Civil War: New Avengers #20 Review

The Revolution has never been impressed with Bendis’ run on the New Avengers. This current storyline has been a little too slow and a shade uninteresting. New Avengers #20 is supposed to be the grand finale to this storyline. Hopefully, Bendis will deliver on a big payoff in this issue that will make the slow pacing of this storyline worth the wait. Let’s hit this review.

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

Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10.

Synopsis: The issue starts with Magneto writing his manifesto/biography/suicide note. Suddenly Magneto’s pen leaves his hand and floats in mid air. We then see Michael high above Genosha with energy pouring out of him and flowing over Genosha.

We cut to Maria Hill talking to the President about the situation in Genosha. The President tells Maria to vaporize the island in order to end this threat. Maria tells the President that her S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and the Avengers are already in Genosha.

We then cut to the Avengers landing in Genosha. We then see Magneto floating in the air next to Michael. The force inside of Michael refers to itself and “we” and tells Magneto that they must use Magneto in order to bring the mutants their world. The force says that Magneto knows who they are. That they killed five thousand in Magneto’s name. The energy force then flows through Magneto transforming him into his old Magneto costume and helmet. Magneto then shouts the name “XORN!” (Oh god. All this and all we get is the return of Xorn? Ugggh. Great.) Xorn then tells Magneto that he shall need an army to lead. We then see a zombie army arise from the ground made up of the mutants that were killed in Genosha. The mutant zombie army then attacks the Avengers. We then see a de-powered, de-possessed and naked Michael trembling beside some rubble asking what is going one.

We shift back to Maria Hill talking to the President. The President tells Hill to go ahead and blow up the island. That the Avengers must be sacrificed and they will be honored as heroes. That the needs of the many outweigh the Avengers’ lives. Hill tells the President that she will not do it. Hill then contacts Iron Man and tells him that her S.H.I.E.L.D. team along with agent Daisy Johnson End have landed in Genosha. Iron Man tells Agent Johnson to create an earthquake tremor in Magneto’s brain. Iron Man then tells Ms. Marvel to absorb whatever energy from Magneto that she can and spread it out. Agent Johnson creates the earthquake tremor in Magneto’s brain, Ms. Marvel absorbs as much of his energy as possible and the Sentry grabs the ball of energy that is Xorn that has left Magneto’s body. The Sentry takes Xorn and throws it into the sun. We see a face appear in the energy and then disappear as it gets destroyed by the sun.

We then cut back to Genosha where Maria Hill is arriving on the scene. The Avengers then tell Michael what he did. He is horrified that he killed Alpha Flight. (Oh, thanks for reminding me about that, Bendis. Way to go on that brilliant idea, little man.) Michael then displays some lingering energy powers. Evidently, he kept some residual energy fields for himself. Hill says that they will start training and testing Michael immediately. S.H.I.E.L.D. then carries Magneto’s unconscious body and places it on a helicopter. That helicopter takes off and then suddenly explodes. (Whaaaaaat?)

We then cut to Maria Hill on the helicarrier getting the news that no remains of Magneto were found after the explosion. Hill is informed that maybe Magneto’s body was incinerated in the explosion. Hill says that she seriously doubts that it did. (Of course it didn’t. Magneto has been killed and come back more times than Jean Grey. It is like a bad joke.) Hill is then given the only thing that was found which is Magneto’s book that he was writing. End of issue.

The Good: Uhh, seriously? I have to find something positive to say about this crapfest of an issue? Oh man, it sucks that I made my rule of always saying something positive about every issue no matter how lousy. Ok, well, I think Bendis did a great job with Maria Hill’s character in this issue. Hill has been detestable up until now. Yet, Bendis adds more depth and texture to her character by showing that she has only been doing what she thought was for the best interest of her country and the general populace. Hill standing up for the Avengers and believing in them made her instantly a more interesting and respectable character. Well done.

I like Mike Deodato’s pencils. He always gives a solid effort. It may not be the most amazing art, but it is better than average.

The Bad: All right, New Avengers #20 was simply very unimpressive. Bendis gagged it on this storyline. Bendis completely failed to deliver anything that could even remotely be confused with a strong and entertaining ending. We finally get to see what Michael is up to and it is nothing more than the return of Xorn. I’ll admit that I have never liked Xorn, so maybe I’m biased. I think he is rather lame and wasn’t really all that impressed with this return. But, to top it all off, once it is revealed that he is Xorn, this big mega monster threat is then quickly dispatched by the Avengers in a whopping four pages! All this build up for a big climax leads to a quick one sided 4 page fight in which Xorn is killed! I mean talk about a lame come back. Xorn is back!! Oh wait, Xorn is now dead again! I hope Xorn enjoyed his 14 pages in the spotlight.

Not only was this ending highly anti-climactic, this entire storyline seems utterly pointless. This reads like pure filler. Just a storyline to throw in there while Bendis works on the storyline that dovetails with Civil War. Yay. Thanks. Seriously, what happened in this storyline? Alpha Flight got slaughtered OFF PANEL!! Yippie. Michael now has super powers and is undergoing S.H.I.E.L.D. training. Wow. I’m enthralled. Xorn came back from the dead for a whopping 14 pages before being killed again. And Magneto is supposedly dead. Of course, we know Magneto is not dead and that this is a convenient way to bring his character back with his mutant powers fully intact. Lame.

This entire storyline was pretty much a waste of my time and money. Now, I like Bendis. I like many titles that he has written. I think Bendis did a great job on Daredevil. I also like Bendis’ work on Ultimate Spider-Man (Notwithstanding the amazingly cheesy death of Gwen Stacy). I also enjoyed Powers. However, I have not enjoyed Bendis’ run on the Avengers at all. I simply to not think that Bendis’ talents work on a team comic like the Avengers. This is simply the case of a talented writer on a comic book that does not fit his talents. I would really love to see a change at the writer position for the Avengers.

I’m also not a big fan of Pimentel’s inking. It creates a rather muddy look to the art and pretty much ruined Deodato’s pencils.

Overall: New Avengers #20 was simply a lousy read. This was a fitting ending to an unimpressive and pointless storyline. I would not recommend New Avengers to anyone other than a die-hard Bendis fan or a die-hard Avengers fan. It simply isn’t that good and is not worth your hard earned money. There are plenty of better comic books on the market worth your money.