Earth's Mightiest Heroes assemble once again and the result is much talkier than even I expected.
Brian Bendis is a solid writer. His Daredevil, Powers and Ultimate Spidey are among my favourite comics and for that his work always gets at least a look from me in the hope he'll be able to hit his form again. This may well be it, but a very very talky first issue probably isn't the best start. The original Avengers and the New Avengers both came together by chance but here we have a hand picked team meeting up for the first time and while the characters are all familiar the past few years have produced some baggage that needs dealing with. Not here though, here we've got a plot to tell (not show) and banter to be bantered. It's a very Bendis first issue, right down to the drip-feeding of action and trademark back-and-forth. The plot looks interesting, but until we get more of it I'm not hooked yet.
John Romita jr isn't quite the legend his father is, but he's still one of the most well respected figures in comics today. He's great and drawing muscular brutes throwing each other through buildings and he's great at handling small emotional moments. Here he gets to do one of those things for around a page or so and the rest is a lot of talking heads and the static nature of the story plays to his weakness for fairly traditional looking layouts. The pencils aren't helped by Dean White's colours, which are fine for the present day but smother the future set scenes under layers of purple fug.
In short it's Bendis playing to his strengths while Romita is largely denied his. These Avengers seem more bogged down with their own issues and a heap of exposition than with engaging in any kind of real story. Nice first part of a trade, not an amazing centrepiece comic.