Review: AVENGERS WORLD #1

AVENGERS WORLD #1
Written by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer
Art by Stefano Caselli
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 8th, 2014

AVENWORLD2014001_DC11_LR_Page1Jonathan Hickman teams up with co-writer Nick Spencer and artist Stefano Caselli to bring the third core Avengers title to a post Infinity Marvel Universe in one of the most anticipated title launches of the All-New Marvel NOW! intitative. Whereas Avengers focuses on the big guns, and New Avengers focuses on the Illuminati, Avengers World has the entire lineup at its disposal with an added emphasis on the newest members of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Hickman and Spencer begin their run on Avengers World by picking up on several leftover threads from the pre Infinity issues of Avengers while keeping the mandate of the Avengers growing and becoming Earth’s protectors that was established in Infinity. This first issue feels huge in scope with different teams of Avengers sent to different hot spots throughout the globe with Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D. serving as the central hub. The scope works for fans who have been following Hickman’s run since the beginning, but for those who are using this issue as introduction to the team because of All-New Marvel Now! and the big shiny number one on the cover, it might not work. For a book that promises to feature and flesh out the newer members of the team, this issue does little to introduce these lesser known Avengers to potential new readers. With characters who most readers are already familiar with, there are some great back and forth moments and interplay, but jumping back and forth between groups all over the world means we never get to stick with one group for too long to get comfortable.

For those of you that have been following Hickman’s Avengers run and, for example, already know who Smasher is, and have been introduced to who this version of Hyperion is, the lack of clear introductions and jumping around shouldn’t be as jarring for you. You will appreciate the size and scope of the issue because of how many plot points from Hickman’s first year are followed up on.  All of those seemingly stand alone issues of Avengers in the months prior to Infinity come back into play, and it looks like the payoff to those issues will be in this book.

Stefano Caselli is one of the most consistent artists Marvel has in their stable of talented creators, and he continues that with this issue. He has a style that is all his own, and while he isn’t the most flashy artist his lines are clean, and he is perfect for a big superhero book such as this. He also does an amazing job in handling the massive cast that the script calls for, which consists of almost twenty different Avengers and multiple antagonists. Throw in several different locations that include Italy, Madripoor, A.I.M. Island, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier that call for different looks, and I am willing to say that Caselli may have produced one of the most impressive issues of his career.

The bottom line is that Avengers World is a must read for readers of Avengers that have been hooked since Hickman took over the franchise, but if you are using this issue to try and jump into the franchise you might be a bit lost. It is still a solid comic book, but you won’t be nearly as impressed with the book as people who recognize the scenarios and know the newer characters. So in a rare split, if you have been reading and enjoying Avengers over the past year add a half of point to my final score, and if you are looking to this book as an entry point into the current Avengers books then take off a half of point. Overall, I’m excited to see where Hickman, Spencer, Caselli and crew go from here and hope they can balance the scope and character more carefully as the series continues.

The Verdict: 8.5/10

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