After recently dropping Secret Avengers I am having serious thoughts about dropping The New Avengers. I miss the old New Avengers!
Credits & Solicit Info:
The New Avengers #13
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencilers: Mike Deodato & Howard Chaykin
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Released: June 8, 2011
$3.99 for 22 pages
If ever there was a time for an artist to look at his own panel and say, "this isn't gonna work", it would be the instant Mike Deodato pulled his pencil from the panel of Luke Cage on a cell phone, in the New Avengers #13.
I have come to realize that I am romanticizing the New Avengers title. When I think New Avengers I do not think of the current issues which have been released over the past few months; rather, I have been thinking of a time when such names like Finch, McNiven and Immonen graced the pages with their art. Their imagery defined the tone of the book over those periods of time: With Finch it was about adventurous new beginnings, McNiven brought a sense of awe and amazement and Immonen gave readers some fun with his clean and (at times) whimsical panels.
In between this "hey-day" of New Avengers artists, the title Dark Avengers was underway. This villain laden team of Avengers was being illustrated by Mike Deodato, and I liked it...a lot. I enjoyed Deodato's art on that title because it called for it. The characters were evil and some (Venom) were over the top in muscular size which played in perfectly to Deodato's style of 40% shadowy buff characters.
Unfortunately, Deodato's style is not translating to the New Avengers. Beyond his awkward Cage on a cell phone panels, he also somehow turned the Thing back into the original Thing when he was more of a mushy-rock looking monster. His boobs are like muscles in that they are drawn with extreme exaggeration, and Deodato's shadow use is way over the top in New Avengers #13, in general. Thank god he inks his own work. He would have to give-up top billing to his inker (inkest?), if he had one.
With all of the negativity above, I have to admit there were a couple of panels I really enjoyed in The New Avengers #13. The first panel is a 2 page (lower half) spread in which the New Avengers team gets blown off of a random warehouse by a fighter jet's missiles exploding the roof...of the random warehouse. It's cool to see the explosion from some distance because you can get the sense of just how big the explosion is. The second great panel is a two-partner in which Iron Fist punches through the jet which he is thrown at by Luke Cage. It was like a variation on the Colossus/Wolverine toss.
I won't say much about Howard Bigchin's art in the New Avengers. It just seems odd to throw a lesser artist on one of their highest selling books. It actually seems a bit unfair to the buyer. Deodato I can understand. He is a name in the industry now, but Chaykin? He is better than I'll ever be, but that doesn't say much. I want the best on Marvel's flagship title. Right now, it seems the Avengers (main title) is the flagship since Bachalo is currently handling it's art duties. Bachalo...now there's an artist. (Dom slips into a day dream filled with Bachalo art.)
Speaking of the best, I still have nothing but love for Brian Michael Bendis. The man writes so many good books he is bound to write a story that doesn't work that well once in a while. Admittedly, I was intrigued for awhile with the Nick Fury side of the story (when I could read past the art), but it ended-up falling a little flat. Eh, whatcha gonna do. At least he ended it with a nice Goblin twist...which actually worked well with Deodato on that page because it was all former Dark Avengers elements.
Good news: the arc's over. Bad news: it's uncertain if we'll ever get New Avengers books of ol'.
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Review by: Dom G