I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Avengers #1

New Avengers promises to deal with the repercussions of the Illuminati, a group consisting of Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, and Namor, among others, and brought together in order to control world events. One issue into Hickman's 2013 volume, we see the world from the perspective of Black Panther, who was invited to join the New Avengers but had moral issues with their existence. Black Panther is no longer the king of Wakanda. He is now the creepy king of the Wakandan crypts, and he encounters a team of universe-hopping beings who are interested in a particular relic of power.

Already, New Avengers is stronger than Hickman's sister title Avengers, which deals with Iron Man/Tony Stark's plans to create a response team in order to defend the universe from the greatest evils. Much of this has to do with the fact that Black Panther appears to be at the center of this book and we have a chance to deal with some of the interesting twists the character has experienced since the events of Hickman's Fantastic Four/FF and the summer Avengers vs. X-Men crossover event.

Hickman is an amazing story-teller. Some of his books can be difficult to access, as it seems that he does not think in the same linear way that you or I usually do, but New Avengers has already begun to stand out in that sense. New Avengers, with Brian Michael Bendis's All-New X-Men, has a chance of being one of the most interesting titles of the new wave of comic books called Marvel Now.

The one thing that is problematic about New Avengers is a chronic problem in the Marvel Universe. (And trust me, the DC Universe is no better.) Black characters can be on teams, and they can even lead teams, but neither of the big two publishers trust black characters to have their own title. In much the same way that Captain America is a title that features characters like Falcon and Dum Dum Dugan, New Avengers could easily be titled Black Panther and feature stories connecting to Iron Man, Doctor Strange and the others. I am really bothered by the fact that black characters must either be buried in a team or used as sidekicks, but you'll probably also notice that I rated this first issue at four stars, which means that outside of my moral concerns it is a really good book.

I'd recommend this comic for purchase. I'd recommend that you add it to your pull list. It doesn't look like this book is going to go the way of Aquaman, Action Comics, and the like, comics that lose their amazing creative teams before they even hit issue #20. It looks like Hickman is here to stay and you'd be well-served by having these issues in that box in your closet with all your other favorites.

I've syndicated this review at Examiner. You can read it here. If you click on it a few times, spend some time there, or navigate to a new page, I might get some money. But I'm only asking that of you if you liked reading the article here and want to show your appreciation.

1 comment:

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