Avengers #24.NOW Review

Team Hickman take the Avengers into an all new story arc as a rogue planet hurdles toward Earth in the All-New Marvel Now. Let the re-numbering begin...again!

The Good

Slowly, but surely I'm becoming a fan of the Avengers again after so long of a hiatus from "Avengers Disassembled." That's a personal note. Don't ask why. Just know that it's been a long time coming. "Rogue Planet" has me reluctantly on-board for my third Avengers book behind Uncanny Avengers and New Avengers.

"Avengers 24.1" is an ok jumping-on point into "Avengers" since it was solicited as a new number one. The book featured good art from Esad Ribic, Salvador Larroca, Mike Deodato and Butch Guice. It was nice to see the Avengers enjoy one another's company atop Avengers Tower in the aftermath of the massive Infinity crossover and the consequences spiraling from Inhumanity. As a reader I felt as though I was invited into their assembly, to exhale and to decompress after a hard-fought victory: Thor grilling all kinds of meat on the barbecue pit; Hulk offering trays of different kinds of pie; a few other heroes tee-ing off golf balls from the ledge of the tower. These moments were priceless. Of course there's no rest for the weary. The team's party is interrupted by yet another harbinger of doom bearing bad news from the future.

The Not So Good

Event-driven story-lines wary me. How many times does Earth have to be saved from some crisis that doesn't involve tampering with the timeline? It's gotten kind of old in the Marvel Universe and darn near gimmicky. The thought of a rogue planet on a crash-course with Earth interesting. With all of the space-hopping and inter-dimensional hi-jinks the Avengers had been a part of, though, I thought that a rogue planet could ne'er escape their watchful eye. No. Someone from the future had to inform them alá Dr. Emmett Brown informing Marty McFly about trouble with his kids. I'd rather have learned about this threat from one of Marvel's space-traveling heroes in the present like the Silver Surfer or Beta-Ray Bill. Moreover, the crisis was averted too quickly. I would rather have enjoyed more of the interactions between the heroes than wonder at another chrono-conundrum.

Accordingly, the New Avengers will need to deal with the consequences of having mind-wiped Captain America over the Illuminati's plans to deal with planetary incursions of multiple versions of Earth. Sound familiar? I can think of another publisher that has tread those waters before.

Zarrko the Tomorrow Man appeared in this issue. This was intriguing only because he's appeared numerous times in "Indestructible Hulk" as the architect of the temporal device featured in "Agents of T.I.M.E." Here, it seemed, he still worked out of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secret base. Zarrko aided a future version of Iron Man whom an old Franklin Richards referred to as "Rhodey." Initially, I thought it was James Rhodes. Then I said to myself, "That wouldn't make sense." Apparently, this Iron Man was trying to use the device in an attempt to warn the Avengers of a cataclysm. There were rules involved, however, as Richards reminded him; to which we learn: "There are none." I thought this was a little trite. I also thought that Tony Stark would have responded to the reveal in the end with a little more emotion. I imagined that Stark was just as tired of time-travel madness as I am. Meh.

The Bottom Line

"Avengers 24.1" was alright. If readers are tired of time-travel and simply want an adventure with Earth's Mightiest Heroes, this issue is not it. There is potential here. I would like to see how the developing relationships between these heroes are explored. Hopefully the next issue will be far more adventurous.

3.5 / 5
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Avengers #24.NOW
Released December 25, 2013
Writer Jonathan Hickman
Artist Esad Ribic
Cover Artist Esad Ribic

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