Hey everyone, time for another half-assed review. I finally got around to reading all three of these post-SIEGE Avengers launches and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at least once.
I’ll start off with the main Avengers title:
I guess this is going to be the core title written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by John Romita, Jr. and Klaus Janson. This actually should be a dream team. I’ll get back to that later.
Honestly, I’m about Bendis’d out these days. While I do enjoy his stories enough to pay for them, I just don’t think I can deal with the bickering anymore.
This one starts out with Steve Rogers recruiting some likely candidates for the main Avengers team. The usual suspects show up for the honor, except now we see a very disillusioned Wonder Man who is vocally not on board with the reformation of the team.
That one kind of surprised me, since Wonder Man being in prison and acting like a byatch had managed to slip by me in the past years. Anyway, he voices a threat under his breath. He waits until Steve Rogers was far enough away not to hear, though. What a punk.
Another bad move, it looks like Maria Hill is in charge of the team. I never liked her, and I thought it was kind of established that she was a screw up who was only put in charge because the Skrulls wanted her in charge? She sure managed to get her ass whooped in recent issues of Iron-Man (The “Most Wanted” arc).
So that’s another crazy situation. Now the actual story of this first arc has to do with Kang the Conquerer. Kang is one of those really convoluted characters that almost defies explanation, but to condense it a bit: He’s a time traveler who’s really caused no end of trouble throughout Avengers history.
Kang comes back in time to warn the Avengers that their children are out of control and that they need to go into the future and stop them. Also it looks like there may be some sort of Hulk/Maestro figure thrown in there somewhere.
The story seems like it could be interesting, but I won’t be picking this one up again. First reason, I’ve had enough of the Bendis dialogue. It never seems like the characters are ever in danger because there’s all this snappy patter all the time. Even Thor was cracking jokes.
I know it’s not like Thor is a humorless jackass or something, but everyone is acting like Spider-Man, and Spider-Man is very annoying when written by Bendis. I can’t take it.
Second reason. The art. I would never say that Romita, Jr. is not a good artist. He’s a great artist who knows how to tell a story, but I’m no longer a fan of his style. I don’t like looking at those Romita flat faces and the straw hair and scratchy lines that sometimes look rushed and unfinished.
I know that’s his style and how he intends it to look. I also know that if there weren’t a bunch of people willing to pay for his work, he wouldn’t be hired, but it’s not for me anymore. I can’t look at it every month so I’m out. That’s actually my primary reason for dropping this one. If they replace Romita, I may pick it up again.
Next up is Secret Avengers. This was the one I was very surprised that I liked. I wasn’t sold on the concept of a covert action team of Avengers, especially with second-rate, downright wack characters like Beast, War-Machine and MoonKnight on the roster.
Boy, was I wrong. Ed Brubaker wrote a very solid first issue here to really lay the groundwork for why these disparate characters are together. Mike Deodato‘s artwork just keeps getting better.
You can tell he really works on his craft. He used to be a 90’s Image clone and now he does some absolutely stellar work that really fits this genre. It’s like he’s channeling Steve Epting in a good way, not in a rip-off way.
Anyway, the biggest deal for me is that Nova is on the team. I’m not sure if I have an absolute favorite character, but if I do, he’s the one. When I found out they’re essentially cancelling Nova for the Thanos Imperative miniseries, man I was pissed off to be damned. I wasn’t going to give this book a shot but since it would soon become the only way to get my Nova fix then I had to take a chance. I was glad I did.
Steve Rogers and crew are onto some sort of “Serpent Crown” level threat that has something to do with Mars. Nova is sent out there to investigate, and gets caught up in some drama out there. Nova’s extremely powerful so coming up with viable threats to him takes a really gifted writer.
When this issue ends, it gives you a good solid cliffhanger on all fronts, so I had no qualms about telling my LCS guy to add this one to my pull list. I’ve rarely been so glad to be wrong.
Finally, the one I was really waiting for is Avengers Prime. I’m not sure if this is an ongoing or a mini-series, but it sure looks like an ongoing.
This one looks like a book for the big three heroes (Captain America, Thor and Iron-Man) to finally get together and air out all their differences.
It picks up fairly quickly after the end of Siege, with these guys standing in the rubble. Iron-Man and Cap get into it over Iron-Man’s armor. As Captain America (Steve Rogers, to be specific) has a new position overseeing the Avengers issues, he informs Iron-Man that he hasn’t decided if he’s going to let Tony Stark keep his armor or not.
PRICELESS. Stark has been acting like a stooge for too long, so I enjoyed the argument they had.
That wasn’t the whole issue, though. The problem these guys face now is that Asgard has a multi-dimensional portal that is now uncontrolled and damaged. They were acting to seal it off but it blew up in their faces, separating them and sending them all over the nine worlds.
The highlights of the issue were Captain America beating the crap out of a whole tavern full of Orcs/Goblins or something. Quote “Well, I misread the room entirely” as he’s kicking all their asses.
But the best was really reserved for last this time. Thor ends up in Vanaheim, one of the world-levels next to Asgard. Here he’s attacked by magic from the shadows. As he can’t see his attacker, he calls out, and when the smoke clears, it’s the Enchantress.
I think everyone had been wondering for about two years now what ever happened to her. The spread on the last two pages looked amazing. She never looked better. Alan Davis really outdid himself with the art on this one. It was a real pleasure to see.
That said, Bendis is writing this one. As I wrote above, the artist has a lot to do with how much Bendis I can take. With art like this, I’m really in for the long-haul. I’d highly recommend picking this one up.
So to wrap this up…
AVENGERS: HELL NO.
SECRET AVENGERS: YES.
AVENGERS PRIME: HELL YES.
I also want to write here that I’m officially done with “New Avengers”. I just can’t deal with it anymore. The end.
Additionally -man does that “Heroic Age” logo SUCK.