Friday, April 24, 2009

The New Avengers (Brian Michael Bendis)

Someday fairly soon I'm going to review another comic series that I feel is the BEST way to hook your non-comic book reading friends, but that day is not today. Today I'm going to review a series that I feel is integral for any lapsed comic book fans who are looking to get back into the thick of things. Those of you not interested in such nonsense, you're probably not gonna care from this point forward, so hopefully I'll see you next week.


The New Avengers begins pretty spectacularly with the breakout of several dozen major supervillains from The Raft, an extremely high security detention facility off the coast of Manhattan. Luckily, there happen to be several major superheroes present at the time of the breakout, and they're able to keep many of the inmates in check. 42 villains in total escape, however, and Captain America sees this as an opportunity to reform the Avengers using those few heroes that were present at the breakout (for reference, the Avengers had broken up following the events of Avengers: Disassembled when the Scarlet Witch went crazy and tore the team apart). Cap's team consists of Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Luke Cage, but as the series evolves, the team does as well. These "New Avengers" set off in search of some of the major escaped criminals, which leads them very early on to the Savage Land, where they meet up and are joined by Wolverine. These six individuals form the core team for much of the series, and work well together, both in an action sense and in a hilarious sense. It's really a great group to have together.

On the whole, this series—which recently passed the 50 issue milestone—has consistently been very strongly written. There have been a few minor hang-ups during some of the major crossover events, but Bendis has written this title into the forefront of the Marvel Universe, and in many ways has made it one of the flagship books, so those crossover stories affect our New Avengers more than most. The group dynamic is incredibly strong, the plots are intricate and well-written, and the art is some of the best out there. Leinil Yu, especially, draws some AMAZING scenes. If you've never seen his work, check out this or Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, which is conveniently being reprinted right now. It's hard to tell you how much I like this series without giving too much away, but if you're a fan of superhero books, classic Marvel characters, action, humor, or all of the above, New Avengers is a great title to check out. It's the perfect gateway drug to the current Marvel Universe, and provides strong footing as a jumping off point into the books of any of the individual characters on the team, too.


The New Avengers
by Brian Michael Bendis

I wouldn't say it's the most complex stories ever told, but the plots do weave in and out very smoothly, and almost all of the issues are goal-driven, which keeps things moving. The story does well at keeping the reader engaged.

It's a superhero team book, and Bendis writes good superhero stories, there isn't much more to say about the style. It's humorous, has a lot of action, and utilizes many of the most popular Marvel characters. The guy know's what he's doing.

I have a lot of fun going through these issues again, so there is definitely some solid storytelling going on, but there are also just some really cool comic book moments that can catch you off guard. I like a writer who can be versatile and get into the heads of several different characters.


I'm planning on having a novel I'm currently reading finished by next Friday, so I'm excited for next week! In the mean time, keep reading, Genoshans!

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