Got your entry point right here! All we need now is Jim Shooter lecturing us on how EVERY issue should be an entry point.
Now, all kidding aside, I’m here to provide a review of Marvel’s one-shot, All-New Marvel NOW! Point One. This is a special comic designed as an entry point to the Marvel universe, as well as a lead-in to six new Marvel comic series, Avengers World(already launched alongside this book’s release), Black Widow(also launched at the same time), All-New Invaders(coming in January 22), Ms. Marvel(to be launched in February 5), Silver Surfer(headed our way in March), and Loki: Agent of Asgard(which launches alongside Ms. Marvel).
The Loki story in this book, written by Al Ewing, serves as the primary narrative, if you could call it that, and follows Loki stealing five keys forged by Wotan so that he can claim a legendary sword. We see little bits of this story throughout the whole book. The art isn’t bad at all and the narration really brings out the craftiness in Loki’s character.
The Silver Surfer story, written by Dan Slott(known for his recent work on Spider-Man), features the Surfer, now free from Galactus and with a sidekick named Dawn Greenwood, flying to the aquatic planet Nautikos to see a centennial festival of light, where the sky is filled with with cosmic manta rays. Naturally, since this is a Marvel superhero story, things go wrong, and a group of pirates drop by to ruin the fun for everybody. The Surfer’s not going to stand for this. The art resembles artist Mike Allred’s previous work on the whimsical, fun-filled FF series and gives this particular story a more casual feel. The characterization of the Surfer and Dawn is inspired, and the overall aesthetic of this story leaves me looking forward to seeing what the ongoing series is going to be like.
The third story focuses on the Kree and serves as a prelude to All-New Invaders, written by James Robinson with art by Steve Pugh. Basically, Tanalth the Pursuer is ordered by the Supreme Intelligence to retrieve a weapon called the Gods’ Whisper and hunt down Namor, the original Human Torch, and Bucky(now the Winter Solider). It’s definitely promising and suggests that the Invaders’ story could be an interesting one, and the art is realistic, with smooth images and beautiful backgrounds.
The fourth story is a prelude to the new Black Widow series(which I have already had the pleasure of reading the first issue of). It is written by Nathan Edmondson with art by Phil Noto. First off, I want to say that the art for this particular story is gorgeous. Almost painter-like, even. Noto really did well illustrating Natasha, those around her, and even the snowy landscape of Moscow. The action scene is exciting, and Edmondson did a good job of making the reader want to see everything leading up to what happens at the very start of the story.
The fifth story, as well as the primary reason I bought this book, is the long-awaited introduction of Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel, and a look at what’s to come out of the character’s ongoing series written by G. Willow Wilson with art by Adrian Alphona. After reading this, I am now even more excited for the ongoing book. Kamala’s characterization as a teenager trying to reconcile living as a teenager in New Jersey with living with her more conservative Muslim family, while simultaneously fighting supervillainy as a costumed hero, is simply wonderful, and the disagreements between her and her mother are very well-thought-out and show a realistic portrayal of someone who is only just beginning to explore their place in life.
The sixth and last story leads directly into Avengers World, and is co-written by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Spencer with art by Stefano Casella, and features Sunspot and Cannonball being sent by Captain America and Bruce Banner to infiltrate A.I.M. (Advanced Idea Mechanics for those unfamiliar with the Marvel Universe) to retrieve a formula that can temporarily transform anyone into a Hulk while Maria Hill, discusses an Avengers-S.H.I.E.L.D. alliance with Captain America. In all honesty, this story really wasn’t given enough space to properly develop. As a result, it’s only real purpose is to serve as a foundation for the ongoing. The art is nice, but there’s not much else to this story.
Now, one more thing I should say is that each story is over way too quickly. Although, on the flip side, I can say that the Loki story, which is split up into a handful of scenes in between the other stories, provides some intriguing moments.
Overall, this book is structured decently enough, but really should have been given more pages.
Overall score: 11 out of 15 (Good)