Saturday, November 17, 2012


Collects New Avengers Nos. 7-13 (cover dates February- June, 2011)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Mike Deodato, Daniel Acuna, Stuart Immonen, and Howard Chaykin (1959 flashback sequences).
One of Marvel's so-called “Architects”, Brian Michael Bendis has been a thorn in my side for the last 8 years. See, The Avengers are “my team”, which means that, much like the two dozen Detroit Lions fans out there, I must follow my team even if they've been losing under “coach” Bendis all of these years. Bendis is no “Architect” at all, merely a smartass drunken fratboy renting out the House of Ideas. 
Issue 7 is a series of conversations, most of which occur around the breakfast table. I love reading idiot message board banter where people criticize you and call you a dinosaur if you don't like the latest flavor. I don't dislike Bendis because he's “now”, I dislike Bendis because his dialogue sucks. Let's pretend for a minute that kids actually give a rat's ass about comic books, and that some kid who watched The Avengers cartoon on Disney XD wanted to read an Avengers comic book. Let's say that said child was lucky enough to live near a comic shop (or bought a digital copy, what have you) and paid his $3.99 for that single issue. He would open it and read it, and not one damn thing happened in it that would excite a kid enough to want to read the next issue. This is a failure on Bendis and Marvel's part. I am a dinosaur in the respect that I believe that every issue could be somebody's first. Issues like this are what I call fanboy* tripe. (*Word used in the original, pejorative definition.) I will admit that the nanny interview segment was kind of funny, but they could have eliminated a good 6 or more pages of table talk and showed some sort of action. Do it for the kids, man!
There's that famous award-winning Bendis dialogue. Swearing while holding an infant. Stay classy, Bendis.
Issues 9-13 are pretty good. Mike Deodato has continually refined his craft over the years and has emerged as one of Marvel's top artists. Things actually happen in these issues, and it prevented me from throwing this book against the wall in disgust after the crapfest that was issue 7. I enjoyed the story, but the 1959 ret-con Avengers were lame. When Hollywood cannot create, they reboot. When comic books writers cannot create, they ret-con. Ret-con is short for retroactive continuity, where a writer inserts events into the past to make something in the present make sense, or eliminate something from the past to make something in the present make sense. So now there was supposedly an Avengers Initiative in place back then. Whatever, Bendis. Godzilla forbid that H.A.M.M.E.R. just discovered some Nazi Super Soldier formula. No, we have to create a lame fake Avengers with Sabretooth, Bloodstone, Dominic Fortune, Kraven the Hunter, Namora, and Silver Sable's father. That last one is reeeeeaally stretching it, Bendis. 
Yup, Mike Deodato rocks.
Bendis is a decent plotter and would likely make a good editor. The problem lies in his “witty” dialogue and decompressed storytelling style. He takes what would be a good 2-3 issue story and stretches it out to 6 or 7 issues. Any sense of urgency that there would have been is rendered impotent by this stop and smell the roses style of scripting. I will say this for him, though: he does know where he's going. He has a series of dots and connects them all flawlessly. Of course, he takes so long to do this that it would be inexcusable to do otherwise.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 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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