Marvel NOW Point One: Future Shill

Here's your anthology-style intro to the new books in Marvel's cooker, hosted by Nick Fury Jr.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Marvel NOW Point One

Here it is, the second annual Marvel Point One issue, this time with a little NOW! stank on it. It's a series of short pieces designed to introduce us to books Marvel's rolling out shortly – namely, Nick Spencer & Luke Ross on Secret Avengers, Brian Bendis & Steve McNiven on Guardians of the Galaxy, Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness on Nova, Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie on Young Avengers, Matt Fraction and Michael Allred on FF, and Dennis Hopeless & Gabriel Hernandez Walta on Cable & X-Force.

The framing mechanism is a bit better this time around, as part of a self-contained story rather than a bunch of people robbing the Watcher and just glancing at all his funky videos. This time, Spencer's Agents Nick Fury Jr. and Coulson are brought in by SHIELD Director Maria Hill to interrogate a mysterious time-traveling know-it-all who's delighting in being cryptic about his dire warnings of the future.

The first leads into a retelling of the tragic origin of young Peter Quill, the future Star-Lord, when his mother is killed by mystery aliens, and he discovers his mom had secrets. It's a quick peek at disaster from Bendis.

The second gives us young Nova flying around being excited about joining the Avengers, and then an old Nova enemy by the name of Diamondhead shows up to attack him, and then turns out to be a pathetic dork. That's Loeb.

Then we've got Kid Loki going into Earth-212 to recruit the vagabond new Miss America, who is hiding out there because she doesn't like the 616. Loki then encourages her to return home by pretending to recruit her into killing Wiccan. Interesting set up, and I'd like to know more about Gillen's Miss America.

Then there's Fraction telling the aftermath of Avengers: The Children's Crusade for Ant-Man Scott Lang, who was returned to life from the Avengers: Disassembled era only to watch Dr. Doom kill his daughter, Stature Cassie Lang. Scott's revenge against Doom involves vandalizing artwork in Latveria. Strangely light-hearted, after implying he was going to go dark at the beginning. Allred's art is snazzy, and the neat little twist to that story might make Fraction's FF interesting. Especially if Allred gets to draw microscopic environments all the time.

Finally, we've got Forge, who's apparently gone crazy talking to voices in his head, but he solves all that by viewing his own brain as a machine and fixing it. Somehow. Then Cable shows up with a really skinny malformed arm in a sling where his metal arm used to be. Not sold on this yet. It's kind of neat little thing from Hopeless, but I'm not sure the art from Walta is my cup of tea.

Then we close with the discovery that the guy being interrogated is actually being puppeted by some unseen force who leaves them with the word "Kobik," whatever that means, and that will lead into Secret Avengers and the next mission for Fury Jr. and Coulson. One minor note – if they go through all of that Battle Scars trouble to make Nick Fury look like the movie, why does Agent Coulson have a bunch of studly blond hair instead of the Clark Gregg fivehead? Alas, everything skews young.

Overall, it functions as pretty much an issue of Previews rather than anything that really needed to exist. New people jumping onto this might be just as confused as ever with all the random jumps to various other characters. It's really nothing more than a meh as a whole, with some bits of intriguing work popping up here and there. I will be checking into all of these books, but this issue is mostly shrug-worthy.