Posted December 10, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics


Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Jerome Opeña

I wasn’t really planning on picking up the first issue of the Marvel NOW! Avengers relaunch. I’m still kind of pissed at the Avengers for being the bigger screw-ups during the whole Phoenix debacle. Additionally, when they revealed the roster, I was skeptical about it. Cannonball ? Sunspot? Really?Are they just randomly putting anyone and everyone on the Avengers team now? Also, Hyperion? You’d think they’d have learned from Sentry’s example by now.

However, when I saw that they had Jonathan Hickman – the guy who actually made me interested in the Fantastic Four with his stellar FF - on writing duties, and Filipino painter Jerome Opeña for the illustrations, I knew that this book was going to be a winner.

I definitely wasn’t wrong.

Without spoiling the story too much, the opening act of Hickman’s Avengers immediately introduces an otherworldly threat that truly requires the combined powers of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Unsurprisingly, the initial roster featured in the book is the movie roster – no doubt part of Marvel’s plan to make the Marvel NOW! books more accessible (“entry-level”, if you will) to newer fans.

This book actually has a sort of Dragonball Z vibe to it, but in a good way. The story really emphasizes the reason why the Avengers were born in the first place – to deal with threats that no single hero can stop. For a premiere/setup comic, this issue feels action-packed, and is a nice change of pace from the standard slow crawl we’ve gotten used to with regards to the Avengers under Bendis’s pen.

Jerome Opeña’s art really shines here, too – it looks like someone took the best parts from the art styles of Alex Ross and Leinil Yu, put them in a blender, and spilled the result all over Hickman’s solid script. The subdued colors and almost-photorealistic quality of his illustrations, while not loud, are just as explosive and powerful as Immonen’s work on All-New X-Men. The last page in particular left me excited to read the next issue, and the diagram at the end of the comic, showing the various logos of the members of this core Avengers team, is simple yet brilliant.

So far, most of the new #1’s from Marvel’s NOW! initiative have been excellent. You can definitely add Avengers to the list.


This is good stuff. A thrilling story coupled with gorgeous art can only mean a comic book well worth every peso…and an ongoing definitely worth following. I’m definitely answering the call – you should, too, your feelings about AvX notwithstanding.

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Mikael Angelo Francisco