In many ways, Avengers #1 is exactly what you would expect. It's an action-packed affair that adds a few new members to the roster and places them against a familiar villain. The thing is, regardless of the formula, it succeeds convincingly, and with some fantastic visuals along for the ride.
Writer Mark Waid assembles the team of Thor, Captain America, Vision, The Wasp, Hercules, Spider-Man, and yes, Redwing (He's Cap's partner mind you, not his pet bird) by book's end, and successfully builds on subplots from the previous series. Anytime you involve Kang as your central villain, things can get confusing quickly, but so far the premise is rather straightforward. Hopefully, it stays that way.
As for why they're in a battle with Kang, that has to do with some pretty shocking actions by one Avenger in particular, and while his stance is easy to relate to, you know also know that to describe his actions as "misguided" would be an understatement.
Part of what makes Avengers #1 distinguishable from previous relaunches is the stunning art of Mike Del Mundo. Del Mundo's art is terrific, and he packs in a ton of personality into his panels. For example, when Peter introduces the Avengers to their potential new headquarters, his facial expressions are priceless, and Parker's assistant helping him with the sales pitch just makes it even better. It also helps that Mundo's take on Spider-Man is superb.
As for the roster, it's a nice mix of eras. Hercules and Spider-Man are both Avengers veterans, and both allow Waid to work in some levity. Other than that, though, there aren't many surprises.
While the premise is sound, it is something you've seen before, so don't expect to have your mind blown. It's a standard "assemble the team" type of issue, with some time travel thrown in. Still, it's expertly constructed by Waid, and it certainly helps that Del Mundo knocks the visuals out of the park.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Written By: Mark Waid
Art By: Mike Del Mundo
Lettered By: VC's Cory Petit
Colored By: Mike Del Mundo and Marco D'alfonso