Comics: Avengers #1 and Thunderbolts #1 Reviews

Avengers #1

The big cheese, the top dog, the head honcho… they’re the Avengers and I’m surprised that the debut of the new series came in the middle of Marvel NOW! and not at the very start. The Avengers is one of the easiest comic books to sell, at least it should be. A group of heroes get together to fight bad guys and you can read about their experiences twice a month instead of waiting three years to see a movie! This is why I’m not in marketing.
The focus of this issue, besides debuting the new series, is that the Avengers needs to be bigger. A bigger roster, bigger enemies, bigger everything and for something that puts emphasis on ‘big,’ it feels really small. The fact that it doesn’t feel like it has a grandiose scope from the start is good because that gives it a chance to grow and progress naturally instead of being overly clunky and large. Writer Jonathan Hickman does a good job of handling a lot of information in the comic, but some may consider some aspects of his writing as oversimplifying events of the Marvel universe. New readers will enjoy this approach, but old readers that can’t let go will be upset.
It’s no surprise that the initial team in the new series is the exact team that appeared in this summer’s very successful movie, but there’s a reason they were all in the film: they work together well. I hate that we didn’t get to see at least a full arc of that team before adding more members, but I understand that the whole idea is ‘Bigger is better’ for these Avengers and they don’t have time for just six members.
The art in this comic is gorgeous with a few flaws, specifically: the Hulk. The Hulk looks like a giant ape in this comic and it’s both distracting and ugly. I can get over the three panels that his yeti-like mug take up because the rest of the comic looks amazing. Jerome Opeña’s pencils are absolutely stellar. He squeezes more detail into each panel than some artists do on one page. You could (and should) spend most of your time reading this looking over the artwork, because it’s some of the best I’ve seen in a Marvel comic in quite some time. It looks real, it’s beautiful, and it doesn’t feel like a comic. It really sets the tone for this series.
Hickman is starting off his run on Avengers strong. While he takes a less is more apporach in the writing and a bigger is better in terms of the cast, they both have their advantages and work in favor of each other. Opeña’s art is the main selling point though, because it is without question the best artwork from Marvel NOW! If you want to get into the Avengers, you need look no further than this and it helps that it’s a great read.
Rating: 9 / 10