Comic Reviews: Guess this was the unannounced “Avengers Week”!

With the onslaught of internet gossip and vague blurbs on future projects from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige this week, it’s only fitting that Marvel Comics would send down an avalanche of Avengers titles at their fans.

So, hey, if the studio doesn’t want to make a movie about Sunfire, Spitfire, or Sunspot or whoever — least you have the opportunity to read about him.

Shit, you can just about read abut any Avenger living (or dead, sometimes) in the funny-pages this week.

Here’s a rundown of the four Avengers titles that hit Local Comic Shop… if you don’t count Avenging Spider-Man, that is..

Avengers #11

Jonathan Hickman and Mike Deodato take Earth’s Mightiest Heroes undercover, plus the (drunk) A.I.M. agents return!

Hickman’s “Avengers” #11 is like every other issue in the run, slow-paced and too broad to actually focus on one character for long. This is due to Hickman’s overall plot-heavy approach to story telling (world building!). This method really only works at its finet when fans are reading the arc in its entirety (trade waiting!), or only has four main heroes to follow at all times (Fan-4 elating!).

If Bruce Lee had his own Avengers team. The ideas are limitless!

Unlike the work Rick Remender is doing over in Uncanny Avengers, Hickman is still searching for the right artist and concrete storyline. Mike Deodato is a talented artist, but seems to miss his mark during this issue. Some panels are exquisitely illustrated, such as the poker game with Sam and Bobby, while others seem to be haphazardly drawn such as the scenes involving our new Captain “Don’t Call Me Ms.” Marvel.

There are some great moments in this issue and most of them revolve around the hijinks that Bobby and Sam find themselves in as they party with A.I.M. agents. And, though Black Widow threw a nice contrast to the typical heroics of the rest of her clan, it was Shang Chi’s panels of near-damn-kung-fu-nothingness that lacked the proper attention.

I have hopes that Hickman can evolve the ongoing Avengers into everything it was promised. Hick is certainly one of the finest comic-writing auteurs on the planet, but his intentions alone can dangerously run the risk of losing new readers.


Avengers Arena #9

Learn the origin of Apex from Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker and another Avenger kid dies!

Avengers Arena is one of the nice little surprises since the inception of MarvelNow. Having been a huge fan of the film Battle Royale, this critic was a little apprehensive when it was announced that Marvel was going to throw their young avengers into something so strikingly similar. After the first couple pages and the continued issues, Hopeless and Walker have taken this comic and surpassed all my expectations.

In issue nine a revelation about Apex is confirmed and a whole new enemy is created. If the young avengers thought Arcade was bad, I can’t wait to see where Hopeless takes the next arc! Hopeless has created a comic unlike any others in the Marvel universe: a place where heroes can die.

And they do.


Secret Avengers #4

Nick Spencer and Luke Ross pit the Hulk against an army of Iron Patriots!

Sadly, Secret Avengers has yet to catch my attention and issue four is no different (well, since I’ve read all four issues, I guess it has caught at least my attention.. so you must get the gist of what I’m saying, kids). The initial story behind this heavily Marvel film-inspired title involves some of our prime Avengers taking on missions despite the fact they know their memories will be wiped on completion. This is out of character for Hawkeye and Black Widow, and even worse for Nick Fury Jr. and Daisy Johnson, who rise up in the ranks with S.H.I.E.L.D. so quickly.

I was looking for Hawkguy NOT Hawkeye!!

A little improbable, perhaps.

In this issue, Spencer sends Hulk up against an army of deranged Iron Patriot bots. This is not ironic timing, folks — and that’s the problem. Rather than focusing on the fresh camaraderie of our new secret-ops superheroes, readers have to deal with intermediate “product placement” and rather superfluous dialogue dribble. Though, there is a hint of something more in the future for War Machine, so they mind as well involve the Iron Patriot armor.

Secret Avengers is the book “based” on the movies, after all.

Uncanny Avengers #8

Remender’s highly anticipated title has finally hit its stride after a surprisingly rocky start. Hell, it only took him five issues to finalize his whole roster, land his “can’t miss” artist, and figure out a trajectory.

In this ish, Rem and Daniel Acuna fully introduce the Apocalypse twins. Yup, sort of makes you wonder if this book is a merely a companion follow-up to his instant classic run on Uncanny X-Force.

Even more headaches for Mr. Feige to worry about!

If so, all the more better.

Acuna’s artwork is, to no surprise, tremendous, particularly in those scenes involving the power of a sun god’s wrath against the almighty Thor and his air-bleeding Mjolnir. The Brazilian landscapes are also a sight to behold, while most of the character work fits the calculated cold of human/mutant animosity. The coolest part of the title may also be the unlikeliest of team-ups, which can even leaves Cap uneasy.

Classic Avengers & Avenging Muties against the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

I do’s it.

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