So this week, the first issue of Avengers 1 volume 4 came out, heralding what Marvel is calling, The Heroic Age.
What is the Heroic Age? Well, as it was explained on Marvel.com, it is...
...The Heroic Age ushers in a brighter Marvel Universe and a bold new era for the world's greatest super heroes as they emerge from darkness with a renewed sense of hope and optimism, leading to the formation of all new teams with new members...and brand new characters!
But in actuality, it's just a branding campaign... ..
Titles branded with the Heroic Age banner offer a perfect jumping on point for readers new and old alike, as the top comic book creators in the world deliver a Marvel Universe like you've never seen before!
We've been working out the details of THE HEROIC AGE for about a year now. The plan is to give old and new fans alike the perfect place to jump into the Marvel Universe without feeling like they've missed out on anything that's come before. If there's a Heroic Age banner on one of the books, we're serious when we say 'the Marvel Universe Starts Here!
So with that as the definition, how did Avengers 1 hold up?
Well, it's 32 pages of heroes talking with one panel of Thor hammer-zapping Kang.
As a jumping on point, I'd give it an B, because they do a good job setting up who is who and what obstacle they must overcome. However, 32 pages of people just talking is a lot of damn pages, you know? I mean the story is essentially another riff on Days of Future Past, which was set up in what, 20 pages? Is it really necessary to spend 2 pages having Steve Rogers (who is not Captain America in the issue) talk to Wonderman about Civil War and Dark Avengers, in a comic meant to give people a story without feeling like they missed anything?
Let me say, as a publishing strategy, I think the Heroic Age is a good idea. It's always good to give people a clean jumping on point, especially in a marketplace with so many lax followers. However, when I compare Avengers 1 against the the bright and shiny Heroic Age mission statement, it feels to me like it misses the mark a little.
Let's hope future issues have more Heroic and less Age in them. ;)
With all that said, let's enjoy two great comics of a different age of Heroes.
*NOTE: This is a reduced and repacked version of Yoc's original scans, which were too big for me to conveniently host on my site. You can get the the full scanned originals at the Golden Age Comics website.