Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Longbox

The Avengers
issue: 1
writer: Brian Michael Bendis
artist: John Romita Jr.
publisher: Marvel
Siege is over after what seems like four long months of event and tie-in books.  Now Marvel begins what it calls The Heroic Age with a relaunch of one of its core titles, The Avengers.  This first book in the series does not give the heroes much time to breathe before their first big threat is thrown at them.
The book starts out with a strong two pages as we see Immortus taken down by a group of heroes that bear an uncanny resemblance to the youngsters from the Next Avengers animated movie.  Elsewhere/when, Steve Rogers, having taken over the position vacated by Norman Osborn and Tony Stark before him, is assembling a team of Avengers once again to protect and inspire the world.  It isn’t long though before a super villain shows up to crash the party, namely Kang the Conqueror.  It seems that Kang’s lifeline and all of reality are in jeopardy because the children of The Avengers (guess it really is the Next Avengers team) are wielding some kind of ultimate power.  Kang charges the new team with building a time machine and stopping their offspring before all is lost.
I’m not as familiar as some are in regards to Avengers history, I’ve mainly been an X-Reader when it comes to Marvel books.  Having said that, I found this new Avengers book to be instantly accessible and invoking a feeling of grand adventure that calls back to days gone by.  There’s also that cool factor of having so many A-list heroes in the same room, on the same team.  Bendis skillfully blends his brand of chummy super hero dialogue with some really great moments (the Spider-Man/Hawkeye exchange is pretty nice).  Thor’s response to Kang’s arrival reminds us just what level of hero this team is on.
Here’s where I’ll probably get murdered by fanboys, but I’m just not a big fan of John Romita Jr. when he’s doing these kinds of super hero books.  I love it when he handles more street level kinds of characters, like Daredevil, but with something like this, I’d prefer the talents of a George Perez or an Oliver Coipel Both of whom are just amazing at rendering heroes and action.  Also, I’ve always thought Romita’s women look funny.
In the end, I liked how this book sets up not one, not two, but three different possible threats for the new team right out of the gate without it feeling strained or rushed.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the other new Avengers titles bring to the table this month.  Also, I might just have to check out Next Avengers.

Here is Jon's review of Next Avengers from last year.

No comments: