Assemble at dawn
I'll preface this review by stating that I'm not normally an Avengers reader. That is, in the past, I've only read the Avengers titles during events, if only to get a feel for what was going on in the greater Marvel U. However, other Marvel NOW books have impressed me so much that I heeded the advice of many and decided to give Avengers a try. I believe this is also my first superhero Hickman title, as well.
All that said, I absolutely loved Avengers #1. I think it's an excellent launch to a title that is setting itself up to be the centerpiece of the Marvel U in the coming years. I was pleased that this issue didn't waste much time setting anything up, favoring instead a method of character introduction that is in grained right into the narrative and plot.
I'm intrigued by the villains and I believe them to be a significant threat to Earth right off the bat. Their scheme is very strange, and to be quite honest, it may play out to be just plain silly, but I applaud Hickman for choosing to use these villains in the first arc of an Avengers book instead of the usual suspects.
The real stars, obviously, are the Avengers. It's exciting to see Tony and Steve go back and forth with dialogue that actually seems snappy and realistic. Using the 'movie team' in the first issue was a smart idea. This is the way to draw in new readers from the hit movie and actually keep them around for the long haul, in my opinion. It doesn't come off as forced in any way and it actually makes sense.
The issue hinges on the conclusion, and without spoiling anything, the prospect of a huge, rotating team of Avengers is extremely interesting to me and something I'm excited to see play out. It makes perfect sense and I'm eager to see how Hickman uses my favorite characters (Wolverine!) and the more obscure ones that have connections to the Avengers.
And I'd be remiss to not mention how much I love Jerome Opena's art. It's just so, so good. I've been a genuine fan of his work since he did Punisher with Remender years ago and have seen him only get better and better with each new title he's been given. His art is fluid and dynamic; the characters look distinct and have their own personalities.
All in all, I will most definitely be reading Avengers monthly. For the first time in my comic reading career, I believe. I think this is a perfect jumping on point for any new readers, whether new to comics in general or new to Avengers comics specifically. The story has a magnetic quality to it, in that you are left wanting to see how things will pan out. As far as first issues go, this is about as perfect as it gets.