Hickman has said Avengers is optimistic and hopeful and takes a more idealistic approach. New Avengers is not. Avengers = Star Trek. New Avengers = Alien / Blade Runner
I find it funny how people are screaming for style over substance, yet substance was hardly present during Bendis' run.
There are four stages of matter. Solid. Liquid. Gas & Don't. It's science.
I am a male. Deal with it.
One of Strunk & White's biggest suggestions is to omit unnecessary words, and that's a huge rule to stick to, in my opinion. Heavy narration often crosses into unnecessary.
And there is also the question of what you want the protagonists to know, what you want the readers to know, and the balance between the two. A lot of writers like the narration to be limited to what the characters would know. So if Captain America doesn't know what thi big Yellow alien guy is capable of, then the narration reflects that and neither do the readers. This helps put the readers in Cap's shoes. They'll feel a level of uncertainty about it, which is what Cap would feel.
Then there is a less limited approach to narration. This approach is more omniscient, not limited in any way. This method allows the writer more freedom to just give info to the reader at any time and in any manner.
Both approaches have strengths and weaknesses, but with comics being a visual medium, I think the limited approach is better. If the art is capable of conveying the idea to the reader, then there is no need for narration. If more info than the art is needed, then some narration is fine.
I look at Hickman's level of narration in Avengers as being pretty spot on. He's also given the narrator a voice of sorts...kind of placing the reader on the team, to an extent. I compare this with Remender's work on Uncanny, which is more heavily narrated, and I think I prefer Hickman's approach. In UA, without narration, we would know next to nothing about the Red Skull's henchmen. I think showing more about them through flashbacks or revealing it through dialogue would be better than simply stating it in a narration box.
Again, narration can be fine, and it can be a great tool fir the writer. But it can also be a crutch used to compensate for weaknesses in other areas.
To me, Hickman's New Avengers has to the same pace as, say, Bendis's final New Avengers arc. It might feel a little slower since there aren't physical battles so far. Regardless, I definitely get the thought "this could've been told in fewer issues and been just as effective."
I've only been reading Avengers, but maybe I should start reading New Avengers to get the whole story?
The only real substancial thing for me that has occured is the mind wipe of Cap. You know that will payoff odwn the orad and you know at least some of the impact it will have. The rest has a long way to go before it takes shape in any subtancial way.
As for introducing new characters being something of substance who can say. Smasher could become a huge break out star of she could become Stingray. I don't think there is enough there at this point to judge any of the new characters. I like the a majority of the line up (nobody is going to please everyone) but and still on the fence as to how interesting a huge team can be.