Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Leinil Francis Yu & Alex Maleev
Over the last few months I've been going through as many series I can, reviewing them in the form of trade paperbacks. One of the series I've been reviewing is The New Avengers, with this being my seventh review on Brian Michael Bendis' Avengers run, and my sixth on the series itself.
Clint Barton goes looking for the Scarlet Witch, and the now fugitive New Avengers head to Japan to save Maya Lopez from Elektra, and The Hand.
This was an amazing story, and a terrific follow-up to the Civil War event. Brian Michael Bendis did a fantastic job of showing the aftermath of Civil War, and although it wasn't a very conventional way of starting, it became a brilliant story, that was both interesting, and exciting. This story was however not perfect, as although I enjoyed that Bendis took a issue out to do a bit of development from House of M, I didn't like how it followed suddenly throwing you into this new team, not even showing how they formed. I did however love the tine of the story, and found it extremely interesting how Bendis decided to use a variety of different storytelling methods throughout, making it feel very unique. I also really enjoyed the dialogue, as Bendis always seems to know what the characters should be saying, with it being extremely suspenseful at times, as well as humours when needed.
The art on this book was simply outstanding, with both the main artist, Leinil Francis Yu, and Alex Maleev who only worked on one issue both doing phenomenal jobs. I'll quickly get Maleev out of the way by stating that this was some of the best art that I've ever seen from him, as although he's done brilliant work on the likes of Batman, Daredevil, and Moon Knight, this has to rank in amongst his best artwork ever. Yu also did amazing artwork, as although not quite as good as his one issue during Civil War, it was still very highly detailed, also being very exciting, and dynamic. I did however feel that there was a little too much happening at times, which caused slight imperfections, though not enough to ruin the artwork overall. I also really enjoyed both Yu's layout, as well as the way he handled the action sequences, with both being very exciting, and dynamic, and overall he's amongst the best Avengers artists I've ever seen.
The first story in this book would see Clint Barton visiting Doctor Strange, searching for the Scarlet Witch. Clint was presumed dead following the events of Avengers Disassembled, but was brought back to life during House of M, and is wanting answers from the Scarlet Witch who is responsible for all of this. I loved that Clint was back, as he's a brilliant character, and should be a part of the Avengers. The story itself was also very interesting, as without going into too much detail, it basically showed how much House of M changed.
Following the changes that Civil War would cause, this story would see a new set of heroes going under the New Avengers name. Now I already mentioned how I disliked the way the characters were suddenly added, but the characters themselves were a nice addition to the team, and much like some of the surprise choices from the original New Avengers line-up, this would have some very interesting characters joining, with Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, and a new Ronin joining the team. I also loved how this would change the dynamic of the series as well, as given the set of characters that now make up the New Avengers it would leave the door open for new and unique directions for them to go in.
The other big change that Civil War would cause is the first time in Bendis' run that there would be two Avengers teams, as with the New Avengers now technically being fugitives, a government group called the Mighty Avengers would also be active, and at one point in this story both teams clash. The fight was amazing, and I loved how it continued the fight of morales without being a complete continuation of the Civil War. I also felt that there was some brilliant dialogue during the interaction, as although there wasn't a proper fight there was still a lot of tension, and excitement during these sequences.
There would however be some action in this story, as the New Avengers would take on none other than the Hand, who at the time were being run by Elektra. Now the Hand always brings excitement to a story, especially when they've got such a great leader like Elektra. The fight itself however was simply phenomenal, and everything you'd hope it'd be, and more. It also had great dialogue as well, with some very witty comments by certain characters. I was however not a huge fan of the jumping back and forward between this, and the confrontation with the Mighty Avengers, as although it keeps suspense, it also is slightly frustrating, though not enough to spoil the story.
A superb continuation from Civil War, introducing some new members to the team. The story itself had some amazing development points, also having tons of suspense, and drama throughout. It was however not quite perfect, with a few minor details letting it down slightly. Nonetheless I'd still highly recommend this story, and especially to anyone who enjoyed Civil War, as it's a fantastic continuation, showing that the war isn't quite over (even though it technically was).
The next Avengers book I'll be reviewing will be Mighty Avengers: The Ultron Initiative.