AVENGERS BY BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS VOL. 2 (Marvel, 2011; Hardcover)
Collects Avengers Nos. 7-12, 12.1(cover dates January-June, 2011)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: John Romita, Jr. (penciler) and Klaus Janson (inker) and Bryan Hitch (issue 12.1 only).
Brian Michael Bendis' “witty” banter, like that pictured below, is why I loathe the man's writing, at least in terms of dialogue. Crap like that does nothing to serve the story, does nothing in terms of character development, and does nothing in the form of comic relief. It's snark.
There is tons of all-out action here, which is better than the all-out conversations over breakfast that Bendis usually has the Avengers doing. John Romita Jr.'s artwork is not up to his usual greatness here, seeming almost rushed. The blame could lay with Klaus Janson, the inker who seems to be attached to Romita at the hip. Any way you slice it, below average Romita is still worlds better than most artists.
This arc deals with The Hood's quest to acquire the Infinity Gems. By and large it felt more like a Red Hulk book guest-starring The Avengers, since the emphasis is on the Red Hulk. I guess that the Red Hulk is (spoilers!) General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, who by some act of stupidity became the Red Hulk. (Edit- END SPOILERS. Read on, Ferjo.)
Issue 12.1 was the Free Comic Book Day 2011 issue, and I enjoyed it quite a bit, then and now. It's a huge Ultron set up, and since Ultron frickin' rocks, I can't wait to see it. Busiek did the ultimate Ultron battle royale back in the Ultron Unlimited arc (Avengers Nos. 19-22 from 1999). That is the yardstick by which all Ultron epics are measured as far as I'm concerned. So yes, I enjoyed this book to a point, even if Bendis' “witty” banter stabs my brain and rapes my intelligence.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 2.75 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Typical Marvel Premiere Edition Hardcover, with the same production values, advantages and shortcomings that the format has to offer.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Nice thick coated stock, perfect for this material.
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.
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