Marvel “then” meets “Marvel Now.” In Style… SPOILERS BELOW
Complex with roots buried deep in Marvel continuity, whilst simultaneously being fresh and new-reader friendly, Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run may just be destined to be remembered as one of the best the title has seen.
Seeds are being sown here for a grand cosmic adventure, and the ever-expanding roster of this Avengers team are a mostly grounded and relatable group. We’ve already seen plenty of snappy and natural interactions between team members not used to working together (the new Superior Spider-Man’s run-in with Cannonball and Sunspot was a particular highlight of issue 6), and Hickman introduces big ideas with just as much enthusiasm and clarity.
In this issue we’re shown the “White Event,” a reference to Marvel’s “New Universe” created in 1986 (Warren Ellis also revisited the concept in 2007 with newuniversal). The original White Event created a new line of comics separate from the mainstream Marvel continuity, superheroes existing in a world that more closely resembled our own with a more realistic approach and setting. Arguably the most well-known of these characters was Star Brand.
This is where Avengers #7 brings us – a White Event has occurred, but “this was not a normal White Event. The Machine is broken.” We’re shown throughout the issue several potential new heroes at a college, just going about their everyday business. We learn the White Event impacted at the college, and it all looks very straightforward – we assume these people are about to be given powers. Except the introductions we saw turned out to be just one introduction. One person who was present during each scene, a small part of the background who went almost unnoticed at first glance. And he’s the lone survivor of the impact. The new Starbrand. Some foreboding dialogue indicates that the Starbrand should only be given to a certain type of person. And our lone survivor doesn’t seem to be a suitable candidate…
This issue may not be a perfect jumping on point for a new reader, but there may still be time to catch up with back issues or (probably easier) via the upcoming trade. Jonathan Hickman has a solid history as a storyteller who plays the long game, so get in on the ground floor and get ready to enjoy the ride.