The Revolution is tired and has expended all the energy that I can on slamming the New Avengers. At this point, I am just weary and worn down with this title. I just want the Civil War tie-in issues to end. I don’t have the energy to keep railing on the pathetic stories that Bendis has been giving the reader on the New Avengers each and every month. I honestly can’t remember the last time that I thought the New Avengers was anything even remotely masquerading as a good read. I’m sure we will get more of the same. Pro-registration are Nazis. Tony is Hitler. The Registration Act is modern day slavery. Blah, blah, blah. Let’s just get this review for New Avengers #25 over with already.
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Penciler: Jim Cheung
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 4.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with some non-descript guy immobilizing the capekillers outside of Avengers Tower. The guy then uses Tony Stark’s password to get inside of the Avengers Tower. The intruder then shoots Jarvis. Suddenly, Iron Man appears and tells the man “Tell me I don’t have to kill you for what you just did.” The intruder then immobilizes Iron Man’s armor just like he did to the capekillers outside the Tower.
We cut to the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, where Maria Hill notices something strange from the capekillers guarding the Avengers Tower. No matter her question, she got the same generic response from the capekillers that there was nothing to report. That everything is fine. Maria Hill zooms in for a satellite view of outside Avengers Tower and sees the capekillers on the ground immobilized. Maria Hill orders all forces to the Avengers Tower.
We shift back inside Avengers Tower. The intruder is named Kenny and he worked for Tony Stark. Kenny designed the capekillers. Kenny calls Tony a traitor to their ideals. Kenny says that he never meant for his designs to be used to hunt down Captain America and other heroes. Kenny said that Tony is trying to remake the world in his image. Kenny says that Tony has stopped coming out of his armor. That Tony is hiding behind his technology because he is ashamed of what he is doing. Or because he thinks that if he keeps the armor on then it is okay to do whatever he wants to whoever he wants.
We cut to outside of Avengers Tower where Maria Hill and her forces have assembled. Hill’s assistant informs her that the Tower is guarded against their satellites due to Starktech. That the building is so new that S.H.I.E.L.D. never had a chance to recon it in order to create a contingency plan for the building. Maria Hill says she is going in. Her assistant remind her that there’s procedure. Hill responds that Nick Fury did shit like this all the time and none of them ever gave up on him. Hill calls her S.H.I.E.L.D. officers sexist. (Huh, what? I have no idea where the hell that came from.) Maria orders her officers to open the toy box and give her some toys.
We shift back inside Avengers Tower. Kenny removes Iron Man’s faceplate. Kenny pulls out an antimatter generator. Kenny tells Tony that he is going to set off the antimatter generator and the entire Avengers Tower will fold into itself until there’s nothing left to fold into.
We cut to Maria Hill getting armed with tons of cool gadgets like foam that lets her pass through a wall for ten seconds. A watch that is a cloaking device. Antigrav shoes. And last, three little spheres to destroy whatever bomb is inside the Tower.
We shift back to Kenny activating the antimatter generator. Kenny then takes out a bottle of alcohol and offers Tony a drink. Kenny rants that Tony stole his work. Kenny says that he was Tony’s loyal friend and confidant who is disgusted and betrayed by Tony.
Suddenly, Maria Hill appears in the room and takes down Kenny. Maria then throws the little spheres at the antimatter generator. Maria jumps on Tony to cover him from the explosion. The little spheres destroy the antimatter generator. Crisis averted. The S.H.I.E.L.D. rescue team led by Ms. Marvel and the Sentry bust into the room.
We zip forward nine hours later and see Tony and Maria on the deck of the Avengers Tower. Maria comments how Tony still hates her guts even after she saved him. Tony says he doesn’t hate her. He just doesn’t know her and therefore he doesn’t trust her. Maria tells Tony that she knows she is unqualified to be head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that there were numerous people better suited and qualified for the job. But, the question is why would the powers that be want someone as unqualified as her as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Maria says she doesn’t want the job and shouldn’t have this job. Maria says that Tony should be the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that Tony being the Director would piss off all the right people.
The Good: Okay, well, I didn’t despise New Avengers #25, but please don’t confuse that with me finding this issue to be anything other than a waste of my time. Having said that, the Revolution’s Rule of Positivity must be followed, even if I’m dealing with a Bendis Civil War tie-in issue. What did I like. Hmmm, well, it was nice that Tony wasn’t portrayed as either Stalin or Hitler in this issue. I think he was probably back to Dick Cheney level in New Avengers #25.
Well, now, that wasn’t much of a positive compliment was it? Let’s see if I can do better. Bendis delivered what was supposed to be a big surprise ending. However, I had already read Iron Man #13 so this wasn’t a surprise. Plus, the cover of “Iron Man: Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has been circulating on the internet for months. Anyway, at least the ending to New Avengers #25 was actually interesting. That is something that can’t be said for all of Bendis’ previous Civil War tie-in issues.
The Bad: New Avengers #25 continues the proud tradition of boring and useless Civil War tie-in issues that read like pure filler. Once again, we are “treated” to another pointless storyline that advanced zero plots until the very end when it touched on a plotline already raised over in Iron Man #13. Bendis served up plenty of ranting and raving about the Pro-Registration side and Iron Man in particular. Wow, what a shock. I haven’t read any of that before in New Avengers. I guess since Bendis is so short that he just doesn’t want to get off his soapbox when it comes to this Civil War storyline.
The dialogue was uninspired and horribly repetitious. It is the same blah blah blah that we have read on New Avengers ever since the Civil War tie-in issues began. Bendis seems trapped in a continuous loop where he just keeps giving us the exact same diatribe each and every issue. New Avengers is the perfect example of a title trapped in limbo.
Bendis has failed horribly at being able to portray Tony Stark as anything other than an unlikable Machiavellian dickhead. That is mainly because Bendis seems more interested in character assassination when it comes to Tony Stark rather than actual character development. Miller’s brilliant and deliciously complex handling of Tony Stark’s character in Civil War #5 simply further highlights Bendis’ pathetic job at writing Tony Stark’s character in New Avengers.
Kenny had absolutely zero impact on me. I have never heard of this character. Where did Bendis pull this guy from? I have been reading Iron Man forever, and I just don’t remember this character. It created much more impact on the reader if we actually know the character who feels betrayed. Kenny calls himself a confident and close friend, yet I’m struggling to figure out who he is. It is tough to feel much emotion attached to the relationship between Tony and Kenny when I have never even heard of this character.
Again, we also have a lack of internal consistency. Bendis writes the Tony Stark as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director storyline like it would be a blow to the “Powers That Be” if Stark was in control rather than the unqualified Maria Hill. However, over in Iron Man #13, we are told that Secretary of Defense Kooning wants Tony Stark to be the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. So which is it? Do the “Powers That Be” want Tony to be Director or do they want someone unqualified like Maria Hill as Director? Will the “Powers That Be” be pissed if Tony is the Director or will they be happy? This reoccurring lack of internal consistency on a project as “important” as Civil War is ridiculous. Are the Marvel editors high when they review storylines from various titles?
I just don’t dig Cheung’s style. I find Cheung’s artwork to be intensely drab and boring.
Overall: New Avengers #25 is another pedestrian read. Bendis continues to completely unimpress me with his feeble efforts on these Civil War tie-in issues. Unless you are a huge Bendis fan and blindly love everything he does, or you can’t get enough of the Civil War tie-in issues, then I’d avoid New Avengers until the Civil War tie-in issues mercifully come to an end.