Saturday, September 24, 2011

Avengers #17

And now, it's Bendis time! Whenever I open a comic book with Bendis' name adorning the cover, I realize that I'm either going to get a pretty good story or something epically bad... Lately, with the Fear Itself stuff, things have been epically bad as Bendis just doesn't seem able to write a coherent story around Matt Fraction's Fear Itself story. So to say I'm feeling pessimistic about THIS comic is an understatement!

Avengers #17(Fear Itself tie-in):

Summary: Having just returned from Brazil, Spider-Woman, Protector(I STILL hate that name, so I'm going to call him Marvel Boy instead...), Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel arrive at the former site of the recently destroyed Avengers Tower. While the mechanized Nazi war machines were surrounding the rubble, Ms. Marvel wanted to launch a surprise attack, but Hawkeye, as the senior Avenger present, tells the rest of the Avengers to stay back and wait to see what the Nazis were up to. Before long, Sin teleports to the rubble, at which time Hawkeye ignores his own orders and shoots her through the neck with an arrow... HA! Hawkeye is awesome... Anyway, with their cover now blown, Ms. Marvel flies at Sin and begins to absorb the energy Sin was tossing her way, eventually releasing it back at Sin, staggering her for a moment. Unfortunately, Sin recovers quickly from Marvel's attack and blasts Marvel far, far away. Before Sin can turn her attention to Hawkeye, Spider-Woman and Marvel Boy, the New Avengers arrive on the scene and attack Sin and her mechanized henchmen. While Sin and her forces are distracted, Marvel Boy uses his advanced Kree technology to call up several of Tony Stark's Iron Man suits from the rubble of Avengers Tower and has the suits join in on the Avengers side. The suits don't last very long since most of them were damaged in the fall of the Tower, but the distraction did give Marvel Boy the time needed to hack into the Nazi war machines and destroy them all, wiping out Sin's Nazi army. The Avengers figure they've won and tell Sin it was over, which only causes Sin to scoff at them before teleporting away. The Avengers are pissed that Sin escaped from their grasp and swear that they'd get her yet, and this issue ends well after the battle has ended with Captain America realizing that he had a lot of work to do in putting together the Avengers... Again.

Thoughts: Hey, you can't go wrong putting two of my favorite Marvel characters in the same comic book! Hawkeye was pretty close to being written perfectly here, and I'm liking almost everything about Marvel Boy's Avengers run... Well except for that damned Protector name... Can't we just rechristen him Captain Marvel and be done with it? The original doesn't appear to be coming back anytime soon, so the name IS available. But let's get back to the story here. Bendis kept his annoying dialogue down to a minimum, although it did sprout it's ugly head from time to time. Really, did we need Spider-Woman complaining that her stuff was in Avengers Tower when it fell, or Spider-Man talking about the yummy muffins Jarvis makes? A shitload of people had been killed all over not just the country, but the world, including fellow Avenger Captain America(Bucky Barnes) and Spider-Man is thinking about muffins? Yeah, yeah, I get that he jests to lighten the mood, but his dumb remarks seemed woefully inappropriate here. And Spider-Woman's comment really blew my mind... Instead of worrying about the people who may have died due to Avengers Tower collapsing, she's worried about her STUFF?!? See, it's times like that Bendis needs to reel in the dialogue, because sometimes? Less is more. But besides those little hiccups, this WAS a pretty good comic, so I'll end this post on that positive note.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Hawkeye rules. End of discussion, case closed, 'nuff said.


  1. man had mike deadeo jr or some better artist done the art for this book
    this would have been incredible
    but heah hawkeye rules

  2. oh and dude if u have intrest in the upcoming hammer war saga be sure to pick up the .1 New avengers book next week i asume it tis where osborn escapes
    hope ya weekends going good

  3. I'm actually a sucker for JRJR's work, so I was fine with the artwork. Considering all of the characters JRJR had to draw here I thought he did a good job. And yes, Hawkeye does indeed rule! :D

  4. I actually gave a quick look at next week's books and saw that I have another 20 or so on my pull list, so I don't know if I'll be able to afford that issue of NA... I'm starting to think I may have to hold off on the NA comics for a few months until a trade comes out... Who knows though, maybe when I get to the shop I'll just throw it in the pile with all the other comics I'll be getting!

  5. Hawkeye was the best part of this book. But, I totally fell down a "when the hell was this story supposed to happen" rabbit hole, so I can't say I got enjoy him that much. [Sad face.]

  6. Ah, I get you, JW. I've read SO many Fear Itself books/tie-ins/one shots/mini-series, I stopped trying to figure out when each story took place in respect to the main story a LONG time ago... I think it was around the time when Sin was randomly attacking Dayton, Ohio in an issue of Ghost Rider when she was supposed to be in either NYC or DC. I mean why did she decide to take a side trip to DAYTON?! It just made no sense... It still kind of bugs me because it was SO random... But yeah, after that I just shrugged my shoulders and tried not to try to think about how Attuma was fighting Alpha Flight in Newfoundland while simultaneously battling Namor and his crew in Atlantis...

  7. I've decided that everyone suddenly developed Wolverine's mutant power to be in two places at once. It's the only way I'm not going to go insane.

  8. I forgot all about Wolvie's ability to appear in 25 different comic books every month! It sure was nice of Wolvie to allow so many other characters to borrow that power! :D

  9. I just read this issue, and I have to say, your score might just be a couple points too high. Easily the most disappointing book I have bought in recent memory.

    -I have a confession: I didn't get your whole anti-Bendis stance. This was the guy, after all, who wrote Ultimate Spidey, practically the only comic I've been reading for the last 10 years. Now I get it.

    The whole flashback/narrative presentation completely pulled me out of the action by killing any suspense. After all, if everybody is just chatting over coffee after what happened, it couldn't have been that significant, amirite?

    Another problem: everybody with dialogue talks like Peter Parker. All these variations on the same character make for a boring book. Based on this book, I question Bendis's ability to write a team-based comic. He does a GREAT Peter Parker, probably the best there is. I could imagine him doing a good Tony Stark as well. Everyone else, not so much.

    -As for JRJR, his art instantly took me back to my younger days, as he was the artist when I started reading Uncanny back in the day (along with Jim Lee). Nostalgia aside though, his art hasn't evolved much, if at all, and looks pretty dated now. There was one panel in particular, where Luke Cage's head was some kind of curved triangle shape, that was particularly awful. Kind of disappointing...

    -...but the page with all the old Iron Man armors almost made up for it. I didn't think, based on your review, that Protector activated EVERY SINGLE ARMOR EVER, including Iron Patriot! Coulda used more shots of the armors taking out the Nazis, because the idea was bad ass. The whole battle seemed rushed and trivialized, like I said, because of the stupid flashback presentation.

    -What was up with the misleading cover?

    -Just my 2 cents, I don't sweat the whole 25 appearances a month thing. I (and I think this is a recent Marvel change for the better) view it as though each writer has their own story to tell, and they should have access to the characters they want to tell the story. It's more important to me that the story the writer is telling is good and that it's well-written (and illustrated), rather than how well the story fits into some larger, company-wide narrative spanning multiple books.

  10. Eh, I'm the most unrepentant Hawkeye fan you'll find, which probably explains my score for this one... Even though you could be right about me over-scoring it, I barely remember this comic...

    Bendis is HUGELY hit or miss for me. He's one of those writers who if you read his work in small doses(like ONLY in Ult. Spidey, or ONLY in Avengers) you'll be fine, but once you start reading many of his series at once, it all "sounds" the same. "everybody with dialogue talks like Peter Parker." YES!!! THAT is something I've been complaining about when it comes to Bendis for YEARS! Not only do they all talk like Spidey, they all talk like Ultimate Spidey, which makes it all the more worse! <-- That, as well as the fact that Bendis feels the need to fill EVERY page with dialogue that usually has nothing to do with anything and develops nobody's character are the two things that bother me the most about Bendis's work. And the flashback stuff? Agreed. It didn't make sense in the grand scheme of things, not because it told us that the heroes won(anybody with a brain knew that would happen or there'd be no Marvel comics!), but because it told us WHO survived... It took all the suspense out of things, and was boring as hell to boot.

    As for JRJR, I am now, and always have been a sucker for his work. I really don't have a bad word to say about him.

    IDK... It does bug me that characters like Spidey or Wolvie are in so damn many comic books... Besides the obvious question of how does Spidey have the time to go to work, have a girlfriend, work with the Avengers, work with the FF AND do his own solo thing, it lessens his importance in a book like Avengers... Nothing of importance is going to happen to Spidey in Avengers(or FF for that matter). The truly important Spidey stories happen in Amazing. Besides that, the Marvel Universe is rich with great, lesser known characters(like Marvel Boy for example) who'd be better served getting some page time in Avengers than Spidey or Wolvie. I doubt the readership would be hurt THAT much if Spidey was replaced by Darkhawk and Wolverine was replaced with Nova. There's enough star-power on the team(Cap, Iron Man, Thor, etc) to keep the book from falling apart. Or at least that's my two cents. I could be completely wrong though and maybe fans would turn away from these books in droves without Wolvie and Spidey there.

  11. Whether Wolvy and Spidey belong on the Avengers is a separate question from whether or not they appear in too many ongoing books, but I agree with you. It makes no sense for them to be on the Avengers, because other than having a nice line here or there, their presence is wasted.

    Logan's inclusion is particularly galling - he's already on the x-men, who with some frequency come into conflict with the Avengers. I can't see any scenario where he'd side with the Avengers over his fellow mutants (and it would be stupid to write otherwise). For what possible reason do you put him on the Avengers, except as a shameless cash-grab?

    I'm ok with Spidey on a team (particularly a team with street-level heroes), but on the Avengers he's totally overshadowed. He'd never be more than the team jokester, and like you said, there are plenty of other characters who can fill that role.

  12. I can't disagree with anything you put there, TRobb. I've ALWAYS hated Wolverine's addition to the Avengers, and I say that as somebody who's a life long fan of Wolvie... One of the main Avengers rules is that Avengers don't kill. Yeah, we all know that there are exceptions to that rule, and sometimes a villain may get killed during a battle, but Wolvie basically walks around killing people left and right! A few issues back, Wolvie killed a mess of his own illegitimate kids! Yes, they had attacked him, but would Iron Man or Cap simply murder their foes to deal with them?

    As for Spidey, he's never REALLY been a team guy... That's why I find him suddenly being on almost every team under the sun so weird. He went like 40 years as a true loner type hero, who would pitch in when needed(he was an Avengers reserve and was a part of the Secret Defenders), but mainly shied away from team stuff. Daredevil is a similar case... I don't even think he was an Avenger reserve, now all of a sudden, HE'S an Avenger too! I don't think Bendis understands that not every character in the Marvel Universe needs to be an Avenger... Seriously, how long before the Punisher is invited to become an Avenger?