Spoiler Sport: How Big Can the Marvel NOW! AVENGERS Get?

***This article contains spoilers for Avengers #3, in stores now.***


The pre-release hype of the Marvel NOW! Avengers made it clear that it would be big. And not just big in the standard promotional, "This is going to be big!" sense, but big in scope: powerful characters taking on powerful threats in one of the most numerous Avengers rosters ever. Iron Man even lays it out plainly for Captain America in issue #1: "We have to get bigger."

The opening three-issue arc by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Jerome Opeña, which wrapped this week with issue #3, showed just how big these Avengers are. Along with iconic members including the movie squad of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Hulk — plus famous Marvel faces like Spider-Man, Wolverine, Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman — the team has been joined by a new version of Hyperion, a fresh take on the Imperial Guard's Smasher, and the latest incarnation of Captain Universe. All three are incredibly powerful, as displayed in Avengers #3 — Hyperion and Smasher play a vital role in neutralizing the considerable threat presented by Ex Nihilo, and Captain Universe fairly effortlessly dispatches Aleph, an android destroyer of worlds.


It's still very early in the run of this series, but all of this firepower begs the question: Is there anything out there that can truly pose a threat to an Avengers lineup this stacked? And if Aleph was relatively easy to handle, why wouldn't this team be able to take out another robotic force of destruction — Ultron — in Age of Ultron, the upcoming Marvel event series where Hank Pym's "son" apparently finally lives up to his potential (violently taking over the world).

We asked these questions to Marvel senior vice president of publishing and Avengers series editor Tom Brevoort, and here's what he had to say.

Newsarama: Tom, certainly we heard a lot about how big the Avengers lineup would be before the book was out, but now that we've seen it in action, it's certainly formidable, especially with new additions Captain Universe, Hyperion and Smasher. Obviously it's still early in what's surely planned to be a long run, but has it been at all a challenge to come up with increasingly commensurate threats, or is that just something that, as one would expect, comes natural to Jonathan Hickman? Is there any danger of making an Avengers team too powerful, or is that not a concern?


Tom Brevoort: Well, you don’t want to make things too easy on your heroes, certainly. But the Avengers aren’t really going to be dealing with anything less than extinction-level events, so having a large, powerful and diverse team is advantageous. There’s also nothing that says we need to field every single member in response to every situation — you'll see smaller squads of Avengers in action on a regular basis. It’s still a big world to police, and that’s not even taking into account the galactic stage.

So we’ll be switching things up. The next three issues, #4-6, each focuses on one of our new recruits in turn, Hyperion, Smasher and Captain Universe, and will give readers a much greater sense as to who these characters are and what they’re about beyond being a costume and some powers. Thereafter, things will get big again. It’s certainly not a problem for Jonathan to think on a large scale — that tends to be his natural inclination, after all.


Nrama: In #3, Aleph, a character at least superficially reminiscent of Ultron, gets taken out rather easily by Captain Universe, which prompts us to ask: Is this version of the Avengers going to play a role in Age of Ultron (where they would seemingly be very useful)?

Brevoort: What’s left of them will, yes.

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