I’m only barely kidding. This issue has The New Avengers (not to be confused with The Mighty Avengers, The Secret Avengers or Avengers Academy) rushing to help Iron Man battle a giant robot that absorbs any force directed at it and release it back at its opponents. The heroes absolutely must function as a unit to defeat it.
Meanwhile, Norman Osbourn continues his ascent toward becoming Marvel’s ultimate bad guy. As it turns out, he is attempting to combine the might of all of Marvel’s terrorist groups, A.I.M., Hydra, The Hand and H.A.M.M.E.R. into one unbeatable unit. When their giant robot assault doesn’t go as they planned, Osbourn comes up with an alternate plan, which involves Wolverine and his healing abilities.
I’m not sure why so many readers are anti-Brian Michael Bendis. I think his dialogue is fantastic! He especially has a grasp on Spider-Man and Luke Cage, as you can tell they are the ones speaking, even if they don’t appear on panel. I like how he subtitled Dr. Strange’s spells. This issue works not only as part of a larger story line, but it’s actually a pretty satisfactory stand-alone issue. Overall, this was a “filler” issue, but that doesn’t make it bad.
I love Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, but seriously, why can’t they wear costumes? I’m okay with Luke Cage going by his actual name rather than “Power Man.” He’s basically the only character I feel that way about (looking at you, Donna Troy, Emma Frost, Jean Grey and Kitty Pryde). But the street clothes have to go! I didn’t like that look when Superboy and Wonder Girl were rocking it, but at least they had logos on their shirts! Luke and Jessica are just wearing generic clothes from The Gap! However, I am glad to see a married couple actually function together as a team. Too many storytellers seem to think that romance is only interested at the very beginning when people are falling in love, or at the end, when their relationship falls apart. Luke and Jessica have a great rapport and I’m looking forward to reading more adventures of them together.
I enjoyed seeing Mockingbird taking such a leadership role, calling the shots from the team’s Quinjet, rather than jumping into the action. Not that she can’t handle it, but she has no powers and I doubt her battle staves would be of much use against a giant, rampaging robot.
I must admit, I’m not the biggest fan of illustrator Mike Deodato. His work is a bit too cheesecake for me. But it certainly isn’t bad. He’s one of those artists from whom I certainly see some growth and development. He’s a lot better now than when he drew ‘Wonder Woman’ in the 90s.
Overall, I enjoy Bendis’ writing. The art wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t awful. I liked this book, but didn’t love it, so…
THE NEW AVENGERS
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mike Deodato and Will Conrad
Cover by Deodato and Rain Beredo