The Revolution has never been impressed with Bendis’ run on New Avengers. However, with these putrid Civil War tie-in issues Bendis’ run on New Avengers has hit an all time low. I predict that Bendis will not even give a token effort to portray the pro-registration side as anything more than goose stepping Nazis. I also predict that Bendis will make Iron Man look like a totally unscrupulous dick. I also predict that Bendis will make the anti-registration side a collection of saints and valiant freedom fighters. Let’s do this mini-review.
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Mark Morales
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: This issue starts with Spider-Woman in her apartment. Nick Fury comes knocking on her door. Nick tells Spider-Woman that with the Civil War in full swing that he is no longer underground. That it is time for Spider-Woman to choose a side. Nick tells Spider-Woman that they need to find where Captain America is operating from. Spider-Woman suddenly blasts Nick and reveals that he is nothing more than a Life Model Decoy. Hill is actually talking through the LMD. Hill tells Spider-Woman that she is a traitor. Hill says that Spider-Woman is under arrest. Spider Woman then blasts the rest of the LMD to pieces. (What a totally stunning and shocking portrayal of S.H.I.E.L.D.!!!!)
S.H.I.E.L.D. cape killers appear and Spider Woman gets captured. She wakes up in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody being interrogated by Iron Man and Hill. Hill tells Spider-Woman that Iron Man told her all about how Spider-Woman is a triple agent working for Hydra and Nick Fury. Spider-Woman is devastated that Iron Man would tell Hill this information. Iron Man responds that he only put up with all of her shenanigans because Captain America believed in her. (Oh my goodness!!! Iron Man is being portrayed as a total bastard!!! No way!! Totally shocking!!!)
Suddenly, the lights go out and a team of Hydra agents rescue Spider-Woman from the clutches of the Nazis…I mean, from S.H.I.E.L.D. We cut to Spider-Woman on Hydra Island talking with Connelly, a high ranking Hydra officer. Connelly tells Spider-Woman that he and other high ranking Hydra officers want Spider-Woman to replace Viper as leader of Hydra and lead them to glory. That Hydra is in her blood and is her family. Spider-Woman responds by taking out Connelly and a couple of Hydra soldiers. We then see leaving Hydra Island in a boat with tears in her eyes after blowing up the entire island. (I guess her answer was no.)
We then shift to Spider-Woman arriving at Captain America’s secret base. She asks Captain America to please take her because she has nowhere else to go. End of issue.
The Good: Unfortunately for me, I must follow the Revolution’s Rule of Positivity. So, what did I like about this issue? Damn, that is a good question. Coipel’s art was pretty solid. It wasn’t anything great, but it was certainly the best thing about this issue.
The Bad: Let’s see, I predicted that the pro-registration side would be portrayed as evil Nazis. Check. I predicted that Iron Man would be portrayed as an unscrupulous dickhead. Check. I predicted that the anti-registration side would be portrayed as valiant freedom fighters. Check. Wow, Bendis, what a great job surprising me with your writing abilities. There is no higher compliment that a writer can receive than being told that their stories are completely and 100% predictable. Good job.
Again, Bendis’ complete lack of any even transparent effort to portray the pro and anti side in anything even remotely resembling a fair and equal light just ruins the story for me. If I need to have someone preach to me then I’ll talk to my parents or go to church, thank you very much. I certainly don’t need it in a comic book. Bendis is a subtle as a sledgehammer to the head. I get it already. The pro-registration side are evil bastards who are the worst thing in this world since Leif Garrett and “Joanie Loves Chachi.” They should all be immediately killed and so should anyone even closely similar to them. And Iron Man is a total asshole. I know. I get it.
And speaking of Iron Man, Marvel is just determined to make this one time hero and original Avenger a completely unlikable character. Marvel is absolutely determined to assassinate Tony Stark’s character and writers like Bendis are all too eager to help in this endeavor. Yay. Great job, guys. Thanks.
Another problem with this issue is that I felt it was another wasted issues. I could care less about Spider-Woman or what side she chooses. I will admit that I have never been impressed with her character and she has never been anything more than a C-list character. So, there wasn’t too much chance that I was going to be interested in a spotlight issue on her. And to make matters worse, it wasn’t even a remotely interesting storyline for her. It was terribly boring and uninteresting.
These Civil War tie-in issues have not created a single new Avengers related plotline. They have not fleshed out or advanced a single Avengers related plotline. All we are getting are one sided stories about how certain ex-Avengers have joined Captain America’s team. These stories haven’t even advanced any of the plotlines over in the Civil War mini-series. For me, these are totally wasted and pointless issues. I can’t wait for Civil War to be over so we can once again read about Avengers related plots and stories with a point and purpose in the Avengers’ own monthly title.
I probably would have given Coipel a higher rating for his artwork if it wasn’t for his truly bizarre drawing of Iron Man’s armor. Coipel gives Iron Man a serious Iron Package for some unknown reason. It is rather disturbing and particularly creepy. I just don’t think Iron Man’s armor needs such a pronounced Iron codpiece. I mean, it has its own shadow, for crying out loud! I’m pretty sure that this is a first for Iron Man. And what is with his pose? Is he trying to show it off to Spider-Woman in hopes of seducing her? He’s got his arms crossed like “Yeah, I know you like it and can’t stop staring at it.”
Overall: New Avengers #23 was yet another uninteresting and wasted issue for me. If you love Spider-Woman than you will very much enjoy this issue. If you enjoy one-sided and very predictable stories then you will also enjoy this issue. If you like seeing large Iron Packages then you will most definitely enjoy this issue. Civil War couldn’t end soon enough for me. I can’t wait to get some good old fashioned Avengers goodness in my Avengers comic.