The New Avengers are a team of heroes sanctioned by the government agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. The current roster is Luke Cage and his wife Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Dr. Strange, Wolverine, The Thing, Mocking Bird, Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man. They are supported by Dr. Strange’s assistant Wong and Luke and Jessica’s nanny Squirrel Girl. Victoria Hand is their S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison.
The story starts in Cuba in 1959. Nick Fury is spotted and chased by two men. After turning the tables on them Fury with the help of Gabriel Jones and Dum Dum Dugan executes them as former Nazi war criminals. Meanwhile in the present, the team are about staking out what appears to be a general store. Mocking Bird is undercover inside. The villainess Superia arrives and enters the building. Dr. Strange uses his astral form to check inside the building. The building appears to be a base for former H.A.M.M.E.R. agents who have gone rogue. After a brief debate The Thing decides to attack the base. While some of the team distract the agents, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones steal the trucks the former H.A.M.M.E.R. agents are using to transport their technology. During the battle inside the base Mocking Bird is shot and loses consciousness.
Back in Cuba 1959, Nick Fury is told to reports back to Washington as The President wants to discuss something called “The Avengers Initiative”.
First of all let me note that there are two artists drawing this issue. Howard Chaykin provides the art for the 1959 plot and Mike Deodato provides the art for the present. I have to say I prefer Deodato’s art over Chaykin’s. I think Chaykin’s art looks rushed not as polished as Deodato’s. However it does work well in setting the time frame differences in the book.
So aside from the art this issue sets up what appears to be a secret history behind The Avengers. I’m not sure on how to take this. I thought the original team were formed by accident and chose their name at random. This type of story where The Avengers where originally government endorsed/sponsored heroes would be more suited to the ultimate universe where the team was formed as a defense platform. If a secret team was formed back in 1959 that’s fine but they should not be using The Avengers name.
3 webs, not sure on how the stories will come together or why the Avengers name is being used back in 1959 but I'm looking forward to where this is going.