As much as I love Opena's art, it seems a little too dark for something as grand as the Avengers. More of a question than a problem, because I love dark books.
A definite must read. Hickman has assembled one of the more interesting rosters in my opinion and the idea of "Avengers World" really cries out to you. Opena's art is phenomenal, and just his presence on this book makes me want to buy it. The villain's are interesting and the plot is hopeful, and the minor characters have a chance to shine in this plot it seems. A solid, enjoyable read.