yeeess…? that’s…a tricky question tbh. shorter answer: probably. long answer…still probably, but you might end up a tad confuzzled.
the thing is, the writer of avengers world is jonathan hickman, and first of all, I honestly don’t think his writing style is very friendly to new readers. it’s not impossible to grasp, it’s just he tends to be a bit heavy-handed on the long-form, complex plots that span multiple books.
so it’s not because you need to have an extensive knowledge of the avengers’ history or marvel canon or anything. it’s because avengers world is connected to the other 2 books that hickman is writing. so if you haven’t read those it’s hard to understand what’s happening? avengers world is like, legible on its own, but you probably won’t have the best idea what is happening in terms of overall plot. if that makes sense.
so ok the 3 books that hickman is writing that are all interconnected are
each book focuses on different views of the same larger plot. mal has a good summary of avengers and new avengers here, which is a pretty good primer although it’s a few months old and other stuff has happened since then. avengers is the main book, featuring the core avengers team lead by steve or tony (or both, depending). new avengers is the illuminati (a secret group of superheroes who think they’re qualified to decide the fate of the world without telling anyone else). and avengers world is the rest of the avengers team dealing with all the stuff that hickman doesn’t have room to include in the main title.
avengers world and new avengers kind of work as supporting books to avengers, I’d say. you don’t have to read new avengers to understand avengers world, or vice versa, but I do advise at least reading the initial arc of avengers vol 5 (#1-11) in order to learn who all the characters introduced are.
after avengers #11, marvel’s latest event, infinity, happens, which derailed the plot for a bit. you don’t have to read infinity, but the avengers world title was launched after it concluded and deals with the aftermath. so you should probably read at least the summary of the event. if you decide to skip infinity, it concludes after avengers 23, so you can pick up with the title again with #24. (slightly unrelated but I also recommend reading the annual because it is ADORABLE and has nothing to do with the plot of the larger book).
does any of this make sense. oh god. hickman’s plot has been going on since fall of 2012, and it’s scheduled to conclude NEXT MAY, which gives you some idea of how complex it is. when I say hickman goes in for the long game type plots, I’m not exaggerating. he includes helpful infographics to help you keep track of everything that’s happening but it is…pretty dense. I hope this isn’t a deterrent?? it’s probably a deterrent. I’m sorry.
so uhhh going back to my short answer you CAN read avengers world on its own but it helps to read at least avengers 1-11 as well. I probably could have just said that.
[ETA: nick spencer has taken over for hickman on avengers world, but it’s still connected to hickman’s greater plot]