Review – Marvel NOW! Avengers #1, FF #1 and Thunderbolts #1

Avengers #1

Avengers_1_CoverI’ll start off all the reviews by saying for the most part I think Marvel NOW! is ho-hum. More of the same, but shuffling the chairs on the deck. If you wanted to know what I was looking for in these reboots/revamps/reboots, this is the comic. Avengers #1 from a solid team is the story and art I want in a comic. Holy shit is it a good first issue and one you should absolutely pick up.

The comic starts with Tony Stark coming to Steve Rogers with his idea about the Avengers. The need to go bigger to take on a big threat over the horizon. There’s lots of hints as to what’s coming and right away a small team goes up against some big baddies winding up right where that first issue should be. A large, huge team at the end waiting to kick-ass. that’s not a spoiler as everyone has said this book will have a big cast, this is the big team book. There’s also a great mix at the end with quite a few characters I couldn’t name.

The story, and how it plays out, is fantastic with sharp writing, pacing and the order of the scenes. It’s a team gathering story, but laid out in a much better way than the usual, show up and recruit the individual, you can read Thunderbolts for that. Instead, we’re thrown into the action and given some big ominous event to look forward to. The art of Opena too is amazing. This should be Marvel’s top book and it meets that high expectation, story, look, everything.

You want to know how good Marvel NOW! should be? This is the book you can judge all others by. The best debut so far of the bunch.

Story: Jonthan Hickman Art: Jerome Opena

Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

FF #1

FF_1_CoverFF was a comic I knew going into would be offbeat and a bit odd. Allred’s unique art-style was the tip-off to that. The story in the first issue plays off well from Fantastic Four #1 and it helps to have read that comic. With the Fantastic Four’s impending trip, they feel the need to put together a new FF team just in case something happens and the original FF don’t return in the four minutes they’ll be gone.

Yes, that’s right, this new FF team is being put together because something might happen in the four minutes the original FF might be gone. We all know the original FF will be gone for longer than four minutes, so it’s all a bit goofy really.

But, here, we get to meet the kids the make up the Future Foundation, perfect for new readers and each new member is recruited. It’s written for new readers, attempting to introduce them to characters they might not know. It’s all decent, but other than that, there’s not much in this first issue. It’s all set-up, which is fine, but having read Fantastic Four #1, there’s even less for me to read that feels new.

It’s just a first issue though and while the story might not be totally exciting, Michael Allred’s art is amazing. For that alone, the comic is worth checking out. He brings his usual style in what I’m sure will be the quirkiest comic in Marvel NOW!.

Story: Matt Fraction Art: Michael Allred

Story: 7.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Thunderbolts #1

Thunderbolts_01_CoverRed Hulk, Elektra, Venom, Punisher and Deadpool, this new Thunderbolts team should be amazing. This first issue should have been full of kick-ass moments showing the down and dirty side of the Marvel Universe. Instead we get General Ross recruiting each member, who is embroiled in bizarre situations, making you wonder more why he’s talking to them in these situations and how Ross got there.

This is the “recruitment” comic I was referring to. Not much thought put into it, just discussion and an offer being extended. Yawn.

What should and could have been an explosive first issue, instead makes me want to blow it up with explosives. It’s not exciting, and is so cookie cutter in it’s execution it’s painful to read.

There’s really not much else to say. Steve Dillon’s art is exactly what I’d expect from his numerous runs with Garth Ennis on various comics.

Overall, crossing my fingers the second issue is an improvement, but really, it’s kind of hard not to be.

Story: Daniel Way Art: Steve Dillon

Story: 6 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass