To no surprise, the Revolution found that last issue of New Avengers terminally slow and full of pointless dialogue. However, Bendis did surprise me with a pretty good hook ending. I think that there is actually a chance that The Revolution might actually enjoy an issue of New Avengers for the first time in over a year. Let’s hope for the best and do this review for New Avengers #33.
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Artist: Leinel Yu
Art Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 2.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Hawkeye having a flashback to when he first joined the Avengers and underwent hand to hand combat training from Captain America. Captain America acts like a total hard-ass jerk more reminiscent of Ultimate Captain America than the 616 version.
Hawkeye pulls out of his daydream and we see the Secret Avengers sitting around in a hotel room in Chicago where their plane crashed. They see the broadcast from Ultron over the television and realize that the Avengers have bigger issues to handle rather than chasing down the rag tag Secret Avengers.
We then get to experience Luke Cage again play the “You are a Skrull” game as Like accuses Spider-Man of being a Skrull. Spider-Man is annoyed by Luke and says that he has no problem leaving the Secret Avengers. Someone knocks on the door and Dr. Strange makes everyone invisible except for Maya. Maya answers the door and it is room service delivering the food that they ordered.
The room service guy leaves and all the Secret Avengers start eating. They decide to eat and try and calm down. We then cut to Hell’s Kitchen where the Owl is holding a meeting with Crimson Cowl, Doctor Jonas Harrow, The Wizard and Madame Masque. The Owl tells them that he is here to auction off to them Deathlok.
Suddenly, a bald man enters the warehouse where the auction is being held and tells the Owl that this auction has not been authorized and that Deathlok is not Owl’s to auction off. The bald man says that if any of them want to make a transaction like this or do business together or plan a move then they will have to answer up. That he represents the person who has taken over Wilson Fisk’s territory.
Out of nowhere, a man in a red hood appears, pulls out his two guns and kills the Owl. The Hood says that the Owls was a cautionary tale. The Hood then disappears again. The bald man tells the villains that this is what happens if anyone does anything without the permission of The Hood.
We shift to the Secret Avengers begin teleported back inside of Dr. Strange’s mansion. Maya tells Hawkeye to keep the Ronin outfit. That he can wear it until he no longer needs it. Strange says that everyone is welcome at his mansion and are welcome to hold their meetings here. Luke “I love kickin’ vagina” Cage tells everyone to take a day off to themselves and decide if they want to stay a part of the team. If they do then they can come back tomorrow and they will plan their next course of action.
Everyone clears out of Dr. Strange’s mansion and Jessica asks Luke what happened. Luke doesn’t want to talk about it. Like then tells Jessica that she has changed a lot. That she doesn’t drink anymore and that he suddenly loves him. Oh boy, are we getting another round of the “You are a Skrull” game? Jessica rightfully tells Luke to fuck off.
We cut to Wolverine arriving at some seedy dive for a beer. Wolverine asks the bartender who is in the back room. The bartender answers that Parker Robbins is back there. That Robbins is The Hood.
Wolverine kicks down the door to the back room. The Hood turns invisible. Wolverine grabs the bald guy and tells him that The Hood can turn visible again because Wolverine can smell him. The Hood appears with his guns drawn at Wolverine and informs Logan that he is the one who stinks, not The Hood. End of issue.
The Good: No surprise that New Avengers #33 was another plodding, meandering and pedestrian read. However, I have to follow The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity and compliment this issue in some fashion.
Well, the scene where the Hood blows away the Owl was certainly a rather dramatic entrance for this new lord of the criminal underworld. It only makes sense that the exiling of the Kingpin would lead to a power vacuum in the criminal underworld. And since nature abhors a vacuum, it appears that the Hood believes he is the proper man to fill the role of the new Kingpin of the criminal underworld that Fisk abandoned.
The Bad: Bendis momentarily had my interest with the end of the last issue. I was actually excited over the prospect that Bendis had possibly finally given this title a point and purpose. And then I anxiously read New Avengers #33 hopeful of the prospect of actually enjoying an issue of the New Avengers for the first time in a long time. And instead all that happened was Bendis quickly losing my attention and interest as I realized we were getting another boring read.
God, this issue was freaking slow. Bendis just continues to wander around aimlessly with no point or purpose to this story. We follow up the random and uninteresting Maya in Japan story arc with the equally random and uninteresting Hood story arc. The only plotline that Bendis has created on New Avengers that has even remotely grabbed my interest was the one involving Spider-Woman double crossing her teammates and absconding with the body of the Electra Skrull. Thank god that Bendis didn’t touch at all on that plotline. The Hood plotline is clearly a much better direction to take with this title.
Bendis also continues to do nothing more than completely re-hash the exact same dialogue and plotlines from previous issues. I’m starting to feel like Billy Murray in the movie Ground Hog Day. Bendis “treats” us to more of the same mind numbingly boring “Are you a Skrull? I think YOU are a Skrull” game that we got all last issue. Bendis just continues to recycle the same tired dialogue over and over in an attempt to pile drive this theme into the ground. Honestly, the entire scene with the Secret Avengers in the hotel room could have been cut out completely.
The Ronin theme continues to bore me. I understand that the Ronin concept is one of Bendis’ babies so he is going to ram it down our throat. However, the concept of the Ronin isn’t all that great and I have no interest at all in Hawkeye running around as the Ronin.
Cage’s obsessive behavior of calling out everyone for being a Skrull is starting to get irritating. I know a lot of people dig Bendis’ take on Cage. Personally, I find Bendis’ version of Cage to be stereotypical, dumb and annoying. I definitely think that Cage’s constant and continual accusations of his teammates being Skrulls leads me to believe that Cage is probably a Skrull. I think that Power Man doth protest too much.
Honestly, this Hood plotline seems like a better fit for the pages of Daredevil than a title like the New Avengers. The Hood is a villain that works better on the small scale. In Daredevil, The Hood would be a great villain for Daredevil to lock horns with. Hood’s invisibility would be negated by Daredevil’s radar sense. That would leave the reader with getting to see which man is the better hand to hand fighter.
However, in New Avengers, The Hood is simply outclassed from the start. If all The Hood can do is turn invisible then it should take Wolverine all of thirty seconds to kill him. A character like the Hood isn’t a powerful enough villain to be worthy of a team like the New Avengers.
This title demands powerful villains who can test the combined might of a team consisting of Wolverine, Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, Iron Fist and Power Man. The Hood is hopelessly outclassed and is simply in the wrong title. And that is why the ending to this issue was a total miss. At no point do I think that Wolverine is even remotely in danger or that this is going to be anything but a very one-sided fight. This Hood plotline just seems like another random and wandering plotline. Maybe Bendis can grow this plotline into something great, but I doubt it.
I continue to find Yu’s artwork nothing short of horrible. Yu’s style of art really needs to find its proper home on a horror themed comic book. All the characters look completely hideous. Even when Maya is trying to be sultry and sexy at the hotel she just looks frightening. And, evidently, everyone is still suffering from some terribly advanced case of conjunctivitis.
Overall: New Avengers #33 continues the trend of meandering and boring reads that Bendis has trotted out each and every month for quite some time now. I imagine that if you are simply a huge Bendis fan and love everything that he puts out then you will probably dig this issue. Maybe it is just me, but Bendis has failed to give this title any direction or purpose and simply re-hashes the same dialogue and themes over and over again with each issue.