New Avengers continues to stun and amaze The Revolution with how pathetically poor of a read it is each and every month. If nothing else, Bendis is remarkably consistent in how dreadful of a read this title is with each new issue. I’m shocked that a writer as talented as Bendis continues to strike out on this title. I loved Bendis’ work on Daredevil. I enjoyed his runs on both Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. I have loved his work on Ultimate Spider-Man ever since the first issue. Yet, Bendis continues to deliver nothing but stink bombs on New Avengers ever month. I am positive that New Avengers #34 will be another clunker. I’ll just hope that Bendis can surprise me with a great issue. Let’s hit this review for New Avengers #34.
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Artist: Leinel Yu
Art Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 1.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Wolverine brawling with The Hood. During the fight, The Hood evidently blasts off Wolverine’s dick with multiple gunshots. (What the hell is up with Bendis’ crotch obsession? First Electra and now Wolverine.) Suddenly, The Hood turns into a cyborg demon. (Ooookay.) The Hood busts through a window and makes a quick getaway. Wolverine slumps on the floor and wonders if his dick will grow back bigger. (Umm, yeah. Too much information and talk about Wolverine’s dick.)
We cut to Dr. Strange in bed with the Night Nurse. (Nice score, Doc.) Unfortunately, Dr. Strange’s mind is elsewhere other than on the booty in front of him. Strange is worried about the New Avengers and how he should have played an active role in the Civil War rather than sitting it out. The Night Nurse gets dressed and goes back to work since Strange is in a mood. (And not the right one.)
We shift to Hawkeye taking a shower. Maya Lopez accidently walks into the shower and stares at Hawkeye’s package in stunned amazement. (Oookay, now we all know that Clint is hung like a bull.) Maya closes the door and sits there still stunned by Clint’s Ron Jeremy-esque dick.
We zip to Iron Fist talking with Dr. Strange about someone else tapping into his chi powers. They blah blah blah about how they both are just filling a role that will eventually see them replaced by a younger man. A new Iron Fist will come along to replace Danny just like a new Sorcerer Supreme will come along to replace Strange.
Spider-Man, Maya and Hawkeye (I refuse to call him Ronin) enter the room. Spider-Man declares he is a Skrull. Luke Cage enters with his baby. The team notices that everyone returned to be a part of the Avengers with the lone exception of Wolverine. Jessica Jones comes in and announces that Luke thinks she is a Skrull and that their child is half-Skrull. (Oh boy! Is it time again to play the “You’re a Skrull! No, you’re a Skrull!” game?) Suddenly, Luke is incapable of saying anything other than “Girl!”
Mercifully, Dr. Strange creates a plan to kill off this tiresome re-occurring plotline by casting a spell that will reveal a person’s true spiritual nature. A visual projection of who one truly is versus who they pretend to be or are trying to be. The only drawback is that everyone in the room will see the visual projection and it might be embarrassing.
While Dr. Strange begins to cast the spell, Luke tells Danny that he and Jessica have decided to name their baby Danielle. Iron Fist is touched. Dr. Strange then finishes casting the spell. Everyone’s true spiritual natures are revealed.
Luke is himself back in his yellow and green costume with a chain belt and beautiful tiara. (I think Luke might actually be doing the patented Miss America wave.) Iron Fist is himself as The Iron Fist through history. Jessica’s is herself as a super hero. Spider-Man’s is himself when he was in high school. Maya’s is herself in a Daredevil costume. Hawkeye’s is himself in a Captain America outfit. Dr. Strange is himself as a physician. Wolverine then enters the room at the moment the spell is cast and his true nature is himself as a samurai.
Luke, Iron Fist, Jessica, Dr. Strange and Wolverine are all cool with their true spiritual natures. Spider-Man is less than thrilled that his is when he was in high school. Jessica is slightly embarrassed by hers. Hawkeye is definitely pissed about his and asks Strange to keep going several times in order to get a different true spiritual nature.
Wolverine then informs the team that The Hood is some form of demon. That The Hood is planning to unleash Deathlok on Avengers Tower in hopes that he will kill Tony Stark. Evidently, while hearing this big news, Jessica and Luke decide to have their little “I’m sorry” make up session.
Luke then says that they are the good guys and that they have to go do good guy stuff and stop Deathlok even though Tony, the Avengers and SHIELD have been trying to arrest them. We see the Secret Avengers swinging into action and arriving outside of Avengers Tower. We see the Mighty Avengers flying off from Avengers tower.
Suddenly, the New Avengers see a ton of symbiotes (Venom symbiotes) all over the street outside Avengers Tower wreaking havoc. (And the Mighty Avengers didn’t see this chaos because?) The Secret Avengers then rush into action to battle the symbiotes. We then see one of the symbiotes jump onto Maya’s arm.
The Good: Oh c’mon, do you guys really expect me to follow The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity with New Avengers #34? I’d have to be a total Marvel Zombie to compliment this issue. Hmm, let’s see what did I enjoy about this issue? Well, I did find the true spiritual natures for each of the Secret Avengers to be rather funny.
The best were the ones for Spider-Man and Hawkeye. Poor Spidey still sees himself as that hopeless little nerd in high school. That is absolutely fitting for Spider-Man. Even after all he has accomplished as a super hero, he still suffers low self-esteem and views himself as the outsider in the super hero community who doesn’t get the love and recognition that other big name heroes get.
Hawkeye’s true spiritual nature was a bit of a surprise. And I can understand why Hawkeye would be less than pleased with seeing himself as Captain America. Hawkeye has always been the rebel of the Avengers. His role is that of the gadfly who always challenges authority.
And despite Marvel’s attempts to re-write Tony as Iron Dick Cheney, all throughout the Avenger’s history, Captain America has filed the role as the ultimate authority figure. And it is only natural that bad-boy Hawkeye always rebelled against Captain America’s tight-ass authority throughout the years.
The Bad: New Avengers #34 was yet another train wreck of an issue. Bendis is just belching forth one hot mess after another on this title. New Avengers was poorly paced. Once again the story moves listlessly and mind numbingly slowly. New Avengers is by far the slowest moving title I have read in quite some time.
The plotting is just horrid. New Avengers lacks any coherent purpose. Instead, all we get is a random and meandering story that seems to have no point at all. Bendis just continues to load up every issue with pointless scenes full of random dialogue about navel lint or whatever idle thoughts may cross through the character’s minds at any particular moment.
We continue to re-hash the same tired and worn out plotlines ad naseum. Once again, this issue is dominated by the ever popular “You’re a Skrull! No, you’re a Skrull!” game. I can only hope and pray that Dr. Strange’s spell finally puts to rest this dead horse of a plotline before Bendis grinds it into glue. Seriously, this plotline has been driven through the ground like I have never seen before on a comic book.
Bendis is totally all over the place with this title. Bendis lacks any coherent vision or plan for this title. Instead, Bendis gives us non sequitur and random scenes like Strange and the Night Nurse, Strange and Iron Fist and Hawkeye and Maya that do nothing at all to intrigue the reader or advance any plotlines.
Throw on top of those scenes the plotline involving the Red Hood and his plans to unleash Deathlok on the Avengers Tower. We now learn that The Hood is a cyborg demon. And why not? That makes as much sense as anything else on this title. Maybe we will also learn that he is a showgirl for the musical ‘A Chorus Line.”
Bendis also mashes another completely random plotline into this title with the ending of this issue unveiling the attack of the symbiotes. Why not? It makes as much sense as anything else on this title. And how the Mighty Avengers just flew past all these symbiotes wreaking havoc in the streets of Manhattan lacks any logic whatsoever, but considering the totally non sequitur writing of this title it actually makes sense.
Seriously, Bendis is giving us several uninteresting and random plotlines that lack any internal logic or connection with each other. Maybe Bendis can tie all of these plotlines together in some grand and genius fashion. However, at this point, these random plotlines simply serve to give New Avengers a pointless and schizophrenic feel to the plotting of this title. Honestly, I just want Bendis to pick a damn plotline and direction and stick with it already.
New Avengers is horridly constructed and just stumbles along like a blind man in the desert. Bendis writes like he is taking huge bong hits before writing each issue. It seems like Bendis has eschewed the common approach of plotting out a long term vision for this title and is simply writing by the seat of his pants.
Bendis has failed to get me interested in The Hood. And having him turn out to be a cyborg demon only lessons my interest in his character. If anything, it makes The Hood even cheesier and lamer than before.
Bendis also totally whiffed on the ending of this issue. This ending was technically poorly constructed and made of an odd and disjointed scene. This was certainly not a well choreographed hook ending. I also am not intrigued at all about the concept of a bunch of symbiotes attacking New York. The main reason is because it just feels like another totally arbitrary and random plotline.
Let’s re-cap what Bendis has managed to accomplish in the past 8 issues from issues #27-34. The Secret Avengers rescue Maya from the Hand and discover that Electra is a Skrull. Spider-Woman then absconds with the Skrull body to take it to Tony Stark. The Hood appears on the scene with the plan to use Deathlok to attack Avengers Tower. A horde of symbiotes attack Manhattan. Oh yeah, we get to play the “You’re a Skrull! No, you’re a Skrull!” game a ton.
That’s it. In eight issues, that is all we have gotten. That’s right, it has taken eight issues for Bendis to deliver what could have easily been done in about four issues. I feel like I’m reading the comic book version of Guiding Light.
Bendis’ dialogue was also rather unimpressive. We basically get a ton of boring blah blah blah about nothing interesting. Bendis loves the sound of his own voice and can cram more casual and wordy dialogue into an issue than would ever be necessary. Plus, none of the characters have developed their own personal voices. They all read rather similar to each other. Well, with the exception of Luke who just speaks with a very stereotypical voice. “Girl!”
And what exactly is up with Bendis’ crotch obsession? Wolverine wondering if his dick will grow back bigger after being shot off. Maya evidently stunned and horrified speechless at the massive python that Hawkeye wields. All this after the infamous vagina kicking session by Luke Cage. It isn’t working for me. It isn’t cool, hip or funny. It is just flat out bizarre and creepy. And it also comes across as rather juvenile. Yes, Bendis, men have penises and women have vaginas.
As always, I find Yu’s artwork to be downright hideous. It is amazing how Yu can take hot characters like Maya and the Night Nurse and make them look like monsters from a horror movie. Seriously, everyone looks like a zombie. Yu would be great for a comic book like Tales from the Crypt, but not for the Avengers. Yu’s artwork gives the New Avengers a muddy, sloppy and boring look.
Overall: New Avengers #34 was another pathetic read. Bendis continues to gag it each and every month on this title. Unless you are a massive Avengers fan or a loyal Bendis fan, I simply cannot recommend wasting your money on this title. Seriously, if I was not getting my comic books for free I certainly wouldn’t be wasting my cash on this title.