Before, I posed the question as to whether Avengers NOW! is the best Avengers. This was at the very beginning when we were first introduced to the idea of this team and it wasn’t quite seen in action. Now I come back as we are now entering Infinity 8 months later to say that I strongly believe that it is the better team. From the cast to the meaning behind it I have felt that this is the strongest line-up to date.
Unlike other teams which circulated around the same heroes and without much diversity, this team is global. Reaching all over the globe being mutant, galactic, cosmic, street level, or near omnipotence. Hickman went for something new, something refreshing and he couldn’t have found a better crew to go with. It wasn’t about choosing popular characters, but characters who have traits which made them useful members of the team. He understands the need for team dynamic and each person brought something new to the table that previous incarnations could not. The heroes chosen to Assemble for a greater need are ones that have conviction. Conviction is what drives a true hero, conviction in my opinion is true power. Conviction means a strong persuasion or belief, with that any hero has the strength to do what they do everyday. This is what helps them beat the odds when everyone else is ready to fold. This is was proven time and time again as they went against this forced evolution.
One thing Hickman has proven from this series so far is that he really can handle using many characters and be able to let them all be spotlighted. I haven’t felt once that any character was shoved to the back or forgotten. That is something you won’t get from many writers and he does it right. Even being able to break them off into smaller teams that fit so well together that you forget they are just a fraction of a whole.
For once they actually have a reliable teleporter being Manifold. Cannonball and Sunspot provide comic relief where Otto-Spidey lacks in providing. Hyperion brings out that sense of humanity which he and Thor have tried to cherish. Star Brand and Nightmask show themselves to be two new heroes with something to prove as they weren’t put into these positions of power by choice. Smasher as well gives them that contact with the Kree who also find themselves in the same situation as the rest of the Universe does as well.
This team was built from a great idea. The idea was expansion, and by the time this book rolled into Infinity you could see just how much they really expanded. 17 representing the best that they could gather worldwide and they definitely looked like one hell of an oiled up machine. Rising to the occasion when the world needs them most and taking that conviction which makes them strong to overcome any obstacle thrown at them even if the force is almost god-like. This Avengers team and idea is one that you can admire because they aren’t throwing just any hero out there for attention or based on popularity, they are actually putting thought into their selections and giving reason for it. Looking at that Avengers roster chart above you even see that there are more Avengers that may join down the road. It’s as if this is something they have been planning for a while and put thought into how they want this team to progress. It’s all about progression and this is something this group of heroes stands for and Hickman displays. I think that’s all any reader can ask for when they pick up a team book like this.
Overall I think that this team sets a standard for team building. The idea should be to go for something that makes sense, something that can evolve over time without going back to something generic. When we look at team books these days, we don’t want them to seem like they are on these teams as if that’s all they’re good for. There has to be a reason for them to Assemble and one which is justified. Meaning end of the world, cataclysmic, or Galactus-level threat.