Artist: Jim Cheung
This has been a series that I've been looking forward to for some time now, as with the disappointment of Age of Ultron, as well as the brilliant build-up in both Avengers, and New Avengers series I'm hoping that Marvel will deliver an amazing event.
Whilst the Builders head for Earth, Corvus Glaive sends an Outrider to hunt for information for Thanos, and the Avengers learn of the Builder's arrival.
This was a brilliant start to this event, and although the issue wasn't perfect, it shows a lot of hope for it's future, and looks to be the start of something great. Jonathan Hickman has done a great job of building the start of this story, allowing people who haven't been following Avengers, or New Avengers to get a grasp of what's to come in this story without being too confused. He has however also thought of the people who have been reading them series, as this is a great continuation, and all the build-up that has been happening since the start of both series looks to be worth it. Hickman also added some suspense, and drama, but the mystery mainly ruled out, and he did a tremendous job of starting this story.
The art on this issue was simply outstanding, and when I heard that Jim Cheung would be one of the artists working on this series I was over the moon, as I love his work. His art was very highly detailed, with very few minor imperfection, which you'd only really notice if you were looking for them. I also loved how Cheung drew all the characters, and especially Thanos, and the Outrider, as both looked awe-inspiring. The Outrider just looked mean, and Alien like, whilst still being unique, whereas Thanos simply looked the powerhouse that he is, looking maniacal, and sinister. I also loved the layout of Cheung's art, as it added depth, and that along with the way he drew the space sequences made this issue very dynamic.
This issue would see the Builders make their way through the galaxy, with Earth one of the planets in their sights. Now I found it very interesting to see them in this issue, as with the way they've been introduced, and build upon from the Avengers series I was expecting them to have a role in this story. I didn't however expect quite this, and it was a nice surprise. I also found Ex Nihilo, and Abyss' reaction to the news of their arrival to be very interesting, and I question where there loyalties will lie, as although they've recently alligned themselves with the Avengers, this is the people who gave them life.
There would be a new creature introduced in this issue, as another new character called Corvus Glaive would use a creature known as an Outrider to gather information for Thanos. Now we saw a bit of this in the Free Comic Book Day issue, but I loved seeing it continued in this. I also loved the fact that this integrated the FCBD issue, as it allowed the events from that to make much more sense, as when I first read the FCBD issue it was a little confusing. I also loved seeing Thanos in this issue, as although he didn't do much he had great presence, and I look forward to seeing what he'll do in the following issues.
Both sets if Avengers would naturally be involved in this story, with the Illuminati making a small appearance at the start if the issue, and the main Avengers group featuring about half way through the issue. What I loved about their appearance in this story is that they've came into the story knowing that something is amiss, but not knowing quite what it is. Seeing the realisation of this throughout this issue would be very interesting, and suspenseful, as although I was hoping for a little more from them, this was the perfect start, as it's better to build from something that's average-good that start amazingly and slowly decrease in quality, so having things go gradually makes sense.
This was a great opening issue, and although it wasn't quite what I expected, it was a brilliant way to open the event, as although it wasn't spectacular, it builds everything up nicely, giving a nice picture of what's to come. This also makes it relatively new reader friendly, as although reading Avengers, or New Avengers gives a better overall experience, it isn't essential to read them to understand this. The issue itself also had a lot of development points, keeping a aura of mystery, and I for one look forward to seeing where it goes next. I would highly recommend this issue, as although not phenomenal, it was great, and shows a lot of promise.