Colin Smith, of the always-worth-reading Too Busy Thinking About My Comics blog, looks at the opening pages of each strip in last week’s Marvel NOW! Point One issue to see how well they hold up as introductions to the introduction (Part one, part two). Suffice to say, he’s harsh, but fair; here he is talking about the first page of the Secret Avengers tale, which is the first page of the comic itself:
In what’s an inexplicably soporific opening to Point One’s framing tale, Spencer and Ross give every sense of being determined to try the patience of anyone but the most committed of fans. There’s quite literally nothing that’s visually or emotionally compelling about the page. Who could possibly be enthralled by a single frame in which almost a hundred charmless words are used to describe a time traveller’s economic crimes? What is there to be snared on in the four somnolent panels in which three characters wander down barely-illuminated corridors while spouting an intimidatingly dense mass of exposition. It’s not that the symbolism of their bromidic journey isn’t relevant or obvious; at least some of the hidden secrets of the Marvel Now! project are going to be uncovered. But it’s a dull, dry, overloaded beginning not just to this particular story, but to the collection as a whole. With 52 words in the first panel alone, and a clear commitment to telling at considerable length rather than showing, it seems no-one involved with Nick Fury: NYSE was thinking about reaching beyond the fannish consumer. When the most impressive aspect of a comic’s first side is the contrast behind the shade of green used for the window in the final frame and the stultifyingly narrow pallet of purple applied elsewhere, it’s hard to feel any measure of optimism for what’s to come.
He’s much more complimentary about the openings of Young Avengers and FF, and guardedly complimentary about Steve McNiven’a contributions to Guardians of The Galaxy. Go, see for yourself.