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Review Group: Avengers #1

Chubbles had the pick for new comics shipping May 19th and he selected Avengers #1 by Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita, Jr.


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The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate.

There's little question that Bendis is one of the most polarizing figures in comics, but as internet fodder he's grown a bit old hat.  Thankfully, John Romita Jr.'s art gave the Review Group something to argue about this week.
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0519-avengers_cover.jpgReview by thefourthman

The Avengers. In the past seven years, they have been Disassembled, New, Young, Mighty, Initiative, and now we are back to just plain Avengers. After all the events and all the insanity, we are back to square one.

Well not quite. As voracious Marvel readers know, there are still loose ends out there. The Scarlett Witch. The Decimation. Vision is, well, different.

Beyond just storylines though, this is not your dad’s Avengers. Beyond the wide ranging extended family that Steve Rogers gathers early on in this book, this team sees Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, and Wolverine. It has Bucky on the team as Captain America. Steve Rogers is the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. not the head of the Avengers. But at the end of the day, we are back to square one because Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor are a team again.

Bendis acknowledges that there are still unresolved plot threads. When Steve approaches Wonder Man, the actor says that getting the Avengers back together is a stupid idea. The big guy blames the Avengers for all that has happened. It is a shade of DC. The villains the Avengers face exist because of the Avengers. Simon misses the fact that as long as there are super powered vigilantes, together or separate, there will be threats for them to face. The Avengers, to a certain extent, need to exist in a world of superheroes. Like the assembled masses rebuilding Soldier Field in the comic, it is a show of hope, a symbol for their cause.

Funny I should mention the distinguished competition, there are shades of Kingdom Come in the story that Bendis sets up here. Kang comes to our time to get the reassembled team to go take care of their out of control kids. Surely, this will not end with Steve wielding the shield?

The Heroic Age really begins here, despite banners on Prince of Power or preview books available this week. There is a different tone to this book. The threat presented is a big idea; its direness affects the future, not the street level humans of the Marvel Universe. This is not the grim and gritty story we have come to expect from the recent Marvel Universe. There is a sense of fun that has not been present in books involving the big three.

That’s not to say that Bendis is a different writer. Many of the complaints that have been levied against him will continue. All of his characters speak in that quick and witty dialogue that has become known as Bendis speak. They are a little more polite though, they tend not to interrupt each other quite as much. The book is also dialogue heavy, even with big battles between Thor and Kang or the mysterious Next Avengers and Immortus.

Romita is one of the classic comics artists. A fan favorite and a Marvel mainstay, it is good to see him on the team book. Especially considering that he has brought the new style that was refined in the blood soaked pages of Kick-Ass with him. It is a great look for the book, it looks like it feels – like a comic. That was something that the more realistic art of The New Avengers stole from it, that feeling of a four color panel.

Despite masterful interpretations of almost every character and the great storytelling we expect from the master son of a master… JRJR is not perfect here. The new leader of the Avengers is revealed to be Maria Hill. To date, she has been a sexy soldier in spandex. It was easy to see why Tony Stark would want her to be a niche on the head board of his bed. Under the new pencils of Romita, Jr., she is mannish. He plays the soldier and short hair bit just a tad too butch and robs her of that bit of appeal.

The Avengers are back. Sure, there will still be complaints about the team and the voicing. If Marvel has proved nothing over the past seven years, it is that it is near impossible to please everyone at once. This book should come a long way towards that goal though, if the conservative and vocal fans will quiet down long enough to let it entertain them.

Story 9
Art 8
Overall 8.5

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Review by BlueStreak

Like some of the other younger members of the Outhouse, my first real experience with the Avengers was reading Avengers: Dissembled, which as I've been told multiple times was not really an Avengers story at all. Since then, the Avengers have been split up, fought against each other, gone into hiding, and finally reunited after 7 years, with a few changes. Now a new Heroic Age begins, and with it comes a new top cop, Steve Rogers, and a new Avengers team (not to be confused with the New Avengers, coming out soon to a comic book store near you!) So, with all that out of the way, let's take a look at the newest flagship of Marvel.

Like a lot of first issues, Bendis swiftly explains the new status quo, introduces the team and explains why it's been assembled. Then, he very quickly introduces the team to a threat from the Avengers past (or is it future?!) and ends the issue with a glimpse of the arcs' possible big bad.

While the writing suffers from the usual Bendisnitis (talky characters that sound alike, relatively little action), he does do a fine job of setting up the arc and teasing some new additions to the Avengers lore. I suspect that this issue will boost the sales (or rental) of a certain animated feature that I forgot existed before now. My only other complaint is the lineup of this Avengers team, which I'm not the biggest fan of, especially in light of the New Avengers lineup. As much as I love Spiderman and Wolverine's addition to the Avengers folds, why do we need them on a team that's supposed to respond to any and all threats? What exactly is Spiderman going to do if/when Galactus shows up? Pull out his cell phone and call Reed Richards on speed dial? Oh well, I'm sure Bendis will make it work.

As for the art, it's classic Romita Jr. I'm pretty sure that there are laws against criticizing his artwork, so all I will say that it's not his best work. Wonder Man, in particular looked a little off, but he's the only one out of around fifty Marvel characters that show up in the issue. However, Romita's art is still pretty darn good, though.

All in all, good show by both Bendis and Romita. Hopefully, the trend will continue to keep the flagship book of Marvel shiny and fresh for the foreseeable future.

Writing: 8
Art:8
Overall: 8


17.jpgReview by Flynn the Pirate

So here we go. For the last few months - even before Siege had begun - we have been told that this would see the return of heroes who acted like, well, heroes instead of outlaws. It was also promised that we would see a return to the sense of high adventure that some of the more classic Avengers comics hearkened toward. And at least on the latter promise, Avengers #1 delivers.

Bendis has never really been bad at first issues and this is no exception. He comes out firing on all cylinders with a time travel/time paradox story which, to the surprise of no one who has any knowledge of the Avengers' cadre of villains, stars Kang the Conqueror right out in front. The Avengers themselves work well, though so much of the focus is on Tony Stark and Steve Rogers that the rest of the team kind of fades into the background. Even the revelation that Maria Hill will be the actual leader of The Avengers is somewhat (okay, a lot) overshadowed by the presence of Steve Rogers, who does the vast majority of the talking and leading in this issue.

The thing that Bendis gets the most points from me, though, is the way he actually approached this "return to heroness". As much crap as he got (from me included) for taking the Marvel universe down the dark and dreary direction it saw for the longest time, he very nicely has begun the march toward the hopefulness of the Heroic Age. The key here is "march". Bendis does a good job of showing that even the heroes themselves are not exactly sure what a bright, happy universe looks like anymore and there is an undercurrent of distrust. The scene with Simon Williams, which has gotten a lot of attention for obvious reasons, underscores this idea the most.

So now we come to the biggest sticking point of this book: the art. I've made it no secret that I have hated the art from the moment it was first previewed and that hasn't changed. All of the characters, especially Steve Rogers and Maria Hill, look almost deformed. It was somewhat distracting and hopefully he can step it up (the cover to Avenger #4 leads me to believe this might be the case, but I'm not holding my breath).

So all in all, a solid first issue. The story is engaging and the relationship between The Avengers and their future progeny is nicely teased out as to make the reader look forward to what the resolution might be. Hopefully we'll see Rogers fade into the background quickly so that the team itself can start to show itself. And for the love of god, let's get some better art.

7 out of 10

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Review by Sire v 2.0

First I love that spidey is just an avenger, he really is at this point. Anyways I loved the opening, seeing the Next Avengers made me mark out so much. This issue is my son's "issue" (When my kids are born I get a comic when they are born to be the first in their future collection, my daughters was the recent Wonder Woman #1) and I have no problem this being the comic that starts it all for him. The story had it all. The Next Avengers and their ominous future is interesting. I don't trust Kang at all, and know it will be your typical Avengers vs. Next Avengers before we get the Next Avengers teaming up with their parents, (Is Black Panther the missing avenger?)

The setting up of the team and the meet up at Avengers tower was a bit hockey and I enjoyed it, especially thor's I don't know who you are.

art wise I have always had a problem with JR. I liked WWH and grew to sorta enjoy it for that , but here I just plain don't like it and I am already hoping they change artists at 12 issues (if not sooner please) but he is still talented and i was able to enjoy the issue for whats it worth.

Story - 8
art - 5
+.5
overall - 7

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Review by 48THRiLLS

What a fun book. I loved the tone, the cast, and the art. I also really like what Marvel is doing with Steve Rogers, it seems like a natural progression for him to have this role especially with Bucky back (and being the new Cap). I see a lot of complaints about Spider-Man and Wolverine being on the roster but I understand why they are, how could Marvel not have their 2 most popular characters on their flagship book? I am fine with it, I have more of an issue with Spider-Woman being on the squad... I am not sure what she offers and I think Ms. Marvel would have been a better fit... minor quibbles aside, I really enjoyed this, from the Next Avengers being featured, all the Marvel characters reacting to Captain Rogers pitch, to the reveal at the end... I think Bendis knocked this one out of the park and I am really looking forward to issue 2.

STORY - 9.5
ART - 9
OVERALL - 9.25

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Review by MrWadeWilsonHimself

The future children were cool.. like to see where this is heading now that there's a future hulk involved, tho i hope its somehow skarr using his dads name.

story 8.0
art 8.5

9

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Review by Zero

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.

6

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Review by starlord

I can tell you right from the get go that I will NOT give this book a score any less than a 6 if for but one reason... HAWKEYE IS BACK!!!!

It's okay. Like most average Bendis stories there was stuff that I like and stuff that I didn't care for. I'm really not happy with what they are doing with Wonder Man but I'm happy to see him around. Maybe if he goes nuts he can finally find true love with Wanda. It's an okay set up for what could be an enjoyable story and the banter between Spidey and Hawk was pretty good.

The art... uh... no. When in hero mode they are passable but out of costume they all look like they're in their late teens at best. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad like some of the recent Spider-Man was, but it's really not good - to the point of distracting.

One line though actually made me laugh out loud. Mockingbird: "Please don't say West Coast. Please don't say West Coast."

Story: 7.5
Art: 1
My Score: 6.5

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Review by Daringd

Solid stuff, I really enjoyed. Bendis owned JRJR Did great stuff on art overall really liked it.

8.5/10


10.jpgReview by Eli Katz

I haven't read an Avengers book since Civil War, and I haven't read any Marvel books regularly since the beginning of Secret Invasion. I am out of the loop when it comes to Marvel and superheroes in general, and I have very little interest in men-in-tights stories.

So I picked up this book with very low expectations, thinking that maybe I'd see a few good action sequences by John Romita, Jr. But boy, oh boy, did I love this book. The intros were brief and to the point, the new team was assembled quickly, and the action kicked in fast. I loved Kang's intro. I loved Thor's reaction to Kang. And I loved the uncomfortable and often amusing interactions between the characters. The exchanges between Tony ad Steve were spot on, and the joking between Spidey and Clint were very amusing. I look forward to these two guys verbally sparring with each other throughout this book.

But what I loved most -- what totally pushed this book over the edge for me -- was the final page. Wow, what a great cliffhanger. This is what superhero books are supposed to be about. Great action, great moments between much-loved characters, followed by a serious "holy shit" final panel that makes you desperate to see what happens next month. I'm definitely buying issue 2!

As for Romita's art, it was solid as always. He did a good job of illustrating five or six characters in a single panel. My only complaint was that he made Steve look a little young.

Anyway, based on this opening, the new Avengers book promises to rock.

Story: 9
Art: 8.5
Overall: 8.75

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Review by Chubbles

This was very lite on the action but it did a nice job of setting up the new status quo. Spidey's parts were the highlight for me as well as Thor apologizing for not knowing who bucky was. Nice comedic stuff in there. I haven't been keeping up with wonder man but if he goes bad that could be cool. Kang is a nice Avengers villain so seeing him was a good thing and the story he brought back looks super interesting. Perhaps seeing the avengers kids in the future is gonna be fun. I could do without more Ultron as I feel he's been done to death but whatever. The last page reveal of the Hulk being the big bad was a nice touch. I don't know which hulk that is but the Hulk has always worked better for me as a bad guy. He's too uber-powerful to be good. Bendis does the usual Bendis-speak at times but i've always been fine with that so no complaints from me. JRjr is a favorite of mine and I love his Thor and Spidey the best.

I'm excited to see what stories Bendis has in store for us but I must say this is a promising start and hopefully we get to see some fighting next issues!

Story 8.75
Art 8.75
Overall 8.75


08.jpgReview by Dragavon

Let's start this by saying I've been a Bendis fan for years, so this review might be a little biased.

Bendis does a good job here. Starting with the first two pages he begins the set-up of the story that immediately makes you want to see what is happening. There are a couple of moments of Bendis-speak, but he seems to be trying to keep it to a minimum. He keeps the story rolling along, mixing dialog and action that culminates in an absolutely riveting last page that demands that I pick up the next issue.

Unfortunately, JRJr's art is not quite up the task of keeping pace with the story. While the action scenes are great, his renditions of the character are weak and sometimes quite strange. He manages to get Spider-Man right, but every body else looks too stiff and posed. And unfortunately, his versions of Spider-Woman and Iron Man (in armor) look positively ugly. Because I think he's a great artist, perhaps it's the inker who's a poor fit for this art. This would have been a much better comic with somebody else handling the art duties.

Writing 8
Art 6
Total 7


06.jpgReview by fieldy snuts

OK this was probably my most anticipated comic of the week. I was a happy customer of Bendis's New/Mighty/Dark Reign era and I was curious to see how the shift in the status quo would give us the more traditional Avengers book that had been seemingly replaced with everything that followed Disassembled.

I definitely am curious of how this would go but I confess what I'm more excited about is next weeks Secret Avengers book. Using Mighty as a benchmark for Bendis's "traditional" superhero formula I cant say i was expecting something that would blow me away. Well I was right about one thing, I wasnt blown away but I confess i was pleasantly surprised. This was a lot better than I was expecting.

First of all, we have the story. It plants the seeds of a big time traveling story and Kang is in the thick of it. As a Kang fan this was basically a free free point towards the book just for adding a personal favourite of mine. Even moreso when you have a few moments of brief dialog that explains just who he is. Kang in his own words is a Time Warrior with access to every weapon ever created thanks to his mastery of time travel. According to Steve Rogers he's a Time Terrorist.

Regardless of this, Kang starts planting the first seeds of this story by painting the bleak future depicted in the Next Avengers DVD movie where Ultron killed them all and their kids defeated Ultron. Only after that, they went rogue and simply took over where Ultron left off, or so Kang says...you can never trust a villain even when they claim they have the best of intentions.

So Kang leave the Avengers with a warning and leaves them to find a way into the future by themselves...only to meet with a Hulk who seems to be a LOT like the Maestro...but it could also be the Hulk from Next Avengers along with another character who I have NO idea who it is.

On paper it reads a lot like a classic Avengers tale, right? Time travel, a team assembling complete with the big 3 (Iron Man, Captain America (Bucky-Cap this time) and Iron man, a major threat to kick things off, a classic Avengers villain, mystery, intrigue etc. It truly IS the Avengers. Not the New, Mighty or Dark but THE Avengers. With a Wolverine and Spidey to boot.

But the Bendis-style dialog, which either makes or breaks his books is the one weak link of the story. Other times it is used to perfection, other times like this it really misses the mark at times. Most notably the huge double page with the one-word replies and a REALLY awkward convo between Steve Rogers and Wonder Man or Bucky's "hey" moment with Thor.. It can flow really well and then get that odd bit of dialog that makes everything grind unsteadily. It still made it enough for me NOT to be disappointed but I definitely felt that awkwardness at times.

Art? I like JRJR when he's on his A-game. This wasnt it, but the interiors for the most part were WAY better than his cover. Parts of the art looked nice while other sections didnt seem of the same caliber. It really had an inconsistency at times. But after looking at the cover to #4 I'm hoping he's working off some rust. JRJR still draws a damn fine Thor though.

Story: 7
Art: 7
Overall: 7

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Review by Porcelain38

I enjoyed this issue more than i thought i would. I liked the team that's been put together. Some of the Bendis-speak got on my nerves ( Hawkeye declaring "Today I Am Hawkeye), but Thor not knowing who Bucky was made me chuckle.

There's 2 two minor and 1 major problem i had over all.

1.) Wonderman...why would Wonderman say no to Steve Rogers? That seems like terrible characterization for Simon

2.) Kang...Who honestly likes Kang? Seriously? In this new day and age and the first horse out of the gate is Kang? I mean icon_rolleyes.gif

3.) The Next Avengers kids. Without seeing the movie I had no clue who these kids were or why that last page was so menacing. These are the Avengers...they take down the Hulk at least once a year, so why is this guy so speical?

I didn't have a problem with JRjr's artwork like somepeople did.

Story: 6
Art: 7
Overall: 6.5

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Review by Punchy

Story  - So, this bold new relaunch of the Avengers, it's kind of just the same old thing. If you've been following Bendis' take on Earth's Mightiest Heroes for the past few years, this new #1 is nothing new. But since I've loved what Bendis has been doing, then I'm fine with that.

With Avengers #1s, you kind of expect some kind of big shake-up, some big new reason for a team to be formed, but here, you just get Steve Rogers deciding who he wants. The team is pretty much the same characters we've been following throughout New and Mighty over the years, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Spider-Woman, Bucky Cap, Clint Barton, Iron Man. The only character who hasn't been part of a Bendis-Avengers team before is Thor. I think this is a good thing. Some fans have been concerned that the 'Heroic Age' was going to be a boring old reversion to status-quo, but thankfully, this new team is a mixture of both classic Avengers elements and post-Disassembled modern stuff. So yes, while Clint Barton is now back to being Hawkeye and Thor is back on the team, Spider-Man and Wolverine aren't disappearing anytime soon, and the relationship between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers is still fractious. I've always maintained that Bendis' Avengers had more in common with the classic book that it's detractor's thought, and I think I'm right. If people still have a problem with Wolverine being an Avenger, they need to get over it, it's been established. I am slightly disappointed that Luke Cage isn't in this book, but his involvement in New Avengers makes up for it. I can't go without my monthly dose of Bendis/Cage man-love!

Of course, the Avengers is about more than the line-up, they need foes, they need to fight the foes that no single hero could withstand! And with that, we have Kang! I like that Bendis is sort of going out of his comfort zone here and using a cosmic, time-travel villain. He's more than just Ninjas and the Hood, and his use of Kang proves it. And it's just like Bendis to look at time-travelling villains and finding an angle nobody else would have considered, such as his use of a doomsday weapon that Tony Stark hasn't even invented yet. Yet Kang isn't even the villain here, he's come to warn our heroes that their future children are going to destroy the timestream. And Bendis hasn't just used any children, he's using the characters from the Marvel Animated Feature Next Avengers. I haven't seen the movie, but I will do so after reading this issue, so that's one solid success here. I'm a sucker for time-travel stories, and with Bendis using pre-established characters and even deconstructing ideas about the mechanics of it, I can't wait to see how it all unravels. It's bound to be different than any other Kang story I've read.

This was another very good instalment of Bendis' Avengers epic. It's not a revolution in superhero comics, and if you've hated what he's been doing with the books, then you'll probably still hate this, all of his dialogue tics are still present. Bendis is a love it or hate it creator, and this issue isn't going to change that, no matter how far he steps out of his comfort zone or how many classic Avengers he uses. But for me, a man who falls firmly in the 'love it' camp, I was very pleased with this issue. It didn't take away from what I've enjoyed about Bendis' run on the Avengers so far, it didn't go back to the past, it's still very much a forward-moving train, and I'm willing to stick on it right until the last stop.

Art - John Romita Jnr is, well, he's John Romita Jnr. If you don't already know what you think of his art, then you haven't read nearly enough Marvel comics. I for one like his style a lot, and feel he's a good fit for this book. It was fun to see him return to drawing so many characters he's worked on in the past (Spider-Man, Thor, Iron Man, Wolverine) but to have them all together. In this issue he nails both facial expressions (in the 2-page spread of character reactions) and balls-out action when Thor slams into Kang. JRjr is THE Marvel artist, and it's only fitting he's drawing THE Marvel comic.

Best Line - With Bendis, it's almost always more than one line, so this week I present 'Best Dialogue Exchange'!

Spider-Man: Yesterday you were Ronin, today you're Hawkeye

Hawkeye: Would you like me to make a proclamation?

Spider-Man: I think I would

Hawkeye: Today... I am Hawkeye

Spider-Man: Thank You.

8/10

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Review by john lewis hawk

Angry sex!! Rah!! Rah!! Rah!!!

Anyways... Introduction issue. Stuff happens but not enough to really satisify the reader. Just tease but it's weak teasing. Not a bad issue per se but not one that got me interested.

Art-wise, same as the issue. Not good but not bad either.

6


03.jpgReview by Mr_Batman

Well, it was obvious that this was a new #1. If you handed me this comic without telling me the number, I would've known. There isn't too much happening in this issue, but at the same time there's at least a developing plot. Luckily, Bendis didn't try to cram too much in here. From a dialogue standpoint, this wasn't too shabby. There were some really nice moments like the "Please don't say West Coast" and Thor talking to Bucky. I think Kang is a decent villain so it's kind of cool to see him appearing here. You don't have to watch Next Avengers to get this, but it was still a really cool flick, and now I'm familiar with the characters. It makes me more interested.

As for the art, it was better than I expected. JRJR is sometimes good, sometimes bad. I was going into this issue expecting to despise the art after seeing a couple of the covers. It turns out, I enjoyed it. I thought the art was solid except for in a few places. He really shines with the piece where Kang arrives IMO. (Steve does look way too young. But, I thought he did a really good job with the art there, even though Steve looked too young there. Does that make sense? Like the art was good there, but not completely accurate). I was pleasantly surprised with the art.

Story- 7
Art- 7
Overall- 7


Review by guitarsmashley

Dear Avengers #1,

I am a self proclaimed Bendis hater, you could even go so far as to call me a newsarama dick bag since my dislike of bendis really started with Avengers dissembled I could now say that I’ve seen his grand scheme for the avengers come full circle. Under Bendis we’ve now seen 3 avengers books start and 4 avengers books end. And now a new beginning for the avengers so this will be avengers book number 4 for bendis to start…oh with another on the way and Brubakers Secret Avengers coming in so really we’re seeing just more of the same. Sorry for the tangents but where is the end of Dark Avengers Bullseye or is that just going to be a casualty of the siege? Any way back to the task at hand. We’ve seen Bendis tear the Avenges apart to bring them back together to tear them apart to finally bring them back together again, how long will it last this time? This is my very serious question when it comes to this book and this story, How long will the fun last for the avengers?

But really we need to make this more about the book then anything else, Avengers #1 why does your tone change so many times? That’s where my biggest problem comes in. We see immortus and kang two different characters who are very much the same and in this comic really appear to be the same person in two different section since immortus leaves the future to run away from the next avengers(an incredibly stupid thing to just throw in) and he comes back to the past as kang to interrupt the avengers banquet. The interaction at the banquet were stone cold. Almost disjointed to the point where I kept feeling out of place. Thor doesn’t know who bucky is? OMG LOL! PUT A BULLET IN MY FUCKING BRAIN PLEASE! These aren’t clever moments these are moments where I groan because you’re not telling a story, you’re just pandering to the mouth breathers at this point. I’ve also grown to completely dislike the way Bendis writes an adult spiderman. I amost expect him to have peter start saying “kewl” and actually convinicing the letterer to write “Kewl” in the speech bubbles. But he’s being written like what a high schooler would say to you if you asked him, “Hey, what do the young people talk like?” it’s bad practice. The entire interchange with Hawkeye is what killed this comic for me. I’m sure I would be even angrier if they had stretched this decision into a one shot, think of it, Clint sitting downtown on a bench staring out at the statue of liberty and then the sun rises and he’s made his mind up. I’m going to be hawkeye again. It was dumb. The best part of this issue was the double page spread with everyone reacting to Steve’s call to be an avenger after that the story all went to crap. It’s convoluted shoved together and like I’ve already said very badly dialogued. But Bendis isn’t alone in this drek.

I’m usually a fan of JrJr. His latest style that he’s been cultivating since DD the man without fear may have finally reached it’s end as the worst thing I’ve seen him put out. People are blocky (blockeir than usual). Many people have already said how ugly the women are but I don’t think it’s really a fair shake, The man once drew this,

yoni1.jpg
a normal looking Mary Jane and now he give you this?
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It all crap from JrJr this time around. It’s just not fair for him to have to get blockier and blockier when he was so good. While flipping through the issue I just scanned to have an image of Steve Rogers and he looks like a normal person with out a Ringo Starr hair cut and weird blockyness that JrJr is doing these days.
yoni3.jpg
I don’t even think it’s the inking because things still looked good on World War Hulk. But you have ugly characters and ugly story telling.
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And then we reach the end. Kang is “vanquashed” sort of….he escapes to another time and we see what we fanboys have to assume is Maestro…Bendis has not put a single original idea in this comic. We have a shitty marvel animated throw away and a Peter David prestige story character. The man steering the house of ideas has one major problem, he has no ideas. Am I supposed to quiver at seeing this character? Oh I wonder if the Avengers and their new team mate who we don’t know yet will be able to hunt down Kang or Immortus…maybe Iron Lad will show up next. I know I wont be there for it. In closing I just want to say having reread ASM #50/491 that is one great one in done issue. Just a really great fun comic. Why couldn’t this have been like that.

3 for a serving comic that ultimately just spoon fed bendisites and nothing more.

Also I crushed Punchy’s word count.


02.jpgReview by amlah6

Avengers #1: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Accept (love is too strong a word) the Bendis

Let's face it, Bendis is going to be writing Avengers for the rest of our lifetimes. It's time to give up the hate and just embrace the inevitable. I saw Iron Man 2 today and I tell you what, it's a damn mediocre movie. That didn't stop me from having fun and enjoying it though and I think the same applies to this comic. Hell, I wasn't even put off by the Bendis speak. Sure I'm a sucker for Kang and I do love seeing Clint back in his real costume, but even with Bendis's propensity for completely fucking up new characters, I'm still extremely curious to see how he integrates the Next Avengers into the 616.

The more stylized and loose John Romita Jr.'s art gets, the more I love it. I tend to bore easily when it comes to mainstream comic art so I love it when an artist does his own thing even if the results aren't always what one would consider classically beautiful. Who gives a shit if Spider-Woman looks like a coal miner in drag? I think it's kind of an interesting take personally. At the same time I'm not thrilled that Maria Hill is suddenly a 6'3" ladyboy, but whatever. Gender neutrality is a small price to pay for getting the pages with Thor blasting the hell out of Kang.

Story: 8
Art: 10
Overall: 9

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Review by MrBlack

Avengers #1 starts out strong, giving us a hint to the plot of the opening arc before moving straight to team building. I like this lineup quite a bit: We finally get to see the "Big Three" together again; Hawkeye is finally back in a proper costume; and, Marvel's two biggest names, Spider-Man and Wolverine, are included on the team. Spider-Woman is the only odd person out here, but I am happy to see her on the team if for no other reason than a bit of gender balancing. This feels more like Grant Morrison's "Big Seven" JLA than any of Brian Michael Bendis' prior Avengers books (Spider-Woman is Aquaman, I suppose).

Nevertheless, this is still a Bendis comic, so there is a good deal of banter and some exposition. Because this is an opening issue, none of it feels gratuitous though. What little banter there is helps to establish the relationships between these characters, some of whom have never met, and the exposition is necessary to establish the impetus for the Avengers' first mission. And what a mission it is! We have the Next Avenges, Kang the Conqueror, and Wonder Man all tossed into the mix, and time travel on top of that. The first story arc bears a great deal of promise at the very least.

I am a fan of John Romita, Jr.'s art, but the cover to this issue really turned me off. The interiors are a huge improvement though, so I cannot say why the cover looks so terrible when the same inker and colorist apparently worked on it. For better or worse, this is John Romita, Jr. at his best, so your mileage may very depending on your tolerance for his rather stylized work. Klaus Janson's inks are strong, and I like Dean White's choice of color palette, which lends a brightness to this new Heroic Age.

Overall, this is a very strong book to herald the beginning of Marvel's Heroic Age. For those who doubted the direction that Marvel was taking post-Siege, this is still very much a Bendis book; it actually reminds me quite a bit of Bendis' Mighty Avengers, minus the thought balloons. For the Bendis haters, I would still recommend giving this book a chance. His quirks are kept to a minimum here, and the story has the sort of "big adventure" feel that was lacking from Bendis' other Avengers work.

Story: 9.5
Art: 9
Overall: 9.5
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That gives Avengers #1 a group score of 7.51 which as it turns out is the highest score an Avengers book has received from the Review Group.  Weird.

For more Avengers/Romita Jr. talk and The Great amlah6/Punchy Scott Pilgrim Avatar Battle of 2010 (spoiler alert: Punchy lost), join us in this week's thread found in the News Stand forum where you are invited to post your own review!
Comment or post your own review!
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0526-gcsirens_cover.jpgguitarsmashley has the pick for next week and he has selected a very special issue of Gotham City Sirens #12 published by DC Comics.  Look for the new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning.

Gotham City Sirens #12

Written by Tony Bedard
Art and cover by Paul Ngyuen

Poison Ivy's new job as a research technician may have her working undercover, but that doesn't mean a new threat to Gotham City will stay secret! Dr. Pamela Isley is spotlighted in this special issue of GOTHAM CITY SIRENS.

Batman | 32pg. | Color | $2.99 US

The Outhouse is sponsored this week by Late Nite Draw. Recently featured on ComicsAlliances' Best Art Ever, he is a Chicago-based commissioned artist with a self-published Digital+Print one-shot coming out in October about the abominable snowman called ABOBAMANIMABBLE, and is also available for commissions. Check out some amazing art by clicking here or by clicking the banner at the top, and support the people who support The Outhouse.


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