The Revolution has been critical of past issues of the New Avengers. I have felt that Bendis is not suited for this type of comic. That his issues have moved at too slow and plodding of a pace. Will New Avengers #18 show an improvement? I’m still jacked up on plenty of Café Bustelo so let’s hit the review and find out.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Mike Deodato, Jr.
Inker: Joe Pimentel
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Total Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The issue starts with Agent Johnson being approached by S.H.I.E.L.D. telling her that S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America need her to come back into service.
We then go to Avengers Tower where the Young Avengers are eating breakfast when Iron Man interrupts by asking the Vision for his help. Iron Man tells the baby Avengers to stay put or he’ll have them arrested and call their parents.
We then shift to Cleveland where the energy being known as “Michael” has now grown to a large size like he was an Ultraman villain. Iron Man engages Michael and he is suddenly stripped of his armor. (Ooookay, this must be the pre-extremis version Iron Man.) Warbird then swoops in and rescues Tony. Michael then grabs Warbird and begins zapping her with different type of powers from ice to fire to wind. Out of nowhere, the Sentry swoops in and carries Michael into outer space. And it’s a braaawwwwwl!
We then cut back to Cleveland where Warbird tells Captain America that it felt like she had the hell beat out of her by fifty people at one time. That Michael had fifty different superpowers fighting to get at her. First, ice, and then force shields and then magnetism. (Hmmm, I think we all know where this is headed.)
We then cut back to the cosmic level brawl between the Sentry and Michael. Michael ends up winning the fight and storms back to Earth.
Back on a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, Spider-man is working on figuring out who Michael is. The Vision enters and downloads all of the old Avengers files that he has stored inside him. They trace the initial impact from the object from space to a post office in Alaska. One of the postal workers is Michael Pointer. They pull up his picture and it looks like the super-powered creature they are fighting. Vision then pulls up all the power sources form the Avengers’ files that match Michael’s power readings. Up on the screen are pictures of 50 mutants who lost their powers after the House of M. Among the fifty are some notables such as Polaris, Quicksilver, Black Tom, Blob and Magneto.
We then cut over to a two-page splash shot of Michael streaking toward Earth. End of issue.
The Good: This was a solid issue. Bendis does a nice job kicking this storyline into high gear by revealing that Michael is the embodiment of the lost powers of 50 ex-mutants including some huge names like Magneto. Very cool. I’m glad to see that House of M was able to spawn at least one interesting plotline in the Marvel Universe.
Bendis is always strong with his dialogue and this issue is no exception. Even amid very serious scenes, you have Spider-Man’s always humorous dialogue to keep things from getting too somber.
Bendis really packs a lot of action and story into this issue. Unlike the previous issues, Avengers #18 moves at a quick pace. You can feel the tension and the increasing sense of dread in facing this embodiment of 50 lost mutant powers.
I like this twist and I hope that this leads to characters like Magneto getting their powers back. It is only 50 mutants, so the devastating effect of the House of M will still exist, but cool characters like Magneto will get their powers back.
Seeing the Sentry in action was cool. Because Sentry is so powerful, I like that Bendis is choosing to use him sparingly. Having him battling his own mental demons and having the Avengers not be able to rely on him for everything makes his appearances have more impact. Plus, it keeps the immensely powerful Sentry from overshadowing his teammates. Kind of like Supergirl overshadowing the rest of the Legionnaires. Zing! Yeah, I had to take a shot at Supergirl even during a review of a Marvel title!
New Avengers #18 is probably the best job that Bendis has done on the Avengers. Even though I don’t think his writing talents are particularly suited for this type of comic, I do think that Bendis is improving with every issue.
On a side note, it was nice to see the Vision again. I wish they would take him from that abysmal title Young Avengers and put him back in the New Avengers where the Vision belongs. Maybe he could take Wolverine’s place. Wolverine doesn’t belong or fit into this team. Plus, he already has two titles of his own and is a part of the X-Men.
As usual, Deodato’s art is solid. The art is a bit inconsistent during the issue, but overall, it is better than average. And some of the panels look excellent like the appearance of the Sentry and his fight with Michael.
The Bad: I don’t have too many complaints. The art is a bit inconsistent and overall is nothing incredible.
Bendis is getting better at writing the Avengers. I still think that he writes a terrible Wolverine. It is probably a good thing that Bendis didn’t give Wolverine much dialogue at all in this issue.