Avengers #0 Review

Written by:  James Robinson, Mark Waid, Gerry Dugan, Al Ewing, G. Willow Wilson

Art by: Leronard Kirk, Mahmund Asrar, Ryan Stegman, Gerardo Sandoval, Victor Ibañez

Published by: Marvel

Well folks, wasn’t Secret Wars really something!? It was so awesome in fact, that my mind seems to have deleted the conclusion from my memory to protect my mind from exploding. Well it’s either that, or the main event has been incredibly delayed and Marvel have another comics relaunch to get through, so have just decided to skip to the All-New, All-Different stuff now. Either way, we find ourselves presented with what is essentially the now annual Marvel relaunch previews book, this time with a focus on the upcoming new Avengers books. I was a huge fan of the previous run and was sad to see Hickman go (or going, since it’s technically not finished), though with the creative teams on the upcoming ones I’m equally excited for what’s coming up, though was a little overwhelmed with the amount of choices on offer, and was unsure of which book offered what. Thankfully, this book provides a good, if pricey, look at six of the upcoming books which should give you a good feel of which title is right for you.

If you’ve ever read one of Marvel’s Point One preview books, you know exactly what to expect here; little preludes of upcoming books of varying quality, with a central story operating at the spine of the narrative loosely tying each separate story together. For those interested the books covered are All-New All-Different Avengers, A-Force, Uncanny Avengers, New Avengers, The Ultimates and Squadron Supreme. To save a few of you reading on, if you’re interested in any of these books but are unsure of which to buy then you should probably check out this book. The preview stories do a good job conveying what each book will be about and whether or not it’s for you. You may find yourself surprised by finding something you weren’t previously excited for (I know New Avengers shot up my to-read list after this). If however you’re 100% sure about which books you want to buy, this issue is largely skipable. There isn’t so much material covered in each of the stories that you’ll be missing a great deal when the first issues launch, more little tastes of each one to sort of see each books mission statement. The issue’s price tag makes it a hard purchase to justify if you already know what you want too. For those still interested however, let’s look at what the book offers.

What really surprised me when I was reading these stories was how much of a classic vibe I was getting from them. The first story involving classic avengers Vision and Scarlet Witch is sure to delight long time fans, especially given their relationship and role in the Marvel Universe is the crux of the story. While this may deter the potential new readers Marvel are surely looking for this week, it should give longtime fans proof Marvel still have stories planned for some of their favorite characters. It was a very comfort food approach to comics, even having a very traditional house style (and I realize that metaphor doesn’t really work as this issue is really an appetizer, but just stick with it). Even most of the other stories seemed to spin directly out of events in Hickman’s own books, fans of his run are sure to get a pang of excitement with the return of some surprising characters from his run, but again I worry about how user friendly this will be for totally fresh readers. As the issue continued though, and the stories took different approaches, these fears started to subside. There are a LOT of different Avengers now, so even the greenest of fans are sure to find some character they like or recognize in the book, as long as they don’t need everything explained. With characters from books like Young Avengers and even Deadpool making an appearance as an Avenger (god help us all…) newer, fresher fans will be as equally catered as much as the diehards. Really it feels like there’s something for everyone here, if you’re picking this one up your bound to find at least one Avengers books that looks appealing to you, whether you’re a classic fan or here for the All-New, All-Different material.

As for the stories themselves, they’re the standard preview fare, however the writers each tackle them differently, to different success. Mark Waid’s Vision tale for example acts as quite a self-contained prequel to his upcoming run, having a solid beginning and end while leaving the character in a new position for the series, while G. Wilson’s A-Force section reads more like the opening few pages of the new series. One approach is not necessarily better than the other, it’ll all come down to your personal preference. Surprisingly though, what I thought really did work was the aforementioned New Avengers preview. It just plays like a full blown movie trailer, with a four page spread of bizarre and amazingly tantalizing shots from upcoming issues of the book. Al Ewing seems to understand the difficulty in telling a full story in such a short space, so instead just seems to say “hey look how much cool stuff I can fit on a page” and it really works! It’s the perfect example of how this book can sway those on the fence to a book, so again, if you’re unclear on the new avengers line and want some samples, it definitely warrants a purchase. His other Ultimates story seems a lot of fun too, with some fan favorite characters of the modern era showing up. Really each story has a lot going for it, Marvel have not skimped on talent at all and put some of their best creators, new and old on these books. While it’s hard to judge the quality of the line from this preview, there’s a lot to be excited about.

Overall, Marvel have put some great new talent on their Avengers line, and while having so many Avengers books is certainly polarizing, this book does a great job breaking down the major differences of each book and helping unsure fans find their way to the book that suits them. The book is not as new reader friendly as one might expect,with elements of original avengers stuff, secret wars fallout (some of which won’t even make sense to those reading the comics currently, for obvious reasons) influencing the books, plus the price is off-putting for what is essentially FCBD-esque preview material, but it should offer something for Avengers fans for all types. If you’re looking for some guidance into the new Avengers line, Avengers #0 is your go to book if you’re willing to stump up the cash.