The shuffling of creative teams and the renumbering of almost all of their books, has been very profitable for Marvel. Where once they had been taking a beating by DC in the sales department, now, they have regained the top spots and harnessed a new found energy in the comics community with their Marvel NOW! line of books. There has been an overall sense of nostalgia melded with a new found excitement in these books, so when Marvel announced it's first "big" Marvel NOW! book of the new year would be New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman, fans sat with anticipation for the new series. Unfortunately, New Avengers is but a shadow of the other Marvel NOW! titles.
Jonathan Hickman gives us a good book that warrants attention but it pales in comparison with all the other Marvel NOW! releases of the past year. Hickman delves into a tale that is heavily formulated around the concept of the sacrifices the present must make in order to preserve it's future. A feeling that hits home in such a trying economic and political climate that we see ourselves in currently. It shows how one man must put aside his own personal feelings and reservations about others in order to find a way to save everything else he holds dear. It is an enlightening segue into a broader story awaiting us on the horizon, but it is merely not enough to captivate you with with a sense of awe we were all expecting.
Not that this story is bad in any way, it is unfortunately -- mediocre. And mediocrity is not a word synonymous with Jonathan Hickman. The suspense, shock, drama and overall fascination that we are usually treated to in a Hickman tale, is just not there in this issue. There is no emotional pull for the reader to feel vested in the tale, and even with the inclusion of the Illuminati as it's sales driver, it still falls short as a "must read" book.
With issue two looming just two weeks away, I can only hope that the story can overcome it's lackluster debut issue any bring a tale that can excite and tantalize the readers as much as the rest of the Marvel NOW! books have. With Hickman at the reigns, I have no doubt that this series can become something worthy of your four dollars!