Marvel has unveiled Dustin Weaver's interlocking covers for the first three issues of "Avengers," introducing most of the sprawling cast of the new series by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome OpeÃ±a. Launching in December as part of the publisher's Marvel NOW! initiative, the comic finds the team looking to expand its ranks in the wake of "Avengers Vs. X-Men" to be better prepared should other threats like Phoenix arise.
"The idea is that the Avengers have to get bigger," Hickman told Comic Book Resources in July. "That means bigger in every sense. That means the roster has to be bigger, and the missions have to be bigger, and the adversaries and scenarios they find themselves in have to be larger. I've played with this stuff a little bit over in the Ultimate Universe. Obviously, it's a completely different weight class here, but in a lot of ways that's the kind of velocity that the book should have. We (Tom Brevoort and I) also felt like that if the book was going to be about an Avengers world, it should look more like the world. Of course there are complications starting out when the necessary movie characters are five white dudes and a white lady, but, you know, bigger roster. Frankly, I'm really, really excited at how we address that. The lineup is killer."
While that lineup will eventually grow to 18, the three covers show just 14 heroes -- among them, the entire "Avengers" movie lineup (including Black Widow and her unfortunately placed pistol), Cannonball, Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman. It's unclear who's in the shadows of Issue 1, and which of Marvel's fiery heroes stands to Thor's right. Presumably the remaining members will appear on the cover of issue #4.
"Avengers" #1 debuts in December.