Review by: jjellets

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Avg Rating: 3.7
Users who pulled this comic:
Story by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Steve Epting & Rick Magyar
Color by Frank D'Armata
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover by Jock

Size: 0 pages
Price: 3.99

I wish it would have been titled The New Illuminati #1!

I’m a little disappointed that Marvel didn’t choose to title this book: The New Illuminati. Obviously there’s sales advantage to using the Avengers name, but for me, the term “New Avengers” is pretty solidly linked to the Bendis’s run on the franchise and characters like Luke Cage, Spider-man and Spider-woman. This clearly isn’t that team and, with multiple Avengers books already on the shelves, I’m ready for a little diversity.

Be that at it may, I had high expectations for this book when I cracked the cover. Jonathan Hickman (and his co-conspirator Rick Remender over in Uncanny Avengers) enticed me back to the Avengers universe after a long absence, and Hickman’s FF and Fantastic Four were … uh … simply fantastic. I am loving both Avengers and Uncanny Avengers – so it pains me a bit to admit that New Avengers #1 didn’t quite bring quite the heat that the first issues of those two books did.

In fact, this first issue could have come out as a Black Panther One-Shot and prelude to the New Avengers — because it’s the Panther and Wakanda who get about three quarters of the book. I may be biased because ’ve never found the Black Panther or Wakanda all that compelling – Chris Priest’s run on character excepted –and even when the villains show – Black Swan and Manifold – they are a bit of cypher. Of course, all of this is plotted by Jonathan Hickman so there’s lots more going on here then is going to be revealed in the first issue. In theoretical terms, a “black swan” refers to cataclysmic, hard-to-predict, and rare events that go beyond the realm of typical human expectations; it’s also interesting that in addition to this villian, Hickman also added a character named “Manifold” to his Avengers team.

The last few pages do pay-off though. The gathering of the new Illuminati is both grand and unsettling. In one page, Hickman is able to make even old favorites like Doctor Strange and Reed Richards feel dangerous – so much so that it’s a bit of relief to see a determined Captain America on the last page who can both represent the more common man and keep these forces of nature in line.

End result: while New Avengers #1 didn’t make me near as giddy as Avengers #1, I’m still eagerly anticipating issues #2 and on.

Oh … and the art … was perfect.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 5 - Excellent

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