Writers: Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer
Art: Stefano Caselli
Marvel $3.99 Jan 8th 2014
This issue ushers in the post "Infinity" Avengers into the All-New Marvel Now branding. The team is relatively the same line up for the most part (the core team) with a more global-response repurposing mission statement.
The idea had been that the Avengers needed to get larger and they did. Now their mission is to be more of a global presence and they get that opportunity in quick order.
For a #1 issue, it is very accessible to new readers who may or may not even know who all the members are. Several of the teams current roster had their origins in Hickman's current run in the main Avengers title and played large roles in the "Infinity" event. The team has been reduced in size since "Infinity" but several of Hickman's newest members remain active on the team roster. But as I stated before, this issue is very accessible to new readers dispite these new members that you may not be familiar with yet.
It begins with dialogue between Steve Rogers and Bruce Banner discussing the team, their new role as active global responders and their developing relationship with SHIELD. This section contains the only problem I had with the issue. And the issue is because of its characterization of Bruce Banner. He was written in a way that seemed smug and cocky. Although he has gained control, confidence and appreciation of himself during his characters growth in his solo title, I feel it still was a bit forced, over the top and not the Banner I know and love. His time with SHIELD has put him in a prime place with the Avengers and he and Cap discuss the current state of SHIELDS leadership.
In this issue, four seperate threats occur across the globe and the Avengers split into response units to deal with these threats while Banner and Captain America remain at the Helicarrier to coordinate the efforts.
This splitting of the team into smaller groups allows every character to recieve some amount of time in the spotlight and allow more interpersonal interactions among the characters. Also, the threats themselves all have very intriguing plot hooks that I am excited to see develop....some of which pick up on storylines that have been evolving out of other titles like Secret Avengers.
The locations of these threats range from numerous natural disasters occurring the North America, the Hand causing problems on the island Madripoor (an island that is actually on the back of a living dragon!) , an entire Italian city that has had every citizen disappear and finally the terrorist organization AIM is up to something in their country and of course it is not good.
Like I said, smaller squads, fantastic plot points to grow and the art could not be more engaging and beautiful. The art in every panel is breathtaking and worth the cover price on its own.
Its appearing like it is going to be an exhilarating ride so don't miss out or get left behind.....don't wait for this to go to the trades. Get it now.
Rating: Buy it