As fate would have it, I opened my mailbox today, and what do I find inside? New Avengers #48! How weird is that? I read 5 issues of New Avengers last night to catch up on the series, and today, the newest issue arrives... Creepy. Now, let's see if Mr. Bendis can redeem himself after the Secret Invasion debacle.
Overall- Oh well. I was really and truly optimistic when I tore open the wrapper this comic was contained in. I was hoping for a real shake-up of this team. What do we get in this comic? More of the same. The last issue stated their would be a big roster shake-up. Yeah right... Well, enough griping, on with the review.
This comic opens at the scene of end of the climatic battle in Secret Invasion #8. Bucky whispers to a couple of people, and those people spread the word to a few other people. The next day, Bucky meets with Ronin(HAWKEYE!!!)and Mockingbird, Spider-Man, Wolverine(because if Wolvie wasn't in it, you wouldn't know it was a Marvel Comic...)Iron Fist and Spider-Woman. Bucky tells them that he knows Steve Rogers would want the Avengers to continue, and offers his home as the new headquarters for the Avengers. Iron Fist says thanks, but no thanks, saying he has a whole mess of personal troubles he has to deal with. Before he can leave though, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Ms. Marvel show up. Luke and Jessica tell the rest that Skrull Jarvis took off with their baby, and they needed help finding them.
The group splits up and track down any lead they can, from A.I.M. to Hydra, but come up empty. Finally, the group heads over to the remnants of the Baxter Building to ask Reed Richards for help. Reed uses all of his resources, and the team does manage to turn up one Skrull, who was hiding out with a group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in a bar. The Avengers approach the phony SHIELD agent, and thinking the Avengers were there for a fight, the Skrull attacks them.
The Skrull is ultimately tossed through the wall of the bar to the street and pinned down by Jessica Jones. Jessica tells the Skrull she doesn't care what it does or where it goes, as long as it tells her where Skrull Jarvis and her baby went. The Skrull gets ready to tell her where to go, but before it can, it is shot and killed by an angry SHIELD agent, who resented the fact that it was hiding out with him. Now totally desperate, Luke Cage arranges a secret meeting with Norman Osborn. Norman tells Luke that if he signs up to work with him, he'd do everything he could to help Luke find his daughter. Luke agrees to work with Osborn, and this issue ends.
Hmmm... This is a tough one... On one hand, I kind of liked the story in this comic, even though I don't really like the composition of the team, if that makes any sense. First, let me talk about the good stuff. I like the idea of Bucky/Cap leading a band of Avengers. Lets face it, the Avengers NEED a Captain America. It'll be kind of weird reading someone besides Ed Brubaker write Bucky/Cap's character, but I'll give Bendis the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best. It was nice to see the various different heroes coming together to try to find Luke and Jessica's missing daughter. The story as a whole was well done, and the ending left me wondering what would happen next.
Now for the bad. Does Wolverine have to be on EVERY team in the f###ing Marvel Universe??? Now don't get me wrong, I like Wolvie. But this is getting crazy now! Not only is Wolverine in his own 2 self titled series, he's also in Astonishing and Uncanny X-Men, and he's on the New Avengers, and in this issue, they showed a preview of the cover of Dark Avengers #1, and Wolvie was there too! So, Wolverine has time to do his own thing in 2 titles, work in San Fransisco with the X-Men, and be on 2 Avengers teams based out of New York... That's a little crazy, even for a comic book.
I've also noticed in this issue that Bendis writes Ultimate Spider-Man and mainstream Spidey as the EXACT same characters. They act and speak in the exact same ways. It might seem petty to complain about this, but it really bugs me. Why does mainstream Spidey, who has to be in his mid to late 20's act like 16 year old Spidey? It's a little thing, but still...
I was also kind of pissed that Bendis didn't elaborate on just how the hell Mockingbird was among the living again. Spidey kind of asked her how she was alive again, but the conversation really didn't go anywhere, like most of Spidey's Bendis written dialogue. I would really love to know how Mockingbird came back to life from this.
Finally, my biggest complaint about this issue was that it basically just reestablished the status quo in this comic. I was really looking forward to a huge roster shake-up in this issue, and all I got was Bucky replacing Iron Fist, not exactly my definition of a "big" shake-up. I still wish Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Spider-Man, and Wolverine weren't on this team. I miss the old school Avengers. I want Hawkeye(not Ronin), Vision, Hank Pym, Wasp, Black Widow, Cap, Thor, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, you know, characters who are identified as Avengers. To me, Spidey and Luke Cage are solo heroes, and Wolvie is an X-Man.
With all that said, I wasn't as upset by this comic book as I had been by the last few issues. I just wish they would call this group of super-heroes something else, because these heroes are NOT the Avengers. For a score, I'll go with a 6 out of 10. For anyone who cares, the cover for Dark Avengers #1 showed 5 figures clad in shadows. These people looked alot like Ms. Marvel, Iron Man, Venom(?), Hawkeye(?!?), and, of course Wolverine.