Back when I first started reading comic books, they used to have little one page advertisements for Twinkies and Ding Dongs and other Hostess treats. These one page advertisements were basically six to eight panel comic strips featuring your favorite superheroes. And even though they were corny, they were at least free. But now, Marvel has decided to start charging their fans to read their advertisements. Cleverly disguised as “Avengers #0” this book is made to look like a prelude to an upcoming series, a vital part of a new book being released in the not-so-aftermath of Secret Wars. Instead, it was a huge disappointment.
The storytelling was marginal at best. Snippets of stories from upcoming Avengers books in Marvel’s all new unified universe were basic. The only one I thought was really interesting was the story of Vision and Scarlet Witch. But again with Mark Waid as writer and “young gun” Mahmud Asrar with pencils, it would have been hard to miss. Both are excellent storytellers in their own mediums and together they made a fantastic pair. Marvel made a great choice putting them at the helm of their new flagship book, Avengers (although by issue #2 it looks like Adam Kubert – another ace artist – will be taking the reigns).
The other stories were predictable and uninspiring. A-Force looked like a bad version of Star Trek: The Next Generation (and I LOVE that show). The New Avengers apparently are going to be facing off against the Reed Richards of the Ultimate universe. In the Uncanny Avengers, Deadpool joins the team in an uncharacteristic fashion. And The Ultimates highlighted Ms. America who saved the universe by dancing with her girlfriend (pretty cheesy). Squadron Supreme provided the filler material between stories and as you can guess was the weakest of them all, which is disappointing considering that James Robinson is a very good writer.
Each of these books on their own may or may not be good and with the level of talent that Marvel is throwing their way, at least some of them should be a hit. But having to pay for a preview issue is not a good way to curry favor among Marvel readers especially when the premise for such a book is so particularly weak. Marvel has done this and continues to do this with their “Point One” books and this one is no better. Save your money. Marvel has lots of good books that are definitely worth spending your $6 on. Save your money for one of those.