AVENGERS BY BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS VOL. 4: A VS. X (Marvel, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Avengers Nos. 25-30 (cover dates June- November, 2012)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Walt Simonson
This was good. I enjoyed a book written by Brian Michael Bendis. That is probably the most difficult sentence that I have ever written for this blog, but if I am quick to condemn the man's failures then I must be equally quick to sing his praises whenever applicable. His dialogue was barely nauseating, the story was tight and logical, action packed, and jammed with great artwork by Walter Simonson. I was never a big fan of Simonson's artwork, but he has actually improved with age. If you have been paying attention, Bendis seems to have lived out every Avengers fantasy he could. He got Neal Adams to draw an issue. Simonson. I suspect that the only living artists that he didn't get to draw on the title that he would have wanted to in order to fulfill his fan fantasies would be John Byrne and George Perez.
The Red Hulk is still totally stupid, ditto the Avengers Vs. X-Men thing, but I enjoyed this nonetheless. I have avoided the crossover and read only these Avengers tie-in issues and have gotten enough of the story through them to not feel lost. I also got enough from these issues to make me feel like I am right in avoiding the whole thing. These issues work as a self-contained story arc and I am surprised to have enjoyed it as much as I did. It figures that Bendis would finally get good now that he's leaving.
Bendis is heading over to the X-Universe next, but the X-Men died to me a while back. I no longer recognized them as characters. It's like watching someone go out with someone that you're over. You wish them well but really don't care any more. I won't be following Bendis or the X-Men. Nothing short of a Claremont/Byrne or Claremont/Romita, Jr. reunion could get me to come back to those characters.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Typical Marvel Premiere Edition Hardcover, with the same production values that the format has to offer.
Paper rating: 4 out of 5. Coated stock with a slight sheen, perfect for modern coloring.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. It's glued, but it's a thin hardcover, so it's no biggie. It's not like it's going to fall apart or anything. I normally lose sleep over books with glued binding, but not with these Premiere Hardcovers.