After eight great years of being the Avengers guy around Marvel Headquarters, Brian Michael Bendis wraps up his run with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in this final issue of the ‘End Times’ storyline in ‘Avengers’.
When we last saw our Microverse rescue team of Avengers, they were reunited with the Wasp, who was thought to be dead, but were quickly captured by crime kingpin Lord Gouzar and his cronies. When minions attempted to remove Tony’s armor, he unleashed whatever was left in it to disorient his captors and lead his team in a daring escape back to their own world. In this issue, the escape plan is enhanced when Simon Williams, the estranged Avengers known as Wonder Man joins his teammates in the Microverse to aid in bringing them home.
Bringing the team home seemed to be the theme of this final run for Bendis on this title. Not only did he bring Wonder Man back to the side of justice, but he also brought The Wasp back from the dead (even though we learned that she wasn’t actually dead). As if the roster wasn’t big enough, BMB is just giving incoming ‘Avengers’ writer Jonathan Hickman more toys to play with once his Marvel NOW title begins.
Speaking of playing, I like that Bendis got in a few really playful moments in this issue before wrapping things up. For example, the interactions between Daisy Johnson and Maria Hill were entertaining. I didn’t really get to know Agent Johnson very well because I didn’t read ‘Secret Warriors’, but seeing her butt heads with equally independent woman Maria Hill was a lot of fun.
Another playful aspect of this issue was the jam session between artists during the final battle. Mike Deodato, Walter Simonson, Scott Hanna, Leinil Yu, Mark Morales, Olivier Coipel, and Jim Cheung all joined the regular artists from this arc to contribute some great pages of the team battling Lord Gouzar in Central Park. It was like one big super talented party in the pages of this book. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the credit “Jam Artists” before opening up this super-sized issue before, but it’s something that I definitely dig.
Overall, this was a fitting send off for the longest consecutive writer of The Avengers in history. It may not go down in history as one of the best Avengers stories ever, it might be one of the most heartfelt ones because of the behind the scenes elements of the whole thing. While I’ll miss the things he’s done with this team, I’m very much looking forward to the next chapter of team, which is said to be one of the biggest ones yet. Also, I’m already enjoying Bendis’ work over on ‘All-New X-Men’, which people should check out as well. Finally, this won’t be the last Avengers tale for the acclaimed writer because there’s still the matter of Age of Ultron, a story that has been talked about for years and years at this point. So, for those of you that aren’t ready for Brian Michael Bendis to give up his keys to the Avengers Mansion just yet, be patient because there’s an encore up his sleeve that will affect the whole Marvel Universe.
THE AVENGERS #34
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art by BRANDON PETERSON, MIKE MAYHEW, TERRY DODSON, RACHEL DODSON, JASON KEITH, LAURA MARTIN, & PAUL MOUNTS
Cover by BRANDON PETERSON