Jonathan Hickman – known for epic storylines, as in, he doesn’t write his stories for the trade book, he writes for the omnibus collection – has created a mind-blowing story line in Marvel NOW Avengers: Avengers World.
As someone who doesn’t read a lot of Marvel stories, it’s nice to begin with a fresh look at the universe. This book does not require you to have read the last 50 years of Marvel. The main crew is not introduced in detail (by now we’re all pretty familiar with the iconic characters: Cap, Stark, Thor, and The Hulk) because the story is really much bigger than these characters. It’s about the whole universe.
The Builders: Jerks from Space
Beginning with the Big Bang, Avengers World gives a little recap of what’s been happening in the Marvel Universe. Ex Nihilo is terraforming Mars and The Avengers show up to stop him. He tells our heroes the story of the Builders, beings who seek to form the universe to their own vision by “[purging] species unfit, and unsuitable, for their new universe.” [Author’s note: If you read DC’s Green Lantern series, these guys will kind of remind you of the Guardians. They are just as messed up. *wink*] Naturally, the Builders eventually discover that humans fall into this “unsuitable” category and are coming to wipe us out, along with some other “unfit” worlds. It’s up to the Avengers to save us.
Pick up a copy of Avengers volume 1 which collects Marvel NOW Avengers issues 1-6.
Hickman also writes East of West, a futuristic-western epic, available through Interlibrary Loan.