All right, I have to disclose right up front that I am taking every possible over the counter, under the counter and between the counter cold medicine that I can get my hands on. So, if I begin to babble incoherently about the gnomes living in the cellar of my house, at least you will know why.
Reading the New Avengers is like staring at a gruesome car wreck on the side of the interstate. It is hideous and awful, but you just can’t take your eyes off of it. Right now, I keep reading New Avengers wondering if it is possible for this title to actually get any worse than it already is. I guess anything is possible. I’m sure that New Avengers #35 is going to be yet another dreadful, slow and listless read. Let’s do this review for New Avengers #35.
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Artist: Leinel Yu
Art Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 1 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Jigsaw robbing a bank. Tigra arrives on the scene and proceeds to kick Jigsaw’s ass. The police show up on the scene and draw their guns on Tigra. Tigra says that she is a card-carrying member of the Initiative. The police don’t believe her and tell her to stand down and say that she is under arrest.
Jigsaw seizes upon this opportunity to pull off a grand escape. Jigsaw arrives back at his dumpy home which is actually a storage unit in a rundown storage center. Jigsaw is upset at what a joke of a criminal he has become. (Kind of how I’m upset at what a joke of a title Avengers has become. I feel your pain, Jiggy.) Jigsaw then notices an invite waiting for him on his door. The invite tells him to appear at a meeting tomorrow night.
We cut to that meeting. We see the Hood addressing a bunch of loser C-list villains like Jigsaw. The Hood introduces himself and says he has called this meeting in order to organize everyone under his authority. That Captain America is dead, Nick Fury is gone, heroes are fighting heroes, and the legal heroes can’t act without Iron Man’s approval. And to top it off, the Kingpin has been exiled from the country. That there is total chaos at the moment.
The Hood says that no plan on the street is to be made without clearing it with the Hood first. No job gets done without paying up and forward. If anyone has a problem with each other then they come to the Hood and then they will deal with the problem. That if anyone needs back up then the group will provide that support. That they will all be feared and respected.
The Hood gives each C-list villain $25,000 in seed money to do whatever they need to in order to get themselves back up and running again. The Hood then says that they are going to attack their enemies by killing and threatening the family members of their enemies. They will destroy their enemies spiritually and then their enemies will do what they want them to do.
Jigsaw asks the Hood just how he will be able to go after the families of super heroes. That their identities are being held secret by SHIELD. The Hood comments that he found all of the villains in this room. The Hood says that he knows what Jigsaw wants and that Jigsaw can consider it done.
We see Tigra walking home. She is mad that SHIELD is going to transfer her to Arkansas. Tigra wants to stay in New York since that is her home. Tigra enters her condo and sits down. Suddenly, the Hood appears out of nowhere. The Hood proceeds to just brutally beat down Tigra. Hood then shoots out Tigra’s knee. Suddenly, Tigra is only capable of saying “Aaaiiee!!”
The Hood grabs Tigra’s cell phone and calls Tigra’s mother. The Hood recites Tigra’s mother’s home address. The Hood tells Tigra to leave his men alone and to do whatever the Hood says or else he is going to kill Tigra’s mother. And then the Hood will kill Tigra. We get plenty more of Tigra screaming “Aaaiiee!!” The Hood proceeds to viciously beat Tigra further as Jigsaw tapes the beating.
We see the ass-kicking being broadcast back in a club where the rest of the loser villains that Hood has recruited are watching. They cheer the Hood. Chemistro then approaches Hood’s right hand man, John, and tells him that the Owl is making a move without the Hood’s permission.
We cut to the present with the Hood and his cohorts looking at Deathlok in his stasis tube. They decide to use Deathlok to rob a bank with $4.2 billion in assets. We cut to Deathlok rampaging through the bank and drawing the attention of the police while the Wrecking Crew steal all the money.
We shift to the Wrecking Crew presenting all the money back to the Hood. Unfortunately, Deathlok got trashed during the bank heist. Hood then pays a ten percent finder’s fee to the criminal who tipped the Hood off to the Owl trying to sell Deathlok.
Suddenly, across the TV in the Hood’s meeting room we see the news report about the symbiotes fighting with the Avengers. The Hood mentions that this is a grand opportunity. End of issue.
The Good: Yu’s artistic style lends to a fantastic looking Jigsaw. This furthers my belief that Yu is a talented artist; he is just on the wrong type of comic book. Yu should absolutely be drawing a horror based comic book.
The Bad: I really don’t know what to say about New Avengers #35. Partly because I feel like I have said it all before in my other reviews of the past issues of New Avengers. And partly because I’m absolutely stunned and shocked speechless at what a truly wretched read Bendis is giving us each and every month on New Avengers.
I honestly have never read a comic book that completely and totally lacked anything resembling any type of direction or purpose. If Bendis moved this storyline along any slower then he would start to go in reverse. The pacing is mind crushingly slow. I feel that at the end of every issue we are right back to where we were at the end of the previous issue. There is never any sense of progress.
The same goes for the end of New Avengers #35. At the end the reader is right back to where we were at the end of New Avengers #34 with the Avengers engaging the Symbiotes in battle. Bendis’ run on New Avengers is akin to getting nothing but filler issue after filler issue. New Avengers reads like Bendis is simply killing time with no intent on actually every giving us a developed and intriguing story arc with an actual purpose or direction.
New Avengers just might be the most pointless comic book currently on the market. Bendis has failed to create any long term plotlines that engage the reader’s interest. Bendis has also failed to create any short term plotlines that make for a good read. All in all, it seems that Bendis is simply writing this title like he has absolutely no plans at all. I think Bendis is engaging in a study to see how long he can crank out issues that don’t really deal with or progress any plotlines before the readers finally catch on to him.
Bendis gives us plenty of generic and boring dialogue. All the characters talk in a stereotypical external voice. All the characters are fairly flat and one-dimensional villains. On a positive note, Bendis’ dialogue did manage to do what my Vicks Nyquil couldn’t do: put me to sleep.
The Hood is quite possibly as dull and tedious a villain as they come. The Hood has zero personality. He comes across as your generic urban gangster styled C-list super villain. You have seen this type of super villain a hundred times before only done better over in titles like Daredevil, Spider-Man, Punisher and Moon Knight. And it is unbelievable that a guy dressed like Little Red Riding Hood would assume the position as the new Kingpin.
I could honestly care less about the Hood and his knock off version of the Secret Society of Super Villains that we get over in the Justice League of America. A cadre of A-list super villains banding together for support and protection headed up by an A-list bad-ass like Lex Luthor? All right, that definitely gets me excited. A group of loser C-list villains banding together out of desperation under the command of Little Red Riding Hood? I’ll pass.
And to top it all off, this entire plotline involving the Hood and his band of lame villains is probably the last type of plotline that I would ever imagine having on the New Avengers. The Avengers is supposed to be Marvel’s flagship title. Marvel’s answer to DC’s JLA. The Avengers should be about big name heroes taking on monster powered A-list villains in fights that are cosmic in scale. The Avengers shouldn’t be about taking a group of street based C-list super villains.
Smaller scale plotlines involving street based super villains and gangsters should be left to titles like Daredevil, Moon Knight, Spider-Man, Iron Fist, Punisher and Heroes for Hire. Not for a title like the Avengers.
Yu’s artwork is as hideous as usual. I am stunned that Yu can even make Tigra look ugly. Wow, now that takes some serious effort.
Overall: New Avengers #35 was another dreadful read. Bendis continues to stumble around like a blind man in the desert with no point or purpose to this title. Only die-hard Avengers fans or Bendis loyalists should bother getting this title. Other than those two groups, I can’t imagine anyone else finding New Avengers to be anything interesting. I certainly wouldn’t recommend wasting your money on this title when there are so many other titles much more deserving of your hard earned cash.