Hot on the heels of the conclusion of “Infinity,” writers Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer team up with artist Stefano Caselli, colorist Frank Martin and letterers Joe Caramagna and Chris Eliopoulos to bring readers “Avengers World” #1. My first expectation of this title was a wider range of heroes from across the globe, but what the creative team brings is a slightly smaller roster of Avengers than the usual cast that carried the Avengers label throughout “Infinity.”
The concept of an Avengers world spins out from the events of “Infinity,” with the Avengers vowing to defend Earth as they defended other planets from the hordes of the Builders. To handle the significant cast of characters, Hickman and Spencer break the Avengers up into smaller squads, sending Hyperion, Thor and Captain Marvel to combat accumulating natural disasters along the eastern seaboard; Black Widow, Falcon, Shang-Chi and Wolverine go to Madripoor to tackle massive rioting that is sending the island country deeper into turmoil than it has ever been; Hawkeye, Nightmask, Spider-Woman and Starbrand are sent to investigate massive disappearances in Velletai, Italy; Smasher, Cannonball and Sunspot go to A.I.M. Island to investigate a metamorphosis on the island while Captain America and Bruce Banner run sitrep on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. The Avengers cover the world, but the world doesn’t construct the Avengers. In this regard, “Avengers World” is a bit of a misnomer, but taken in the context of their declarations in “Infinity” the Avengers’ efforts across the world make perfect sense.
By breaking the team into smaller squads, Hickman and Spencer are able to provide key moments for almost every character, each of whom get at least one line of dialog. All the same, certain members have brighter spotlights turned in their direction, such as Starbrand in Italy and Banner on the Helicarrier. Spread far and wide, with threats ranging from giant monsters to riots fueled by the Hand, Hickman and Spencer give the Avengers a nice challenge without any aliens or space travel. While it may not be directly connected, there is a rejuvenated sense of adventure and fun in “Avengers World” #1.
Part of the fun stems from the amazing range of expressions and body language present in the gorgeously drawn, exactingly detailed work of Stefano Caselli. Every Avenger has a different face, body and range of expressions. Caselli also constructs each uniform of believable fabric, with wrinkles and folds that bolster the definition he places on each character. Frank Martin’s colors wash “Avengers World” #1 with energy and vitality, making even mundane scenes, like Cap and Banner walking to the Helicarrier bridge, shine brightly.
“Avengers World” #1 brings energy and fun back to the adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, shifting the scope just slightly to provide the members of the team with enough room to breathe and grow. As part of the All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, “Avengers World” #1 sets the world stage for a wide range of conflicts and a worldview from the boots on the ground. This issue sets up a number of plots bubbling with potential, and teases them together just enough to entice readers to join a whole new, yet notably familiar world.