today I will write my first lines about the Marvel Now! campaign of Marvel. I will start with the first three
issues of "Avengers" and I must confess this series picked me up for Marvel. But lets do it step by step.
In fact I didn't like the Avengers movie and in the atmosphere of the hype I was really sceptical about the "R"evolution of Marvel with Marvel Now!. Nevertheless I like characters like Thor and Captain America and I was fancy about the upcoming group titles like "Avengers", "New Avengers" or "All-New X-Men" but wasn't brave enough to invest in those series. But, lucky me, I had the opportunity to borrow the "Avengers" title. And it was awesome.
The first statements of Marvel that in "Avengers" will be dealt with the really big problems turned out to be true. The first pages of issue No. 1 give a short flash-forward overview of what to come and starting the first two panels with "There was nothing. Followed by everything." was like writing down the hole creation and set a god-linked and inspired meta-plot. What else do you want?
The mainframe of the story is quite simple but a classic. A super-villain on Mars(!) wants to shape earth by his own conception and the Avengers have to stop him. This is combined with a big "Avengers" group lead by Iron Man and Captain America. The relationship between those two characters is great and the flashback-picture of frozen Cap catapults a long history right in the present. The idea to "We have to get bigger" isn't just a set phrase. For the events to come you need the best of the best. But to write a good story you also need a great foe. This is an unwritten law of a good comic book or modern fantastic film and in this case the opponent is well designed. Ex Nihilo is a incalculable being and virgin in comic history. You can espect nothing and everything of him and the omega on his chest is a direct sign for divine origin or omniscient which gives him a mysterious aura. He is a creative character, less destructive and congenial and in the first place you can't think of him as a threat. Also his golden, yellow skin and the wise speech supports this first impression but also gives a bad taste of worshipping a golden calf.
So we've got a powerful opponent, the hole world on the razors edge and a big group of Avengers but
where is the touching, the real good of the story? It is, like I said, an old formula but it is told and drawn very well. Jonathan Hickman takes his time to introduce little glimpse of a meta-plot and lays out thin strings which (hopefully) will form a strong final at the end of his run. Nowadays it is art to wire a story this way and satisfy (and surprise) readers with the turnings and spins in a plot. It's always easy to lay out something mysterious and state that it will culminate in a big all exegetical end. But some people have LOST the faith in this kind of storytelling ;). Building a story in comic books this way hooks on the reader and the "Previously in Avengers" is another indicator where the inspiration came from. So is it really written well? Yes. The sequences work very well and are building enough tension to keep reading. But also the detailed art slows you down to explore this Avengers World. Combined with a colourful, but not flashy colouration almost each page invites you to stay a little longer or to take the book again in you hand.
I don't want to spoil this book so I will keep this short. The first three issues build a brief introduction of "The Avengers" and is very good composed. Luckily the level of writing and art continues in the further issues and the story is still appealing. You've got my full recommendation to read this series. And I will further explore the Marvel Now! Revolution.