You know when you are excited about something, and that something, when it finally arrives, is somehow everything that was promised, but somehow there’s something missing? It’s all shiny and nearly what you wanted, but just not quite?
That’s how I feel about Avengers #1.
I want to like it, I really do. After Jonathon Hickman’s stunning run on Fantastic Four, I had high hopes, and truly, they were nearly met. The fact that this is all part of the Marvel NOW relaunch should have been an added bonus.
Yet of the entire new Marvel NOW line, this feels the most ‘New 52’. Big ideas, fitting around even bigger characters, all the icons that we ever wish to see in an Avengers story, with a promise of a roster that would put to shame the multitude of heroes who served to face the threat of Korvac way back in the Seventies.
Enigmatic but intriguing villain (with ‘intriguing’, please note the difference from much of the DCnU offerings), resplendent with his own supporting cast, with overtones of the War Of The Worlds, Tabla Rasa and the original Guardians of the Galaxy mythos. Weapons that could re-write entire cities, usually the culmination of some villains plan, appear as the opening salvo.
Or not. We see the Avengers reacting to the event, yet miss the event itself. Unless we are to see this in later issues, there just somehow seems to be an absence. Of course, considering the issue opens long after the story has drawn to a close, from the perspective of myth, so an element of time shifting may well continue through the tale, and to be honest, I really hope so.
The introduction promises great things, that we all know that Mr. Hickman is more than capable of delivering, although I wonder just how much this ties up the future path of the Marvel Universe for the time being, and where the promised Age Of Ultron will fit into all of this? Of course, the Kree invasion that occurred in Fantastic Four seemed to pass the rest of the MU by, curious in the interconnected age post-Civil War, but somewhat refreshing at the same time.
IF Grant Morrison could do it in the pages of Final Crisis, then I am sure Mr Hickman is more than capable of allowing us to fill in the blanks. Then again, others aside from this writer criticised the Great Grant for that very act. I hope the same does not occur here.