Posted October 22, 2012 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW: Marvel NOW! Point One #1

Reviewing Marvel NOW! Point One #1:

Nick Fury by Nick Spencer/ Luke Ross
Starlord (Guardians of the Galaxy) by Brian Bendis/Steve McNiven
Nova (Nova) by Jeph Loeb/ Ed McGuinness
Miss America (Young Avengers) by Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie
Ant-Man (FF ) by Matt Fraction/Mike Allred
Forge (Cable & X-Force) by Dennis Hopeless/ Gabriel Hernandez Walta

When the Marvel NOW! Point One one-shot was first announced, I wasn’t thrilled about it at all. It was to be released a week after Uncanny Avengers #1, which kind of kills the point of having a Point One issue to explain the “new” world of Marvel NOW! to comics fans and lay the groundwork for stories to come. Besides, isn’t that why ongoing series get launched with shiny new issue-number-ones in the first place?

Thankfully, Marvel NOW! Point One #1 serves as a strong starting point for five of the titles coming out in the next few months. In fact, it doesn’t feel like just a preview issue; it’s actually a substantial comic that manages to weave together five “prologues” using the newly-introduced (into the world of 616, anyway) Nick Fury Jr. and Agent Phil Coulson.

The weakest of the five prologues is easily Bendis and McNiven’s Starlord story. It does little in the way of serving as an “issue zero” for the new Guardians of the Galaxy title, instead focusing on Peter Quill’s origin story. I think this story was a wasted opportunity; it didn’t convince me to buy Guardians when it comes out, and I highly doubt it would convince other readers as well.

My favorites here are the Ant-Man story by Fraction and Allred and the Forge story by Hopeless and Walta (whose art reminds me a bit of Humberto Ramos’s crazy anime-style people). While the Forge story answers the very basic question of why Forge is in the Cable and X-Force title – given recent comics events – the Ant-Man story is a cute, personal story that takes us into the mind of the newly-resurrected Scott Lang and bridges the gap between the new FF title and the recently-concluded Avengers: Children’s Crusade.

The Young Avengers story is interesting and (and features a cute recruitment ad made by Loki himself), while the Nova feature is fun and energetic, and gives the impression that the new Nova series will be just as light. Also worth noting about this comic is the two-page spread at the back, which appears to be teasing the long-awaited and long-delayed Ultron War.

VERDICT: 4.5/5

This is easily the best Point One I’ve read so far, and is light years ahead of Marvel’s last attempt at a Point One in terms of quality. The higher price point may be a bit of a turn-off, but you’d definitely get your money’s worth.

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Mikael Angelo Francisco