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Review Group: Avengers #10

Written by John Martin on Sunday, March 27 2011 and posted in Reviews

Recap for Review Group Week 263!  Avengers #10 by Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita, Jr. as selected by Jude Terror.

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.

Not everyone in the Review Group appreciate's The Great One.  Don't blame them for their low scores, they know not what they do.

263_avengers10Review by AMS

I've always been a fan of Bendis on the Avengers. I think his plotting is very interesting and he has had some great ideas. That said one of the issues I"ve always had is his ability to juggle the cast in these team books. While moving the story forward it seemed like he lost a bit of the characterization for the characters, and as a result they don't seem important to the team dynamic. I think since the relaunch of this title though that he has really improved in that regards. In this issue we get to see some great moments from pretty much every character on panel. Spidey and Noh Varr discussing how jokes work, Wolverine and Charles bantering back and forth, Steve and Iron Man discussing the moral implications of the illuminati. All of it was really well handled in my opinion.

The story itself moved forward at an appropriate rate. No big surprises here right now, they are collecting the infinity gems. The star of the issue is the dialouge and characterization. They do tease what will hopefully be a stellar fight at the end though.

The art in this is a mixed bag. Romita Jr. may be my favorite artist of all time, but his superhero work ever since WWH has not been his best. The art here is servicable and still better than a lot of the other crap we see, but not up to his usual standards. Compare the art in this book to Kick Ass 2 and you will see he is capable of much better.

My score


Review by Zero

There's a scene on a quinjet that sums up this comic pretty well. Fairly unfunny banter between too many characters drawn poorly on the way to fight a fairly unthreatening threat. Bendis is capable of writing some fantastic comics, and even some not-terrible Avengers comics but this was not one of them. Too many characters feature here for any of them to get a strong presence on the page and the only one of them with a distinct voice was Namor, whose opening narration featured some very clumsy hyperbole and a baffling plot choice. If no-one would think to look there, why bother taking the gem away? Oh and did Romita's art live up to his own standard?

No, Romita really brought the fug on some of these pages.
The big danger room spread: fug.
Three characters underwater: fug.
The Hood: fug.
Awkward banter: fug and unfunny.

No-one involved in this comic is a bad creator, but somehow together they are far less than the sum of their parts. That said, the bits with Falcon, Black Widow and Moon Knight? They were great. If only they weren't part of a different comic. One with maybe a scrap of merit.


Review by Sweet James Jones

I've liked this series overall, but this entire issue was a hurried, rushed mess on all parts. It appears the even The Great One can miss the mark at times.

Art looked inconsistent throughout the book with fluctuating quality, the story just jumped from one scene to the next so jarringly that following it was pretty frantic...overall it just seemed like filler to help bring the 3 other Infinity Gems into play after 4 issues of (pretty good) build-up.

As much as I hate to give it a mark this low given how much I liked the other parts of this story, this is by far one of the weakest books I've read from Bendis ever.


Review by Agent Panic

How is the Hood so easily to gather the Infinity Gems when the Illuminati is significantly smarter with much more resources at their disposal? Didn't the Living Tribunal make it so that the gems do not work when they are in the same vicinity after the Infinity Gauntlet storyline? I'm kind of tired of The Hood being pushed as this bad-ass villain and I'm still HATING the Romita art in this book.

And Professor X putting his Infinity Gem in the Danger Room, knowing how many times the mansion has been destroyed? Riiight.

This book just rubbed me the wrong way. It certainly isn't the Avengers to me.

I'd give this book a 2 out of 10. Just ugh.

Review by guitarsmashley

Another entry into the Avengers comics suck category. I as someone who has previously liked JrJr thinks he's awful on this book. There are too many females on the team or background and they all look hideous and anonymous. The dialogue about mommy and daddy fighting was dumb and childish and didn't really add to the story at all. This whole story of which I've read just this issue is bad and really paints the illuminati as just total morons and the hood, well I still don't know/understand who the fuck he is. I don't care either. Because really in the end the hood is either going to get them all or get all but one and by defeated by I don't know...he trips over a rock and they all fall out of his.


Review by Eli Katz

I have a number of problems with AVENGERS #10. No, it has nothing to do with the gaps in logic and continuity problems. Because I don't follow the Marvel Universe, I would never pick up on these kinds of flaws. My problems with the book, rather, have to do with the whole storytelling approach.

First, the opening scene with Rulk, Namor, and Thor deep-sea swimming is unnecessarily long. How many pages does it take to convey the really simple point that they are going to the very depths? Certainly it doesn't take three wordless pages devoid of background detail. This is a terrific waste of space that simply decompresses the story and reduces the art duties.

Second, the dialogue is stilted. Bendis, in this issue, is a caricature of himself, filling panel after panel with silly, staccato conversations. The brief exchange between Ant-Man and Iron Fist exemplifies this point:

Ant-Man: Hey

Iron Fist : Hey

Ant-Man: I'm Ant-Man

Iron-Fist: I know that.

Ant-Man: You're Iron Fist.

Iron-Man: I know that, too.

Huh? Bendis has said that he is a big fan of David Mamet -- the playwright and screenwriter famous for his rapid, often-choppy dialogue. But this exchange goes beyond Mamet-speak and resembles, instead, the inane, socially awkward conversations of twelve-year-old boys. These are superheroes for God's sake -- men with tremendous power and intelligence, men who have faced death countless times, men who have saved the world on a regular basis. They should demonstrate more personality and confidence than what Bendis is giving them here.

Finally, the art by Romita, Jr. is weak. The backgrounds are lacking, the fight scenes are cluttered, and the women in this book look like they have all been beaten repeatedly with an ugly stick.

Everything about this book is a disappointment. An issue like this reminds me why I don't read superhero comics anymore.

ART: 4

Review by Doombug

I didn't hate the issue but I didn't love it either. In full disclosure I sadly have been out of touch with the book since issue #4, got backed up at the comic shop and haven't been able to keep up on much new material. Anyways, the interaction between some of the characters is fun. Especially Hawkeye and Mockingbird.

My main problem stems from bendis heavy use of Parker Robbins (who we haven't seen fully in character since Beyond!) and JR jr's current style for some of the characters. For the supposed top tier book at Marvel, I really don't think it's living up to what it could.

Tony's voice is correct but Noh-varr suffers and the over all plot of judging some of the illuminati members feels extremely forced. I find it weird that Strange gets a pass but Tony/Xavier do not.

All in all, it's a very average book at the moment and an average book gets a 7 from me.

Review by Victorian Squid

Well, hell, garbage in/garbage out.

Avengers #10

...is a poorly-edited and written overly-decompressed joke on the readers who think this is worth $4 a month. :smt011

Also, no more leeway for JRJR. Shitty art is shitty art, period. And is The Hood a fucking jawa or what?


Review by Stephen Day

I normally like Bendis' work, he's not my favourite writer, but he's far from the worst and is worthy of neither of the high levels of praise nor the high level of scorn that he receives. Having said that, this issue is far from his best work. Its padded even past what he usually does, to the point that I found it a little on the dull side. The story overall was still enough to hold my interest, but this was a very average issue.

5 out of 10

Review by starlord

You know why I'm still reading this book? The same reason I read all of Devin Grayson's run on Nightwing. It's like the most horrific car crash that you just can't take your eyes off of. I honestly can never figure out which is worse, the writing or the art. This is THE worst book Marvel has and the fact that it is ranked so high in sales is possibly why the quality of comics has dropped.

Story: 1
Art: 0
My Score: 1

Review by Royal Nonesuch

I thought this was a pretty middle-of-the-road comic. I liked the underwater and Danger Room set pieces, and it was one of JRJr.'s better efforts recently. Tony Stark's little monologue about why he and the Illuminati do what they do was pretty good too. It wasn't terribly exciting, since it was really just a survey of what the various Avengers teams are up to today. It was neither horrible nor that great.


Review by Punchy

Story - I guess it's time for me to accept it. I am in the minority when it comes to Bendis' Avengers. Even though I love it, it seems that most people hate it. Now either I'm crazy, or everyone else is. Which is more likely?

Yeah, that's right, everyone else is fuckin' bat-shit. This issue was a fine old time. It was a story in the spirit of the Avengers' rich history, but also very much Bendis' own modern take on them. It utilised classic Marvel Universe paraphernalia, but in an actually new way, and was perhaps the best expression for why Bendis took over and relaunched the Avengers in the first place.

That reason? It was Mark Millar, you see, back when he was a wee Bairn growing up in a deep-fried Scottish council estate, instead of buying copies of Action Comics and Detective Comics, he, instead bought Justice League, because it featured all the superheroes, and was better value for money. This may be a typically Scottish sentiment, but it was the reasoning as to why New Avengers featured big hitters like Spider-Man and Wolverine, and why this issue of Avengers features absolutely everyone.

I take a very childlike pleasure in seeing all these heroes together, you've got all 3 Avengers teams present, plus some assorted Illuminati dudes, and even Red Hulk. This kind of gathering normally constitutes some epic crossover, but it's happening just in a regular issue of Avengers, and it's a lot of fun to see Secret, New and plain old Avengers rub shoulders. It reminds me of Grant Morrison's run on JLA, in that every story arc was like a massive event, and touched on different parts of the DCU.

And boy does this issue touch on some parts of the Marvel Universe! But not in a that way. The Infinity Gems are one of those great ideas which are all too often over-complicated and too tied up in the baggage of past stories. Bendis is using the Gems, but without all that excess gubbins, no Thanos (as cool as he can be), no Infinity Watch, just scary shit of unimaginable power, and a new threat intent on using them. Having the Hood go after these Gems rather than one of the Usual Suspects adds a fresh edge to them, and is something that is typically Bendis.

And yes, this issue is typically Bendis, it has all those individual stylistic tics that you either love or loathe, in particular a couple of those rambling back-and-forth discussions which are so contentious. I of course love them, particularly Ant-Man bugging the hell out of Iron Fist, which was perfectly in character. I know some people hate these, but hey, I love em.

Even with that, Bendis does step outside of his comfort zone a little, with a largely dialogue free sequence with Namor, Thor and Red Hulk in the deep of the Ocean.

In the end, I really enjoyed this issue, just like I have pretty much every issue of Bendis' Avengers since he started way back in 2005. It just hits my groove. I don't feel the need to nit-pick it, I don't feel the need to take it too seriously. This is widescreen superhero comics, this is JLU, this is Morrison's JLA, this is the entire Marvel Universe in just one book, this is the ideal book for any tight-fisted Scotsman.

In short, you are crazy.

Art - JRjr is experiencing a kind of critical backlash at the moment, which I suppose is only fair, he'd been working consistently for like 30 years before he started to get shit, Hickman and Spencer only managed 30 minutes! I still love JRjr, he's perfect for a book which encompasses the whole MU, seeing as he's drawn every part of it separately in his career. This book is like a greatest hits, reminding you of how good JRjr's Spider-Man was, how good his Iron Man was, how good his Wolverine was, how good his Thor was. I personally didn't see anything particularly different in this issue than how he worked 'back when he was good', he's the same. Although his Cat Beast does look freaking weird.

Best Line - I liked this particular little exchange 'I'm on the Covert Ops Avengers team' ... 'You probably shouldn't be telling people that'


Plus, this issue had a free copy of Heroes For Hire #1 in it, how is that not a good thing?

Review by Always Right

I read this now. It's good, but at the same time, it's missing an awful lot. It's like Bendis has been put on this book with all these top selling characters, and as such he can't really do much anymore. It's not as good as his early stuff.

6.5 out of 10. The dialogue saves it.

Review by GHERU

As some one who generally likes Bendis, this book was pretty darn boring. All it seemed to do was reiterate how ineffective the Illuminati have been....again. having not read any of the other reviews yet, I will venture to guess that some people who did not like this issue will point to the Ant-Man / Iron Fist and/or Spider-Man / Marvel-Boy (whatever) conversations as low points. To this I respond, they were the only parts of the book I liked, going so far as to laugh out loud at Marvel-Boy.

Beyond that, Avengers #10 was a build up to a let down that barely took 10 minutes to read.

10 minutes of dull story with shitty art.

Story - 5
Art - 1
Overall - 3

Review by Jude Terror

The Great One Brian Bendis has been turning marvel's tin cans into gold for ten years, and he's still doing it with this issue. Winning. All the trolls and losers trying to judge him are just jealous. His writing functions on a different level, one that is not a part of this terrestrial realm. Vatican assasin editors may have tried to take money away from Bendis's family by mixing up the infinity gem colors, but Bendis uses tiger blood instead of ink on his scripts. Um, yeah. Winning. He's like a rock star from Mars. So sorry, Haim Brevoort, you can't turn Bendis's awesome infinity gems story into your selfish personal exit strategy. Oh no, there's snappy dialog in the house, we're all gonna die! Haters are picking a fight with a warlock here, and anyone who rated this comic below a 9 can apologize, publicly, while licking The Great One's feet. Bendis's Avengers run is epic, man. The run he's had makes Busiek, Thomas, Stern, and Lee look like droopy-eyed armless children. Yeah, The Great One is on a drug, it's called Brian Bendis. It's not available, because if you take it, you'll die. Your children will weep over your exploded body.

Art: 0
Story: 20
Overall: 10

Review by Frank Einstein

I was going to do a review in Great One speak, but I broke character mid-thread so fuck it. I'll do nonsense rambly instead.

So they're sticking with the whole 'The Protector' name for Marvel Boy, eh? Dumb... geez, the whole recap page is full of dumb, why do people settle for this crap? Namor, Rulk, fish, blah blah blah... Spider-Woman's "I know, right?" just killed the comic for me... OMG JRjr, are those supposed to be Sentinels? Did Cat-Beast just morph into the Wolfman? Gawddamn Romita, what the hell man? The Iron Fist/Ant-Man scene wouldn't have been as bad if their previous meeting hadn't been pointed out in-thread, it also wouldn't have been as bad if Danny was wearing his real costume and if O'Grady was still in his original IAM suit. Why did Marvel ditch the IAM suit anyway? It was a great costume, stupid Marvel... wow that mom and dad page was tedious... okay, Ben's "Are we there yet?" was a good panel... bwahahahahaha Bendis and all of Marvel editorial don't know the difference between Roswell and Area 51... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: ... seriously, what a bunch of stupid fucks... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: ... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: ... seriously, so dumb...

Image United was so much better than this.

Story: 1
Art: 4 :? :-(
Overall: The Great 1

That gives Avengers #10 a group score of 4.16.  Absurd! Haters of The Great One, the lot of them.

For what McKegan calls "all the geeky, bitchy arguing about comics you'd expect from a comic message board condensed into absolute awesomeness", check out our Avengers thread and post your own review in The News Stand forum.

Written or Contributed by: John Martin

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