In an interview at CBR, star scripter Jonathan Hickman and executive editor Tom Brevoort argued a bit over whether Avengers #24.NOW was really a good “jumping on point’ for new readers, as the “.NOW” issues have been billed:
Jonathan Hickman: It’sa terrible jumping on point. I don’t think I’ve written an issue 20something of anything that I’ve done that is a good jumping on point. With the way you can download all the books now and everything is collected in trades, I’m not even sure I buy into the validity of the argument that every issue should be able to be read as if it was somebody’s first issue. That, of course, may be a complete construct to prop up my inability to do that. [Laughs] So yeah, it’s a terrible jumping on point —
Tom Brevoort: I don’t know about that.
Hickman: You think it’s a good jumping on point?
Brevoort: I would argue that it is. #24.NOW is effectively a single issue story. It introduces a new character. It shows you the Avengers doing the stuff that they do. It also shows us a little bit of where they are in the aftermath of “Infinity” and how they’re going to be moving ahead. The Avengers have 50 years of history, now, so whether we have a #1 on the book or not, there’s always going to be stuff hanging. But issue #24.NOW is a way easier entry point than issue #23 was. [Laughs]
So yeah….two viewpoints, two ways to jump: one is springboard; one is platform.
Hickman just finished writing the event “Infinity” which tied in with the whole Avengers line, but, it was still only the tip of the story iceberg, as Brevoort comments later in the piece:
…nothing is going to get any smaller or easier from here. As massive, crazy, and epic as things have been up to this point, it’s only going to become more so in both “Avengers” and “New Avengers” as we move forward. It’s leading to the maddest thing possible at the end of a road that we’re only now really starting to wrap our hands around as an actual story as opposed to something that was hypothetical. It was like, “We’ll do this! And then we’ll get to this big thing!” Now we’re at the point where we’re delving into things and figuring out how it will all work, and it’s absolutely mind boggling and ridiculous.
I’ve said this since we launched, and I don’t know that people always take me seriously when I say these things, but “New Avengers” is the most crucial book to what is to come that we are publishing right now. “Avengers” is important too, but “New Avengers” is phenomenally important.
There’s a lot of hyperbole about a lot of things since it’s comics, and that’s what we do, but genuinely, a few years from now, people are going to look back and go, “Oh yeah. ‘New Avengers!’ That was important. I better go back and read all those back issues, collections and digital copies. I wish I had been following all along.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.