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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bigger threats mean bigger teams..., 27 July 2014
Culleton (Winchester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Avengers World Vol.1 (Paperback)
I did question the addition of yet another Avengers title, but after diving into this one I'm happy to declare that I'm hooked on Avengers World.

After being totally immersed in the flagship Avengers, and the New Avengers titles, I dabbled in some of the others and found them not to my taste.

However, Jonathan Hickman, teaming up with Nick Spencer on writing duties, is crafting an exciting new chapter in the newest roster of Earth's Mightiest Heroes to delight our senses.

Set just about concurrently with the main events in the other Hickman-penned story arcs, (where do our heroes get the time though?) this volume 1, entitled A.I.M.pire, is a continuation of what's going on with our favourite scientific enemies, but without the dreariness of the Secret Avengers.

If you've read the current Secret Avengers books, you should know that A.I.M. Is under a period of aggressive expansion. And they're getting even bigger, which threatens the USA of course.

S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill, asks for Captain America's help in dealing with this problem. Elsewhere on Hill's radar, the Far-Eastern country of Madripoor requires Avengers attention, as does the city of Velletri, Italy.

Thankfully, with the Avengers roster being so big these days, Cap is able to send teams to each of the problem areas. Enter Smasher, Sunspot and Cannonball to tackle A.I.M., Falcon, Black Widow, Wolverine and Shang-Chi get the Madripoor assignment, whilst Spiderwoman, Hawkeye, Starbrand and Nightmask take a trip to Velletri.

The story then flits between each of the three locations, as the teams encounter various threats. We discover that an evil presence is lurking beneath Italy and the dead are rising. Madripoor is sat on top of a centuries-old dragon, which rather un-helpfully awakes and takes flight, and the A.I.M. High council manage to brainwash Smasher into taking their side and renaming her their Messenger.

Other heroes are brought into play briefly, but the three threads centre around Shang-Chi, Smasher, Starbrand and brothers-in-arms Sunspot and Cannonball.

There is a chapter focused on Manifold, as the teleporter is required for the A.I.M. assignment, but his anxiety issues require the intervention of Captain Universe.

The three plots unfold, and the heroes all get into scrapes, as you might imagine. We eventually discover who is behind each threat. And it's not good.

I enjoyed this book immensely and preferred its stance on concentrating on the wider roster and newer members of the team. If you want a Hulk, Thor, Iron Man or Captain America fix, then this probably isn't the book for you, as the "big four" are confined to just cameo roles only. No, this is Avengers fiction for those that like to see the "lesser" heroes in action.

Superbly written, intelligent, humourous (I can't get enough of the Laurel-and-Hardy-esque dialogue between Cannonball and Sunspot), and expertly drawn by Stefano Caselli, this book is a treat. Bravo, I say.

Oh, and I should mention that an old villain makes a welcome return.

Double bravo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Team Avengers, 1 Aug. 2014
Pink Fluffy Bunny (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Avengers World Vol.1 (Paperback)
The stories from issues #1-5 of Avengers World are collected, along with a short story from Marvel Now #0.1, as Avengers World Volume 1: A.I.M.pire. I have just read Avengers Vol. 1: Rogue Planet, and in my review I note that Avengers continuity is starting to show some strains lately, and also that the Avengers always work best when there are members who are not constrained by the continuity in their own titles. Well, here we have stories starring the Avengers who are on the whole, currently without their own titles. I count Hawkeye in this group as his current (and brilliant) solo title tends to be about his days off from the Avengers (and it appears to be finishing soon anyway). This volume begins with Captain America and Bruce Banner joining Maria Hill on the bridge of the SHIELD helicarrier, as the Avengers and SHIELD once more officially become partners in the war on chaos.

Continuity Note [and spoiler alert]: in his own title, Bruce Banner has just been shot in the head by Maria Hill for resigning from SHIELD; in “Rogue Planet”, he has just been arrested by SHIELD for hulking out in Avengers Tower. We must assume this story begins before those events…

Anyway, a number of global crises have sprung up, requiring Avengers teams to be deployed to flashpoints on behalf of SHIELD, who are monitoring the various situations. It turns out that AIM have decided that playing by the rules really isn’t for them, and they have grown a new AIM island, which is disrupting weather and seismic stability along the North American coast, while Madripoor is undergoing a revolution, and a town in Italy has had its entire population vanish. Avenger team are despatched to investigate these various events, and things don’t go as anticipated for many of them. We get quite a bit of background story for some of the newer Avengers, which is neatly tied in to the storyline that they are experiencing – the sort of stuff that made the Avengers one of the best Marvel titles for most of its existence (and I was 8 or 9 when I read the story when the original team first disbanded leaving Captain America to form a new one from minor villains).

This is an excellent opening round for the ‘new’ members’ adventures, and most of them end on cliffhangers – quite literally for Shang-Chi. The scripting and artwork is excellent throughout.

For a detailed breakdown of the issues collected in this volume, see Avengers World Volume 1: A.I.M.pire.
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Avengers World Vol.1
Avengers World Vol.1 by Nick Spencer (Paperback - 16 Jun. 2014)
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