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Review Group - New New Avengers #1

John Snow had the pick for new comics shipping June 16th and since there was absolutely positively nothing better he selected New New Avengers #1 by Brian Michael Bendis, Stuart Immonen and Laura Martin.


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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.

As always, a Bendis comic made the Review Group crazy. Maybe even more crazy than usual. At least we've finally dumped that hipster loser amlah6.
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0616-newavengers1_cover.jpgReview by BlueStreak

To preface, I am neither a Bendis hater nor a Bendis apologist. I’m somewhere in between. I love his Ultimate Spider-Man and Powers books and frequently reread the trades. He is also the only Avengers writer I’ve ever read, tracing back to the Dissembled era, when I got onto a certain website called Newsarama to look for spoilers because I was waiting for the trade.

His Avengers books have had their ups and down. Bendis knows how to write several characters well and almost always includes them in his Avengers stories. This is how Luke Cage, Wolverine, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman all became Avengers and the franchise is better for them. Bendis also knows how to really raise the stakes in his Avengers stories as well. Between the constant threats in Dissembled, House of M, and the lead up to the Skrull invasion (which was New Avengers’ finest hour IMO), Bendis obviously knows how to pitch a strong story, even if he can’t always deliver.

Bendis’ biggest flaws as a writer also come out in his Avengers stories. He often uses the same villains for extended times (the Hood was the New Avengers’ primary antagonist for thirty-some issues) and usually provides little to no character depth beyond “Luke Cage is a badass” or “Jessica Jones is a mother”. Frequently, Bendis relies on his pencillers (whom are always top-notch) to really deliver the stories, because his final chapters often fall short of the expectations that Bendis himself put on them.

So all in all, Bendis’ Avengers are a mix of good and bad.

The first issue of New Avengers (Vol. 2) is no different. Let’s start with the good: Bendis promptly reforms the New Avengers, sets them up in the Avengers Mansion and adds Ben Grimm and Victoria Hand to the roster. Bendis’ New Avengers cast is filled with characters that Bendis loves. He’s built these characters up and turned them into an extended family that just happens to filled with superheroes. Basically, the New Avengers are the JLI of the Marvel universe, without the ridicule and mockery.

The bad part of the story comes from Bendis’ choice of the latest threat to the New Avengers. Invaders from a magical dimension are invading the world and taking out the magic users of the Marvel universe to do it. Doctor Strange and Doctor Voodoo are quickly taken off the board, which annoys me immensely. These are the two top magicians in the Marvel universe, and yet every time Bendis writes them, they quickly get their ass kicked and need Luke Cage’s help to punch whatever demon has invaded earth back into submission. For the former and current Sorcerer Supremes, they certainly seem like pushovers in Bendis’ hands. As a long time fan of Doctor Strange (my father used to read me the comics while tucking me in including the issues featuring Brother Voodoo), it reeks of poor writing. Bendis either doesn’t understand how magic works in the Marvel universe or doesn’t understand it. If this arc goes south (and at this point, I don’t see how it can’t), I will send Bendis a copy of the Essential Dr. Strange Vol. 1 to remind me how the good Doctor is supposed to be written.

Anyways, Stuart Immonen’s art once again saves the day, turning a mediocre comic into a good one. As always, his pencils are a pleasure. He’s one of Marvel’s top artists for a reason after all.

To summarize: good art, good characters, Bendis doesn’t know jack about Marvel magic. Read at your own risk.

Story: 4
Art: 9
Overall: 7 (I rounded up to help offset my bias towards Dr. Strange being treated like a little bitch.)

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Review by guitarsmashley

Holy crap that comic was awful from top to bottom. The art showed signs of brilliance and then showed me nothing new all at the same time. NextWave it is not. This was the worst of bendis's avengers books and is even more pointless to be called a Number 1. Also DC Magic>>>>>Marvel Magic.

2 for total shit.

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Review by john lewis hawk

There's things I like and things I don't like. Immonen's art is excellent and I like having Ms. Marvel and Iron Fist on the team but this is more of a Bendis-influenced book than Avengers. What I mean is that it's pretty obvious Bendis got to pick the characters he wanted to do the stories he wants to do. I like that in theory but Bendis hasn't impressed me since his Daredevil run. He's niether a good writer or a bad writer.

Also, it's kinda redundant that Marvel decided to have this as a #1.

6

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Review by Frag It

Awful fucking issue.

I've always been a Bendis defender, but this issue was horrible.

I'm so sick of Luke Cage that I wish for his death in every issue he's in (sorry Greg). I can't take it anymore.

His "anger" over working for Cap was retarded and the way characters act like bitches behind this nobody is annoying. Hawkeye was an Avengers leader but becomes a mute around Cage.

I was hoping for some better reason for the Thing joining other than "asking him." Rolling Eyes

The Victoria Hand stuff was dumb as well.

Terrible.

2/10

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Review by Tony Starks the Ironman

Basically, my love of the book all came down to the art. Immonen's work really drew me in. The man has a knack for drawing faces. Wolverine guzzling a beer, Hand's concern and worry pre-thunderclap, and Iron Fist's confusion at Rogers' initial offer all stood out to me as being great examples of drawing. He's still not as good of a storyteller as JRJr, but his art is beautiful. Also, having Laura Martin as a colorist helps his drawings pop. She's been great since she worked with Hitch on The Authority. My one problem was with his rendering of The Thing. It's pretty generic and doesn't really seem to have that special Immonen flair.

With all of this being said, I wonder why this book is getting so much hate. Sure, Bendis redefining the rules of magic AGAIN is getting kind of stale, but the art was beautiful and all of the Luke Cage bits were brilliant. The art is 80% of the reason I'll continue to pick this up, and I NEVER buy a book for the art alone.

Here's to hoping Iron Fist becomes a permanent member of the team and Jessica gets back into costume soon!

8. The story keeps it from being a 10.

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Review by John Snow

There are two reasons I loved this issue.

The first of course is the return of Avengers Mansion. It's been far too long that one of the most fabled structures in the Marvel Universe has been left in rubble. A competent caretaker of the Avengers franchise would have never let this folly go on for so long. Seeing the "A" atop the gate as Victoria Hand fled after being assaulted by a large black man brought a tear to this reader's eye.

The second reason to love New New Avengers was that at no point during the issue was I given a reason to buy the next issue or the issue after that or the issue after that! $4 a month saved indefinitely. Thanks Marvel! After all, half of the roster here is already in Avengers, the other half has been Bendicized to the point I don't care anymore... except for Danny who... I miss Immortal Iron Fist something fierce, but all the best parts of that book are irrelevant to the Danny that Bendis writes. As far as the magic elements here go, Blue Streak nailed it. Bendis does nothing to earn the magic, he just says MAGIC! and moves on. Complete waste of good characters and one of the reasons no one but Greg cared that a Brother Voodoo book spun out of New Avengers. All of that pales in comparison to Bendis's biggest crime here however.

On art Bendis has a modern genius working in the prime of his career and this is what he writes for him to draw?! Someone please give me Bendis's home address so that I can send him my copies of Nextwave. What a colossal waste. Cocktail parties on balconies? Lunch in a dining room? A meeting on a balcony? Bollocks. Immonen does wonders with the meager scraps he is given, but his talents are sadly wasted. Same with Laura Martin.

Story: 1
Art: 10
Bonus: +100 for the return of Avengers Mansion
Overall: 4

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Review by Zero

New Avengers was Marvel's flagship title from Disassembled's end right up to Secret Invasion. After that it became a group of underground heroes driven further underground and dealing fairly consistently with one adversary. Well now they're problem free and Disbanded, so what's the point?

Bendis can write some terrible comics. Bendis can write some awesome comics. This was neither. A lot of unnecessary exposition in the form of a team being assembled was dropped in favour of a quick start and a justification for Victoria Hand's place in the book. Nothing really popped, nothing was really witty and the threat to the team was built up by dropping Doc Strange in it. I like Strange dammit, and while he often needs to be taken off the grid for story's sake, having him overwhelmed so easily smacks of laziness.

Immonen's art is brilliant though. Character's faces are expressive without being cartoonish, everything looks bright and sunny and awesome. Nothing bad to say about one of Marvel's brightest talents who I would happily let draw anything.

Average and forgettable story, but art that really stands out. How very Marvel.

7

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Review by Kerny

This issue didn't do a lot lot for me once I read the words and stopped taking in the great art. Luke's bitching didn't make a lot of sense to me,and seemed to exist just to set up the kewl character moment of him buying the mansion for a dollar. As for the mansion, really 4thy? This book had enough useless talking, the mansion didn't need expanded on.

Unless you're Wolverine, I have a problem with all these double duty members. I think characters should be exclusive to their team, again unless you're Wolverine, because I've grown to accept that. I thought Thing's reason for joining was lazy, because it's the exact same reason every other person is on this team. They can participate when they can. I like Luke Cage, but Bendis has tried his best to make me not like him. I think Bendis should try a Iron Fist/Luke Cage book, if Bru and Fraction can't bother with Immortal Iron Fist. It seems he'd be a lot more succesful with that.

I say that because he has little grasp on Marvel magic, other than to take established magic users out for a new threat. This book is a Hood appearance from getting dropped, but I'll stick with this arc at least because of Immoen's great art. Expressive, cartoony but realistic, it's pure comic book art. Unforunately, it's being used on Luke Cage high fiveing everyone.

Oh and I thought the thunderclap was odd because I never seen it before. I suppose he could do it tho, I just don't think he should.

Story 4
Art 9
Overall 6.5

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Review by Tapir Man

This was by far the worst of the 3 Avengers relaunches and for a new first issue is an almost inexcusably bad comic. If readers weren't fooled into reading it for the writer or some of the characters, a book this bad would be headed for cancellation tout suite if it didn't improve quickly. That being said, this is the worst line-up of any team I have ever seen anywhere-- consisting of Luke Cage (Bendis has killed any fondness I had for Cage), Wolverine & Spider-man (who he puts on all his teams but almost never justifies their presence in his stories), his ineffectually-portrayed Iron Fist, Ms Marvel (who Bendis has turned into an absolutely unlikeable character who spends most of her time thinking of herself instead of others), The Thing (not sure I can handle a Bendisized Benjamin J Grimm), and...um...that chick who holds the baby, I guess. Well, there is also Hawkeye, and of course fan-favorite breakout new character Victoria Hand. No no, that was actually sarcasm, who the hell wanted more Hand, an utterly useless character whose big moment was being molecularly stripped naked by the Molecule Man?

I remember back early on in Bendis' old New Avengers when Luke Cage displayed his idea of what heroes do for the rest of the team, which was to fly quinjets to Detroit, get out, and stand there giving people the stink-eye. Cage's new team of Avengers don't even do anything half as exciting as that. After hashing out the details with Steve Rogers and inheriting the latest iteration of the Avengers Mansion, Luke Cage learns why Steve Rogers is the brilliant tactician when Steve sends Hand around with a note and a gun to wave around at the chick who holds the baby. Luke is so damn mad he grows a mutant power or something, then a possessed Dr Strange & Son of Satan ruin an old Bendis stand-by, the dinner scene.

If I hadn't seen what Immonen could do in books like NEXTWAVE, I'd think people were crazy for being excited to see him on this book. This isn't great, many of the faces are lousy and too many of the backgrounds are lazy. There isn't a single page you can point to as an example of what Immonen is capable of, although the final page with The Thing ogling Luke Cage's rapidly-growing dick is pretty hilarious in a so bad you can't believe it way.

Speaking of oral, as far as the Oral History of the Avengers pages, I'm convinced no one, but no one, reads that crap.

Based on this issue, there is little likelihood I will buy this series and am seriously reconsidering my decision to give Bendis' other Avengers series a chance. This ain't money well spent.

3


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Review by Klown

I haven't been an Avengers fan in a long time. To me, the direction of the franchise and the Marvel U as a whole the last few years has been an exercise in bullshit faux-realism, like a Julliard-trained rapper "keeping it real" in his latest ghetto-booty video. Joe Q wanted to Ultimatize the 616 but not in the natural way the original Ultimate Universe progressed. The 616 became a world of post-9/11 sensibilities with pre-90s logic.

But, I think he and Bendis finally have it right. The Heroic Age has been a joy to read so far, and nothing has surprised me more about it than New Avengers. How the hell did I just enjoy a comic with Luke Cage, Doctor Strange, Doctor Voodoo, Hawkeye, and a goth-looking bitch? It's nothing groundbreaking, and yes, Immonen's art might be wasted on this title, but there's enough of a spark and a feeling of independence and redemption to make me realize that this is what the Avengers should "feel" like after all these years.

Writing: 6.5/10
Art: 8/10

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Review by Mr_Batman

This was a boring issue IMO. It was kind of a pain to read this as it really did nothing for me. The thunder clap was kind of cool (but maybe unnecessary), and the line up doesn't excite me. I hope that Clint's not actually on this team. I don't understand Bendis's Marvel magic here and that just confused me further. Maybe it's because I haven't read that many New Avengers issues since Civil War. I was turned off by the part with the Thing as it just seemed lazy and a way to justify any characters who are on more than one team (It's not even a creative way, just a way I've always assumed in comics). I wouldn't say it was absolutely horrible, just dull and tedious.

The art was fantastic. I really like his style and it would fit well on most comics. Too bad it was wasted on this boring issue. There really isn't much to say as the art speaks for itself. Good stuff.

Story: 4
Art: 8.5
Overall:6.5 (Bumped up just because I feel like it)

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Review by Amoebas

The art is SOOOOOO much better than what Romita did in the other book (except for Bens jaw - looks way weird).

Jessica wants Hand dead for pointing a gun at her & the kid, but says nothing when her husband shock wave nearly knocks them over.

Bendis is bad enough but even more Wolverine? gag!

All the talking with Hand flat out bored me.

And why would anyone form an Avengers team with only 1 flyer and just 2 capable of ranged attacks?

Art - 7
Story - 2
Overall - 4.5

EDIT: I forgot about those idiotic interviews at the end -

Story - 1
Overall - 4

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Review by Eli Katz

One of the most entertaining magic stories ever told is the Disney adaptation of T.H. White's classic, THE SWORD IN THE STONE. The climactic scene between Merlin and Madam Mim, where they engage in a wizards duel, is both suspenseful and amusing. The rules of the duel are simple: they must try to defeat each other by transforming into non-imaginary animals. Mim breaks the rules several times, most notably by turning herself into a dragon. Merlin, however, is able to defeat Mim anyway, by transforming into a germ and making her dragon deathly ill. What's great about this scene is that it imposes clear limits on the characters' magical abilities. The wizards can turn into animals, but can do little else. There are no super spells, no powerful zaps and blasts, no conjuring up invincible spirits. In short, no deus ex machina gimmicks are relied upon. Magic in this story is depicted as a tool rather than as an arbitrary power; the wizards must use their magic cleverly and strategically to succeed. They cannot simply use neat, new powerful spells to get themselves out of trouble.

I bring this up because Bendis has never imposed or followed any such rules when telling magic-based stories. I stopped reading the first volume of NEW AVENGERS, in part because the depiction of Dr. Strange and his powers made no sense. The good doctor could create awesomely complex illusions and transport the team willy-nilly around the world, but he could not stop a plane from crashing. Why? Who knows? Bendis never explained such gaps in the doctor's powers. He was too busy writing pointlessly long conversations between angry teammates to concentrate on the logic of the story itself.

From reading the opening issue of the rebooted NEW AVENGERS, it appears that Bendis will be telling yet another magic story without any logical consistency. This time Dr. Strange is quickly possessed by an unknown evil spirit and transformed into a bad guy. There's a bright mystical light show that accompanies this scene, but I'm not sure what the flashy lights do. I guess they make the book more visually exciting. Why is Dr. Strange so easily possessed? Who knows? Probably because Bendis thinks it's cool to make a good guy bad for a little while. It's an old Marvel cliche, heroes fighting heroes. But after CIVIL WAR and SECRET INVASION, I thought this new heroic age was going to avoid this formula for the foreseeable future. Silly me.

Bendis also gives Luke Cage mystical powers at the end of this first issue. Why? Who knows? Probably because Bendis thinks it'll be cool to see Marvel's biggest badass go all mystical for a story or two. But while this move may be fun and will undoubtedly provide a few eye-popping action scenes, it's unlikely to give the magical side of the Marvel Universe some much-needed definition. If powerful sorcerers are suddenly possessed and if street-level fighters are suddenly magical, then just about anything can happen in this book. For me, that kills the suspense before it even gets started. If the danger comes out of nowhere and if the plot twists come out of nowhere, then I figure the resolution will come out of nowhere, too. To paraphrase a fellow Outhouser, "It's magic, bitch; live with it."

Admittedly, it's still too early to dismiss the NEW AVENGERS completely. Bendis could still pen a story that's logically consistent. But I have this sinking feeling that he will be using magic here as he has before: as a device to complicate and resolve the plot at whim.

On a brighter note, Immonen does an awesome job on the art. He is able to fit a large cast of characters into every panel, without making scenes look crowded or awkward. He's an amazing illustrator, and I'm glad to see him on a major Marvel project. Too bad he's not on a more promising book.

STORY: 5
ART 8.5
OVERALL: 6.75

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Review by doombug

It's no secret I was big on New Avengers, I Started reading the book with issue #3. I've loved the evolution of the team from being front and center in the media to then having to go underground against Tony Stark and the registration act, to fighting the hood and having Clint Barton step up and become leader again. All in all it's been a great series so far.

So with this new #1 I was a little nervous, I loved the preview, reading it last week and reading through this thread my hopes got just a little bit dashed. So when I finally got to sit down and read the issue myself I came to one conclusion....this group is insane. Laughing

What I read was a fun first issue that had plenty of strong character moments and some interesting set up to a problem that's been boiling since right before a new sorcerer supreme was named. This has been set up so far in advance that casual and new readers wouldn't have caught on to how far in advance it's been set up. (Hellstrom gave a cryptic warning that something big was coming at least a year and a half ago in New Avengers.)

Anyways we get Luke Cage being stubborn which leads to a revelation that Avengers mansion has been rebuilt and the fact that Steve Rogers wants this Avengers team to still be alive and well. It also looks like Luke will be the team leader which is odd as he's also leading the Thunderbolts which I am sure will be referenced down the line as things change for both teams.

It looks like for at least the first arc we are dealing with the biggest roster yet ranging almost 10-11 members depending on how long certain players stay possessed. (It's obvious to me that Doctor Voodoo will be staying on the team. Though Strange is in the preview art as well so I guess we'll see)

I enjoy the character interractions just as much as the other two books that Ed and Brian have already launched and it's always great to see guys like Danny and even strong female leads like Carol and Jessica getting plenty of limelight.

Also things will get really interesting as Luke is now seemingly possessed and Victoria Hand is the new Liaison for the team.

Verdict

Story: 8.5
Art: 10
Back up: 10
Final Score: 9

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Review by Jude Terror

Masterpiece. Triumph. Tour de force. These are the kind of words that spring to mind when considering The Great One's seven year run on various Avengers books. The architect of the dark age of Marvel, and the creator of the Heroic Age has been absolutely on fire, and as He has just wrapped up one of the most epic, long-running storylines in Marvel history with Siege, the conclusion to the story that began in Avengers Disassembled, readers everywhere have been anticipating the start of another defining era. Well, everywhere except the internet, where nitpicking haterz congregate to spew pathetic, jealousy-fueled venom from the anonymous comfort of their parents' basements.

Haterz, for instance, complain about The Great One's use of Marvel Magic in this issue. For some reason, despite Marvel Magic following the same rules it has since its inception (make up crazy, magical sounding names for spells and objects and ascribe whatever powers desired to it), haterz are claiming that His use of magic in this issue defies the laws of logic. By the hoary hosts of STFU, you people are fucking ridiculous. I mean, it's certainly no "saying words backwards", but the magic here functions as it always has and as magic should. If anything, The Great One's addition of captions describing the spells and what arcane text they come from adds more legitimacy to this, an adolescent fantasy about super-powered beings beating each other up.

The fact is, haterz just refuse to admit that The Great One has pulled off another home run, and that this is a fantastic first issue. We see some heroic age goodness, the interaction between the various Marvel Universe characters and the newly resurrected Steve Rogers and newly redeemed Tony Stark, which people have been clamoring for since they realized the end of the dark age was in sight. We also have the beginnings of a unique and interesting storyline, with a yet to be revealed big bad villain, and a cast featuring some of the most interesting characters of the magical corner of the Marvel Universe. The contagious possession happening in this book is intriguing and the interaction between the possessed and their future victims when the realization occurs that these are not the people they seem to be is ominous and chilling.

A mystery has been set up that I want to know the answer to, a sense of danger to the Marvel Universe has been established, and our protagonists have been left on the verge of an attack. What more could anyone ask for in a first issue?

Well, if you're a hater, you're probably wondering about the following:

On page 1, Dr. Strange is wearing a brown trenchcoat. Where did he get this? Is it tailored or off the rack? Can he show us a reciept?

On page 6, Iron Fist pulls a dollar our of his spandex suit to give to Luke Cage, who doesn't have any money. But Cage's costume is blue jeans and a t-shirt. Where does Iron Fist keep a dollar on a spandex suit? Is tucked underneath his balls? Does Luke's hand smell like liverwurst now? What is Luke spending money on that he doesn't have a dollar?

On page 8, Doctor Voodoo's Sanctum Sanctorum is littered with candles, with Voodoo floating above them, meditating. Isn't his ass getting hot? Furthermore, where did these candles come from? Did he get them at the dollar store? Yankee Candle? At the very least, an in-story explanation should have been provided for this. "What are you doing, Jericho?" "I'm trying to meditate, Daniel." "Where did you get those nice candles?" "I stopped by Bath and Body works last week for their semi-annual sale."

On page 10, Danny Rand is shown in one panel to be wearing a flat blue shirt, but in the next panel, the shirt has a pattern. Did he change between panels? WTF Bendis?!

On page 13, Victoria Hand hands Luke Cage a handwrittten note from Steve Rogers. Steve grew up in the 30s, and as a result, was almost certain to have been trained in handwriting in school. Before everyone typed everything on the internet, handwriting was very important, and I refuse to believe that Steve's handwriting would be so sloppy. Furthermore, on page 14, the letter appears to be two pages as Luke holds it in his hand, while the full text of the letter is clearly contained on only one page. What is on the second page? Is it a dirty drawing of Spider-Woman? I hope so.

Later on that same page, Luke Cage performs a thunderclap move, sending Hand flying back through the hallway of the Avengers mansion. Though she is clearly moving very fast, as evidenced by the motion lines and the motion of the leaves of a plant as she flies past, the chandeliers on the ceiling do not move at all. This is highly improbable.

On page 15, there is an add for UFC action figures with the tagline "as real as it gets." This is a lie, as these toys are made out of plastic, and you can clearly see the plastic joints at te various articulation points. That's not very real at all.

On page sixteen, Hand is shown to have had one of her shoes blown off by the thunderclap, but in the next panel, she is leaving the mansion with both shoes on. What the hell?! We never saw her put the shoe back on! Lazy writing!

On page twenty, Victoria hand is drinking a cup of coffee. It's bad enough that no one has explained whether this is regular or decaf, but after a conversation with Luke Cage and Wolverine, on on the next page, Hand gets up to leave with the pair without finishing her drink, or paying the check. Are we simply to assume these things occur off panel?! I find that hard to believe.

The following two-page spread shows the New Avengers eating around a table. Spider-Man and Hawkeye are sitting next to each other, and each has his own plate and glass, but mysteriously, in between the two is an extra glass. The Avengers mansion staff has always been shown to be very competent, and I refuse to believe that they would set an unneeded glass at the table. This should have been addressed.

Finally, on page 24, Luke Cage drops the Eye of Agamotto, but on the final page, page 27, Cage is shown holding the item again. An important act like picking up the item he dropped should have been drawn on panel, IMO.

The next page, an I Am an Avenger promo page, shows a bunch of characters I have never seen before. I don't think these people are really Avengers.

The end of the book features backup material titled "The Oral History of the Avengers." But it's clearly written down, making it a written history. Another Bendis contradiction.

Haterz: get the fuck over it.

Score: 10

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Review by 48THRiLLS

This was a very mixed bag for me, I will first off say that this is definitely a book for people who enjoyed the current New Avengers run by Bendis. I was sorta hoping that there would be more of a roster shake up but aside from the Thing (which I absolutely love) being added it is pretty much the same cast. I loved the back and forth between Tony, Steve, and Luke... selling the 'newly remodeled' Avengers mansion was fun and I loved the line by Steve 'who do you want? you can't have Thor or Iron Man'' and Wolverine saying 'Hey, I'm an X-man and on TWO Avengers teams... Multitasking. it is my mutant power' I thought was funny also... but I enjoy the Bendis speak so whatev's. My 2 quibbles with this issue are: why did this need to be a new number one? And I am just not that into the Marvel magic stuff, I absolutely love Dr. Strange and having him on the Avengers in the past was something I enjoyed but Daimon Hellstrom and Brother Vooodoo are 2 characters I could do without... so when this issue ends with Luke Cage picking up the Eye of Agamotto and having 2 possessed sorcerers after the new team I was a little let down but not enough to be disappointed... I am just over the whole magic stuff I guess. Stuart Immonen is a big draw for me on this book, I am super glad that he is still on an Avengers book and he does not disappoint here, I just love how he draws everyone and everything and I think this stuff is better than his Nextwave pencils but that is just me.

STORY - 7
ART - 10
OVERALL - 8

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Review by Punchy

Story - Even as a big fan of Bendis' Avengers, I must admit I was kind of confused about the point behind this series. I mean, Bendis was already writing one heroic Avengers book, and the line-up of this book was pretty much exactly the same as Avengers. Why do we need New as well? When Bendis wrote Mighty and New together, it made sense to have 2 books, the same for New and Dark. But this... it seemed kind of arbitrary, an excuse to have Bendis write all his favourites.

And it appears that that's just what New Avengers volume 2 is. But on the basis of this issue, I don't really mind. This was an immensely enjoyable first issue, with many great character moments and humour. Maybe this book doesn't have a point, but what actually does in this life? As long as you enjoy it, it doesn't matter if it's pointless.

The main reason for this team seems to be that Luke Cage is unwilling to do take orders, and therefore Steve Rogers and Tony Stark let him pick his own team and move into Avengers Mansion. This may sound silly and petty of Cage, but it makes sense, his anti-authoritarian streak has been a huge driving force in New Avengers since #22, and if it just went away now, it wouldn't make sense. We also get some levity from Tony Stark's give me a dollar bit, and even Steve Rogers gets a joke in (you can't have Iron Man or Thor).

So Luke picks his bestest buddies, and they go to the Mansion, but hold on a minute! Victoria Bloody Hand is there! She worked for Osborn! Kill her! But of course, anyone who read Dark Avengers knows that Hand isn't all bad, and as such, she becomes the SHIELD liaison between the NA and Steve Rogers. I really like Hand as a character, and I'm glad to see she hasn't disappeared with the fall of Norman.

The main addition to the team in this issue (everyone else is basically the same as in the last issue of the previous volume, although Iron Fist is back and Spider-Woman is gone) is the Thing. That's right, the ever lovin' etc Thing. It's always weird seeing members of the FF outside of that group, but I think of anyone, Ben Grimm works the best, he couldn't have helmed a team-up book for so long if he didn't. I look forward to seeing what Ben contributes to the team.

The magical nature of the villain has proved troublesome for some, but I don't really mind, Bendis has handled magic very well throughout his run, and I'm of the opinion that if you try and explain it, it's not magic anymore. The nature of magic is that random shit happens, get over it, and accept that strange demons are possessing Hellstrom and Strange. Lie back and think of England.

Overall, this was a really fun start to this new volume, the main Avengers book may be all about the Earth-shattering threats, but this book seems to be about a group of heroes hanging out and having fun as well as the Earth-shattering, and it's the kind of book I can get behind. Maybe it didn't need a new #1, maybe it doesn't need to exist at all, but hey, comics don't need to exist, and we still love 'em. If you're a fan what Bendis did in 64 previous issues of New Avengers, this is the same book, but with a fresh lick of paint, get in there!

Art - I think Stuart Immonen may be one of my favourite comics artists of all time, he's just bloody amazing, he draws everything perfectly, he's flawless. When I close my eyes and think of Marvel Comics, I see his art. Just the best.

Best Line
- 'Multitasking. It's my mutant power. Don't tell anybody'

8/10

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Review by Dragavon

I am a Bendis fan. I have almost every single Bendis comic published at Marvel (with the exception of Alias). I bought and loved Avengers Disassembled, Daredevil, Dark Avengers, Elektra, House of M, Mighty Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Invasion, Secret War, Secret Warriors, Siege & Spider-Woman. So when I tell you I don't see the point of this title, you will understand.

While Avengers had the benefit of minimizing the Bendis-speak that annoys everybody else, this seemed to go in the complete opposite direction. I read more short lines and corrected sentences in any comic that Bendis has ever written. And for the first time ever, it started to annoy me. That coupled with 5 pages of action out of a 22 page comic made me consider why I would want to continue with this comic. Then there's the matter of the characters. Luke Cage who basically spends the entire comic whining about one thing or another. Victoria Hand who should have been arrested and disposed off. Hawkeye in a third Avengers title this month. Mockingbird. Rolling Eyes And was Ben Grimm brought in because Bendis wanted a jewish character to be his Mary-Sue? What is this line-up, The Defenders? And after reducing Dr. Strange to has-been and trying to elevate Brother Voodoo, he's now doing a similar hatchet job on Voodoo?

This is Bendis taking every criticism targeted at him and trying to live down to those comments.

Thankfully, Immonen takes every shortcoming in the story and makes up for it with absolutely gorgeous art with the help of Von Grawbadger & Martin. I read this like I read a Loeb comic, ignoring the speech balloons and look at the beautiful art and it read much more elegantly.

If you want to read this comic, get some white-out and apply it to all the words. Trust me, it will improve your reading experience.

Writing 2
Art 10
Total 6

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Review by starlord

I didn't think this was any worse than anything else Mr. Bendis has ever written. For those who are shocked, I have to ask... why? Sure this isn't a dense read like S.H.I.E.L.D. or something S.H.I.E.L.D. like, but he never was. I've always said BM is as easy to read as Dr. Suess. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing, either.

My issue here is where the story is going. Although it was great to see Brother Voodoo who really deserves much more see time in the Marvel Universe, I don't get why these particular Avengers are going to deal with these big bad supers and not a more street level threat which seems to me a bit more logical. Not sure what I think of Thing as an Avenger, but I'm dissapointed in it either. Spidey, Iron Fist and Ben Grimm together could be a lot of fun.

The art is nothing more than fantastic! Wasn't a bad panel in the bunch. And I did chuckle out loud when Steve told Luke to pick whoever he wanted but not Iron Man or Thor.

Story: 4
Art: 9
My Score: 5
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That gives New New Avengers #1 a group score of 6.11. Great One? More like Great Satan.

For more crazy than you can shake a stick at along just a glimpse of thefourthman's utter disdain for Avengers lore, 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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thefourthman has the pick for next week and he has selected Bullet to the Head #1 published by Dynamite Entertainment. Look for the new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning.

0623-bullettothehead_cover.jpgBullet to the Head #1

Writer: MATZ
Penciller/Inker: COLIN WILSON

A crime saga in comic book form as the story centers around buddy crooks, buddy cops, femme fatales and one unlikely official in the middle - with a target on his head! Dynamite proudly presents its first-ever crim noir series! Featuring art by Colin Wilson (Ed Brubaker's Point Blank)!

Our friends at Nix Comics are sponsoring The Outhouse this week. Show them you appreciate it by checking out their comics. One dollar from every Nix Comics sold this month will go to Kirby-4-Heroes.

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