With their “Marvel Now!” promotion, Marvel Comics once again restarted their Avengers lines of comics. The first story arc and trade paperback, “Avengers World,” is a huge story arc, but really just sets up future events.
Jonathan Hickman takes over the Avengers reigns from Brian Michael Bendis with this book, and as Hickman does when he writes super-heroes, he blows up the stakes to a level so huge, it’s hard to relate. The first three issues introduce the Builders, and plant the idea of the Avengers expanding (in a manner very similar to Giant Sized X-Men #1). The conflict is galactic in nature, too large to fully believe but still easily overcome.
The next three issues are really just back stories on three of the new Avengers, Hyperion, Smasher, and Captain Universe. They’re decent stories, but we’re basically stuck in exposition mode with three new characters and hoping for a payoff somewhere down the line. There’s already a few hundred Avengers, but these three get the spotlight since Hickman will need them down the line. The book ends, and we’re left wondering where things are going next.
Hickman is definitely setting up dominoes for the “Infinity” crossover, but that leaves this book a bit lacking. This collection is pretty indicative of the modern Marvel mindset. If a new reader picks any one of these individual issues up, chances are they’re not going to be able to follow what’s going on. In collected form though, they make more sense and somewhere down the line, they’ll wind up in the “Infinity Omnibus,” and everything will fit together much better.
“Avengers World” contains the first six issues (#1-6) of Marvel’s “Avengers” comic from 2012, written by Jonathan Hickman, and illustrated by Jerome Opena and Adam Kubert. It retails for 24.99, and is 152 pages. It includes a code for a free digital copy. It is rated T+.