New Avengers #30 Review

The Revolution continues to be completely unimpressed with Bendis’ work on the New Avengers. This title has been an incredibly dull and uninteresting read ever since Civil War began. And I don’t see any hope on the horizon for this title. This current story arc is lacking in substance and direction. Maybe Bendis can get me to change my opinion with a strong showing on New Avengers #30. I’m not counting on it. Let’s hit this review.

Creative Team
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Artist: Leinel Yu

Art Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 1.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin a flashback scene to Brother Voodoo performing his spells to see if Dr. Strange and the New Avengers are still inside of Strange’s home. The Mighty Avengers wait outside. Brother Voodoo comes outside and says he can’t tell if Strange and the New Avengers are still in the house. Brother Voodoo says that Dr. Strange is the ”Master” of all mystical arts and it is quite possible that he has weaved a spell that Brother Voodoo cannot detect.

Iron Man thanks Brother Voodoo for his help. Brother Voodoo comments how heroes are fighting heroes and that he wonders what the criminals are doing. (Wow! How deep and poignant. Like we haven’t read that comment about a million times since the beginning of Civil War.)

Iron Man tells the New Avengers to head back to base and that he is going into the house alone. Iron Man walks into Strange’s house and takes off his helmet. Iron Man says that he knows that Dr. Strange and the rest of the New Avengers are in the room.

Tony says that they lost the war. Tony says that they can be heroes again. Tony asks what do they think they will accomplish. Are they just rebelling just because they don’t know what else to do? What do they think is the end of the story? That if they know a better ending than the one Tony can think of then please tell him. Tony then puts his helmet back on and takes off.

Spider-Man then comments that Tony had a point with what he said. What are they trying to prove and accomplish? Luke says that prior to the Civil War that someone let out the criminals from the Raft. Then they went to the Savage Land and found out something was rotten in SHIELD. Then they found out something was rotten in Hydra. Then Nick Fury suddenly disappeared. That the government suddenly turned against them. (Well, I think the tragedy at Stamford explained that turn.)

Luke says that he thinks something more is going on here. That he feels manipulated. That he thinks everything is connected. That they should keep fighting and digging until they find out how the real bad guy is.

Iron Fist asks what if there is no real bad guy. What if the world is just upside down? Spider- Man comments how bad guys like Kingpin never see themselves as the bad guys. That maybe they really are the bad guys now. Luke responds that they will then beat each other up. (Wow. Amazingly intelligent.)

Wolverine interrupts saying that all that matters right now is going to Japan to find Maya Lopez. Suddenly, Clint Barton otherwise known as Hawkeye enters Strange’s home. Strange says that they can trust Clint and makes the New Avengers visible to Clint.

Wolverine asks Clint if he found the Scarlet Witch. Clint says he didn’t. Wolverine says he can tell Clint is lying. Clint responds that what he found isn’t going to do anyone any good. Clint tells Dr. Strange that he was right that Clint didn’t find the closure he was looking for. Clint then asks the New Avengers if they are the New Defenders.

Luke tells everyone to keep quiet. Luke says he thinks Clint is working for Iron Man. Clint says that he is here to honor Captain America and carry on his fight. That Clint is going to shove the Registration Act up Tony Stark’s ass. (Wow, again, haven’t read that a million times. And I’m pretty sure the U.S. Congress, at the public urging of the voters, drafted the Registration Act and not Tony Stark. Stark just enforced it. Details, details.)

Luke still doesn’t trust Clint and right now barely trusts any of the other New Avengers. Dr. Strange then performs a Spell of Tartashi on everyone in the room to show their purity and spirit of intention. Strange casts the spell and everyone is pure in their intentions. (Yay, now we can have a big group hug and trust everyone.)

Luke tells Clint to get his Hawkeye gear and come to Japan with them. Clint responds that he is no longer Hawkeye. Spider-Man says that it is costumes only on this adventure. Wolverine then hands Clint the Ronin costume.

We shift back to the present (Finally, we are only 15 pages into the issue with just 7 pages left.) Luke tells Electra to let them take Maya back to the United States and the New Avengers will leave her alone and her criminal empire untouched. Luke keeps stalling Electra by telling her that there is a bigger conspiracy going on in the world with the happenings over in SHIELD, Hydra and the Civil War. Wolverine keeps asking Luke what is he doing.

We see Maya regain consciousness. A hand ninja throws Maya a sword and then Maya guts Dr. Strange. Luke says he was just stalling waiting for Wolverine to heal up. Wolverine retorts that you never stall ninjas. (Good advice. Let me write that one down.) Luke retorts why would he want to talk to Electra? (So true. Luke would rather kick Electra in the vagina!) Wolverine tells Luke that he made a bad move. (I have to agree. Who elected Luke the leader of this group?)

The Hand ninjas then overwhelm and defeat the New Avengers. Electra tells Maya “Welcome to your new life, Maya Lopez.” Maya stands over a body of Dr. Strange who is battling to stay alive. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: I honestly don’t know what to say. New Avengers #30 was an absolutely brutal read in just about every possible aspect. I have no idea how in the world I can follow the Revolution’s Rule of Positivity with this total clunker of an issue.

Well, let’s see. Luke Cage managed to go an entire issue and not kick a single woman in the vagina. That is nice to see. We did finally get a Clint Barton sighting. That was cool. I have always been a Hawkeye fan, so I’m digging that Clint has been worked into the mix on the New Avengers.

Bendis did manage to give Spider-Man a couple of funny lines. We all know since Bendis does an absolutely wonderful job on Ultimate Spider-Man that he simply knows how to write Spider-Man’s character.

The Bad: New Avengers #30 was a total stinker. It was just an abysmal issue in ever respect. This issue was a total waste of time and trees. Bendis somehow manages to bring a story that was already pointless, plodding and creeping along at a snail’s pace to a complete and total screeching halt.

New Avengers #30 was horribly plotted and paced. This issue was mind numbingly slow and pointless. Bendis meanders around with no direction. I honestly haven’t come across a title that seems to lack any direction or purpose to the large degree that we have here in the New Avengers.

Bendis trots out the same tired and crushingly boring re-tread dialogue that we have gotten over and over again ever since the beginning of the Civil War mini-series for the first 15 pages of the New Avengers. The entire flashback scene for the first 15 pages was completely useless and totally uninteresting. It only served to throw this story into neutral.

We get the same re-tread dialogue about heroes battling heroes and what are criminals doing while this is going on. We get more of the Tony is a dick dialogue and the typical hostile dialogue about shoving the Act up Tony’s act. I feel like I’m trapped in a mobius strip when it comes to the New Avengers and I’m just reading the same Civil War dialogue and topics over and over and over.

And the remaining 7 pages of the New Avengers #30 was equally slow and uninteresting as we get more of this interminably long battle between the New Avengers and the Hand that seems to have been going on for a year. With the exception of the very final page of this issue, there was no progress at all of a single plotline. Bendis’s New Avengers manages to make the old comic strips of Apartment 3-G and Rex Morgan, M.D. seem like they move at a blisteringly fast pace.

Bendis is like a person who likes to talk just to hear the sound of their own voice, but they never actually ever say anything. The dialogue is a rambling, dull and tiresome mess. There is a total and complete lack of chemistry between any of the characters on the New Avengers.

Outside of Spider-Man, Bendis demonstrates a lack of any clue on how to properly write the other team members. None of the characters outside of Spider-Man have anything resembling a fully developed and distinctive personality. Instead, we get grotesquely stereotypical Luke Cage and very generic versions of the rest of the characters. Bendis continues to struggle with the concept of writing a team title.

The scene with Tony talking to the invisible New Avengers addressed two of many problems that I have with this title. First, this scene made Tony look rational, calm and level headed. Tony is sincere and honest and reaches out with compassion and a desire to understand why his friends are doing what they are doing. Tony reaches out to try to his friends with an olive branch.

On the flip side, the members of the New Avengers come across as narrow minded and hateful. They personally attack Tony with unfounded and grossly exaggerated statements. They want to bring about a violent conflict. They don’t want to engage in any type of dialogue. You can see the hatred and anger in their eyes. They come across as zealots and fanatics. Maybe it is just me, but is that really how Bendis wants us to view his pet characters?

Second, Tony asks the New Avengers why they are still fighting their hopeless fight. Tony asks what is their point and purpose. If they see an ending any different than what Tony sees. Tony actually comes across as the sane and rational person showing that now that the Civil War has ended that the New Avengers are just now fighting for the sake of fighting. That they lack any rhyme or reason.

Bendis then counters with the idea that there is some massive conspiracy going on in the world. This is reflected in the corruption in SHIELD, the disappearance of Nick Fury, the problems in Hydra and now the U.S. government and the Registration Act. That there must be someone behind all of this.

This conspiracy theory is Bendis’s grand direction and purpose for the New Avengers. One huge problem with this is that Joey Q went on record right before Civil War and said that there will be no one villain behind the events of Stamford and Civil War. Period. Well, if that is the case, then Luke Cage’s little quest is a fool’s errand. The world is really just upside down.

And that leads me to Luke Cage’s response to Spider-Man’s question of what if there is no one villain behind everything and that the world really is upside down? Cage responds that in that case they just beat each other up. Oh boy! Pointless fighting. Sweet. Seriously, how much of a total and complete moron does Luke Cage come across in this issue?

First, he looks like a total idiot for his comment about what to do if there is no one villain behind everything. Pointless moronic fighting. Genius. Second, his plan to keep talking to Electra and stalling led to Maya Lopes falling back under Electra’s control, Dr. Strange getting stabbed in the gut and the rest of the team falling to the Hand. Again, more genius.

Seriously, why is this idiot the leader of the team? If this is the type of brilliant leadership that the New Avengers are going to have since the death of Captain America then I don’t like their chances of success.

Clint as Ronin and not Hawkeye sucks. Ronin is one of Bendis’s pet characters that he is going to shove down our throats. I don’t dig the Ronin gimmick. It totally fails to do anything for me. The sooner Clint returns as Hawkeye the better.

The ending to New Avengers #30 was rather uninteresting and totally failed to get me interested in the next issue. You know that Dr. Strange isn’t dead so Maya stabbing him in the gut didn’t have any impact on me. I could care less what happens to Maya. I don’t care about her “old life” or her “new life” with the Hand. Maya is another one of Bendis’s pet characters and is nothing but a completely lame character. I could also care less about the Hand. They have never interested me so nothing about the Hand and Electra’s bid for the underworld of Japan even remotely interests me.

Leinel Yu is a talented artist. With the exception of Daniel Way, you won’t see The Revolution ever say that any writer or artist who works for DC or Marvel lacks talent. I may not like their style of writing or art. I may think that the writer or artist have been placed on the wrong title based on their talents. But, I won’t call someone untalented.

Having said that, I find Yu’s artwork to be flat out hideous. Just brutally ugly. Yu somehow manages to make hotties like Electra look frighteningly revolting looking. There is nothing that I enjoy about Yu’s artwork.

Yu is absolutely the completely wrong artist for a title like the New Avengers. Yu’s artwork is much more suited for a Vertigo title or a horror themed comic book. If Dr. Strange had his own title, then I think Yu’s artwork would be nicely suited for that title with all the magic, monsters and horror-styled creatures.

Overall: New Avengers #30 was just a complete mess of an issue. This was a horrid read. Both the writing and the artwork combined for a real stinker of an issue. I have no faith in Bendis being able to right this ship and make the New Avengers a quality read. I would only recommend the New Avengers if you are a big fan of one of the members of the New Avengers or if you just love Electra and the Hand.

11 Comments

  1. Yu’s art was so much better even a couple of years ago (like in “Superman: Birthright”), even if things like facial expressions weren’t particularly strong even then.

    I much prefer Might Avengers; the art is infinitely better, and they spend their time fighting naked robots, which are gratuitous, but fun.

    My single-biggest stumbling block to liking NA is, like you related, their mission: Cap ordered them to stand down and work within the system, and they aren’t. Okay, if they have a good reason. But it turns out that until this issue, most of them didn’t have a reason at all, and Cage’s only reason is the vague hope (which is what it is, really) that some villain can be blamed for all their problems.

  2. Oh, and I’m guessing that Clint is now Ronin because the name has been passed on to Kate, the Young Avenger.

  3. Man, punt one cunt and you’re marked for life.

    It’s worth noting that ‘no mastermind’ behind Civil War is pretty much undermined by the corruption that infected Shield before the war. A villain taking advantage of the situation instead of provoking it still allows Marvel their statement of ‘no mastermind’ behind Civil War.

    It’s what they did with Wolverine, after all 😉

  4. Whiskey tango foxtrot.
    This is like the complete antithesis of Mighty Avengers, which I find to be somewhat boring, but still capable of holding my attention.

    The art in this issue is piss-poor. Even the inker should be taken out back and shot. Does this book even have an editor? Who gets the proof pages and signs off on this excrement? If you can’t tell what’s going on in the story due to the crap writing, you can always say it’s because you have no idea what you’re looking at, either. Someone please tell Marvel there are some brights in the color spectrum, and they’re allowed to use them. The rainbow is not trademarked.

    What little characterization you find here is just completely off. Is that Luke’s wife (Jessica Jones?) constantly muttering ‘no $#!?’, with their child in earshot?
    Honestly, my first ish of NA was the one where Luke has to evade SHIELD to avoid registration, which was infinitely better than this. I’m secretly hoping social services takes their kid away.

    Please, Marvel, ask Dan Slott to give this title a shot. Such a great second-string roster (in a title that can be used to elevate their presence in the MU) gone to complete waste [minus Wolverine. This guy’s more overexposed than oxygen]. Let Bendis have his party over at MA, and let these characters define themselves through a writer who knows the difference between Luke Cage and Passenger 57.

  5. I agree that Yu’s art is just revolting in this run of New Avengers. I read Superman: Birthright recently and really loved his slightly exaggerated people, and thin, clean lines but I seriously he needs a new inker and his art style change is for the worse. Hawkeye’s a pretty cool guy, but he just makes him butt ugly!

  6. Yu’s art is popular, for some reason; in most of the fan polls I’ve seen, he inexplicably runs close to, or even beats, Cho on MA. I don’t understand it at all, but whatever.

    I’ve never understood why Spider-Man should be characterized as “the ultimate loner.” He’s a friendly, normal guy; if Batman and Wolverine can be on teams, I don’t see why he couldn’t, since he’s way more well-adjusted. I really don’t see why he couldn’t work in a group (Marvel Adventures: The Avengers has him on the team and he works quite well).

    Generally speaking, I understand that Millar is on time; his UFF run didn’t have any problems that I recall, nor his Wolverine run. He got sick recently, which contributed to scheduling problems, but otherwise he’s normally pretty good (although he has a rep for constantly tinkering with his scripts). It’s mostly the artists he works with (Hitch; McNiven, although he also fell ill, and had little lead-time).

  7. Regarding the Hawkeye thing, I suppose they could both use it; I mean, there are never less than two Flashes and four or five human guys calling themself Green Lantern in the DCU.

    Also, the variant cover for the third issue of “Fallen Son” has Clint and Kate on it, so I’m guessing the codename thing will be mentioned there.

    I really like Kate; she’s one of my favourite YAs.

  8. If Social Services showed up to take away Luke Cage & Jessica Jones’ baby, it would probably result in Luke going off on a long rant about how The Man is keeping him down. He seems to do that every time he disagrees with the govt… at least, when Bendis is writing him.

  9. Ilan the portlander Rebbe May 14, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Why? Why must you deny Luke the respect he so requently demands?

    Sure, to you and me it might not seems odd that super heros have things happen to them. And a break in, a trip to the savage land and a kiddnapping might seem odd in a world where Magento, the skrull, the hulk and Galactius all atack new york on the same weekened, but the man has a crazy theory and nothing eles is going on, so he might as well run with it. I’m sure he’ll even be able to work in the illuminte, bohemia gorve and the elders of Zion. Your just like Tony Stark with his !@#$%% calm logic and reason.

    Let’s loook at what went right in the issue.
    1. Luke went a whole issue without kicking anyone in the crotch. That, my friend is chracter growth.
    2. Wolverine appeared and his orgin did NOT get more conveluted.
    3. No Shiar.
    4. Brother Voodoo is a cool name

  10. What’s wrong with the Shi’ar?

    I generally think Bendis has done a good job with Cage; he’s one of the characters Bendis clearly gets.

  11. He’s pretty much always been a bit of a stereotype; he was created as a knock-off of blaxploitation heroes. At least under Bendis he’s been an extremely popular stereotype, as opposed to a piece of 70s-80s character trivia.

    Bendis brought him out of limbo, gave him a family, and a place on Marvel’s biggest superteam.

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