New Avengers #19 Review

So far, the Revolution has not been terribly impressed with Bendis’ run on the New Avengers. And I definitely find this current storyline to be way to slooooooow. Can Bendis finally kick this storyline up a notch? I don’t know. But, I’m still working my way through my big pot of Café Bustelo and I’m ready for this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Mike Deodato, Jr.
Inker: Joe Pimentel

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: The issue starts with Iron Man on his way to intercept Michael. Iron Man tells Spider-Man to take the Vision and leave the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier immediately. Spider-Man slips and mentions the House of M to Iron Man when explaining that some of the energy signals are from the mutants from the House of M like Magneto and Quicksilver. Maria Hill then asks Spider-Man what is the House of M. Spider-Man grabs the Vision and tries to leave. Hill says that Spider-Man is under arrest and has one of her psychic S.H.I.E.L.D. agents tell Spider-Man that he should “sleep.” He falls down unconscious. The Vision is then immobilized by a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist. Hill tells the her psychics to take Spider-Man to “the Box” and dig around in his brain to find out what the House of M is and to take the Vision and go through his memory files for any information.

We cut to Iron Man in space. Tony calls Captain America and tells him that he has lost contact with Spider-Man and Vision. Captain America tells Tony that he is headed to the Helicarrier right now. Iron Man then braces for a fight with Michael. Michael slams into Iron Man and gets pushed back. The Sentry then shows up and helps Iron Man in their brawl against Michael. During the fight, Captain America and his team arrive at the Helicarrier.

We then shift to Spider-Man in “the Box” with Maria Hill. Spider-Man is unmasked and Hill is calling him Mr. Parker. (Oh for crying out loud. Why does Peter even bother with a secret identity anymore? Everyone knows who he is. He shouldn’t care about the Registration Act in the Civil War storyline. It isn’t like he has a good secret going.) Hill asks Peter again what is the House of M. We then see Captain America and his team exit the Quinjet. Captain America demands to know where Spider-Man and the Vision are. Captain America tells the Avengers to Assemble! (Oh man, it is on now.) We shift back to Hill interrogating Spider-Man. Hill suddenly stands up and throws Spider-Man his mask and says they are done. That her psychics in the other room rummaged through his brain to get what they needed about the House of M. That he is now free to go. Suddenly, Luke Cage smashes through the door of “the Box.” Captain America begins tearing Hill a new one. Hill basically ignores Captain America and tells him this is crisis mode. Either help or don’t.

Hill then contacts Iron Man and Tony asks for Hill to send him their analysis of the information they got from Spider-Man about the House of M. One of the S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists tells Iron Man to stop fighting Michael. That each time they engage him in physical contact he learns how to use a new super power. That they have a better chance of reasoning with him or containing him if they can figure out where he is trying to go and what he is trying to do. That maybe he will lead them to Wanda Maximoff.

Iron Man grabs the Sentry and flies far away from Michael. Michael floats there for a minute and then suddenly rockets toward Earth. He makes impact with the ground with a large explosion. Michael has landed in Genosha. End of issue.

The Good: This was a pretty entertaining issue. It was good, not great. Bendis stuck to writing the majority of the dialogue to the two Avengers that he handles the best: Spider-Man and Iron Man.

We are beginning to see the Tony Stark that is over in his own title. Tony is supremely confident and believes that he can handle everything all by himself. I liked how Bendis handled Tony in this issue.

I also enjoy how Bendis is writing Maria Hill. I just love to hate Hill. Bendis does a good job making you dislike her but not to the point where you don’t enjoy her character. I can see where she is coming from and I totally understand her position. But, I just want to watch Captain America re-arrange her face.

I liked that Hill used psychics to extract the information about the House of M from Spider-Man. That scene did a great job bridging this story to the events of the Civil War. We can see the seeds of distrust that exist between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the super heroes. It also shows that if the super heroes get in bed with the government then the government agencies will have no qualms with violating the heroes civil rights in order to “get the job done.”

Overall, Avengers #19 was an ok read. I think that Bendis is getting better at writing the Avengers, but is still far from being one of the better Avengers writers.

Deodato’s artwork is all right. It isn’t amazing or incredible, but it is solid and well done.

The Bad: I think that Bendis’ pacing is still too slow. It feels like this storyline has taken forever and it still hasn’t really gone anywhere. So much of this issue is wasted on again engaging Michael with little success. Plus, the pontificating of Iron Man about what Michael may be was boring. Michael is the embodiment of all the lost super powers. Move on. It feel like it has taken forever to finally get Michael to his destination which was Genosha. Wow, what a surprise. You knew that was coming from a mile away.

Again, I just didn’t feel like much happened in this issue. Yeah, Hill now knows about House of M. Whooopie. The Avengers continued to fight Michael. Thrilling. At least at the very end of the comic book we finally found out where Michael has been trying to get to. Genosha. But, even that was pretty obvious and not much of a surprise. So far this storyline has been a tale of sound and fury and signifying nothing.

This storyline had better have a big payoff, because it has taken a long time to get to where we are. I’m still not convinced that Bendis is the best choice to be the writer of the Avengers. I’d much rather see him write a much smaller scale title.

I honestly don’t think I would recommend the New Avengers to a non-Avengers fan. I think there are far too many other comics out there that are much more worth your money. Titles like Daredevil, Captain America, 52, Teen Titans, etc.

Having said that, if you really enjoyed House of M, then you will probably enjoy this current storyline of the Avengers.