My commitment to writing once a day renews again this month and I will begin this July with a comic review concerning my favorite super team – The Avengers – in three of it’s multiple forms. As a complete sidetrack, have you noticed that there are as many Avengers titles now as X-books? I always wondered how someone could follow so many variations of the same title, but now here I am reading five different titles all with the name”Avengers” in them. Anyway, here’s my review.
Dark Avengers #5: Even though the cover suggests that we’ll see a fight between Noh-Var and Venom that does not in this issue. Brian Michael Bendis does write us what I feel is a filler issue, with art from Mike Deodato & Will Conrad, with some nice insights into The Sentry and the Dark Avengers team dynamic. We see a meeting of the Cabal again, although they stay mute for the most part as Osborn and Namor fight about how to handle the Atlantian attack on Los Angeles. By the way, apparently Melrose in the Marvel Universe is still the same as it was back in 1999 and the ocean got about 20 miles closer. Did anyone else notice that the Golden Apple was in it’s old location or was that just me? The power struggle between Namor and Osborn just goes to show why bad guys can’t work together. It’s especially fun to see how the rest of the Cabal observe their interaction. The art, although not my favorite, does a good job of showing the intricacies of the characters faces. The “acting” in this book is right on. In addition to the Cabal, the Dark Avenger’s team interactions are getting deeper and more interesting as well. The motivations are getting clearer and I really feel the clock ticking on how long this team will actually stay together. Bullseye is ready to kill everybody, Ares is around because there is good to be done, Noh-Var just found out he’s teamed with criminals and murderers so he took off, but it’s what’s happening with The Sentry that I find most compelling. The Sentry has been a controversial figure in the Marvel Universe ever since he was brought into the 616 universe. Originally presented to be “the Marvel Superman” BMB always wrote him flawed and broken more than anyone else has. Even in his own limited series where his alternate personality The Void was front and center I didn’t feel like the character was crafted as well as when he is written by Bendis. Since his return to life after the battle with Mogana LeFey The Sentry has been distant, confused and scary. Osborn’s manipulations of him are wonderfully in character and when the Sentry goes all “dark side” and kills the Atlantian terrorists it makes you wonder just which side he’ll be on when all is said and done. The cliffhanger is Stark’s vault makes me wonder if Norman will even make it the whole year before he turns back into the Green Goblin, but I’ll definitely be around next month to find out!
The New Avengers #54: Brian Michael Bendis again this time with Billy Tan on pencil duties. Brother Voodoo is the new sorcerer supreme! And he has more character to him than he has ever had before! Between Brother Voodoo, Dr. Strange and Hellstrom it’s enough to make you want a whole magic line of Marvel books to come out. The combined strength of the Avengers and the magic users versus Dormammuu made for one hell of a 16 page fight scene! Hellstrom is still my favorite character out of this whole arc. He’s irreverent flippant and funny! I would really like to see more of him. Of course I was also one of about six people who bougth his last series back in 93 so maybe I’m a little biased. Seeing The Hood get his powers taken makes me wonder how the rest of the books he’s in will be effected – although the appearance of Loki at the end of this issue makes me think that he won’t be powerless for long. Clint Barton has another really good video moment making sure that The Hood and Madame Masque are held accountable and the final page makes you remember why Clint has always been a bit of a loose cannon. Good issue! You should be reading this!
Avengers: The Initiative #25: I wish I could say that this was a good issue, but it is really just setting up the new status quo for this book. Here are the basics: Gauntlet and Tigra have joined the New Warriors and now go by the name Avengers Resistance, Norman has opened Camp Hammer to “train” super-villains to be “super-heroes” (yeah right), and now we know that Trauma is the son of the demon Nightmare. Oh and who here forgot that Tigra is pregnant with a Skrull baby? Yeah, me too. That’s been brought back to the forefront. Gage, Ramos and Delgado have had me wavering back and forth on this book. I’m really hoping that the story will pick up speed next month. If not it just means I’ll have one less Avengers book to pick up.
See you tomorrow!