Secret Invasion: New Avengers #47 Review

Thank the heavens that this is the final Secret Invasion tie-in issue for New Avengers. The Secret Invasion tie-in issues on this title have progressively worse with each month to the point where they have become almost unreadable. I am sure that New Avengers #47 with have absolutely nothing to do with the Avengers at all and will, at best, only star one or maybe two Avengers. Let’s go ahead and get this review done.

Creative Team
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Pencils: Billy Tan and Michael Gaydos
Inks: Matt Banning and Michael Gaydos

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 a flashback scene to “Weeks ago” at Luke and Jessica’s apartment. Luke is horrified by the fact that his baby daughter’s poop is a mixture of green and yellow. Luke changes the diaper and then acts like he does not know how to hold his own child. Luke refers to his daughter as “it.” Jessica shows Luke how to hold the baby. How to bounce her and then sing to her to calm her and make her comforted.

Luke then decides to tell the baby a story about how he and Jessica first met, but Jessica says she has already done that. Luke then decided to tell the baby about the first time they fought a—but before Luke can finish his sentence Jessica says that she has already told their daughter that story. Luke then decides to tell the baby the story of the day that he fell in love with Jessica.

We flashback to Luke in Jessica’s neighborhood. Luke tells Jessica that he came to see her for some help. Luke says he wants to hire Jessica to track down his father. Luke reveals that his father and his brother have been hiding from Luke. That Luke’s brother periodically moves the father around to keep him hidden from Luke.

Luke explains how he was framed for murder and for dealing heroin and that Luke did jail time. However, Luke was exonerated of the murder and drug charges. However, Luke’s father is the type of old man who believes the newspapers and thought that Luke was lying about being innocent. And then Luke’s father thought Luke being a Defender was just a cover for Luke’s criminal activity. (Hmm, wait a minute, let me look at the cover of this comic book. Huh, well, it says “New Avengers” on it.)

Jessica suggests that Luke respect his father’s wishes to not be found by Luke. And that maybe Luke should just wait for his father to one day come around to wanting to see Luke. Luke disagrees and says he needs to do this.

Jessica says that she will take the job and thanks Luke for thinking of her. Luke then admits that first he went to see Dakota North, but that she is just too crazy. And then Luke could not find Jessica Drew. So, that is when Luke came looking for Jessica.

We cut to Hell’s Kitchen with Daredevil, Spider-Man, Iron Fist and Luke about to attack a secret Hand hideout. Luke gets text messaged by Jessica in which she says that she thinks she found Luke’s dad. The heroes then get ready to attack the hand.

But, there is no soup for you! Because, we quickly cut away from any possible action to Jessica knocking on a door of some home in Atlanta, Georgia. An older woman comes to the screen door but does not open it. The woman asks Jessica what she wants. Jessica says that she is looking for James Lucas. The older woman gets nervous and says that she does not know who that is. Jessica says that the man goes by the name James Geary now.

The older woman asks Jessica who is she. Jessica introduces herself and says that she is a private investigator who was hired by James’ son, Luke Cage. Jessica says that the son wants to talk to the father. The old woman says that the father does not want to talk to the son.

Jessica says that Luke just wants to know if his dad is okay. The older woman answers that James has been through a lot. That James Junior died. The woman says that she tried to tell James how important family is. The woman says that she sees that James keeps up on Luke and that he checks the internet news to see what Luke is doing.

The woman continues that James has lost a wife and a son. And that Luke is not what his father wanted. Jessica answers that Luke is all that James has left. The woman retorts “From that life.” The woman explains that she is James’ new wife. Jessica responds that she didn’t know. (Wow, great detective work there genius.) The woman states that they have been married for about a year.

The woman says that she just found out about James’ son a month ago. The woman says that Jessica has to let James go at his own pace. That if there is going to be any kind of reconciliation that James has got to decide to do it. That no one and no thing is going to make James do that. (Seriously, what is the title of this comic book again? Let me check again. Yeah, it definitely says “New Avengers.” Okay.)

Jessica then tells the wife to tell James that “we” were here. The woman replies “We?” We then see Luke Cage appear next to Jessica. (What? How in the world did the woman not see Luke Cage? The guy is huge!) Luke looks at the woman through the screen door. Luke sees his father appear down in the hallway. Luke says “Pa?” The father looks at the screen door, says nothing and then moves back inside of the house. The woman says “Maybe one day.” The woman then closes the main door.

We cut to later that night with Luke and Jessica at a Dairy Queen. (Hey, nice subtle product placement.) Jessica tells Luke “Told ya maybe not to come.” Luke answers “Yeah.” Luke begins to cry into his hand and Jessica then holds Luke.

Jessica then lightens the mood by asking what Luke wants from his father. After all, Luke used to wear a metal tiara in public. Luke and Jessica laugh. Jessica then says “Dakota North, seriously?” Luke answers “Never again.” (Seriously, what’s up with the Dakota North bashing?)

We slide back to Luke holding his daughter and finishing the story to her. Luke says that he hopes that they aren’t screwing their daughter up. Jessica says that with Luke as her father that their baby will be just fine.

Luke comments what kind of scary shit this is taking care of a kid and that maybe they should stop the shit that they are doing. (Hey, how about this idea, genius, stop cursing around your baby daughter?) Jessica answers “On the other hand, man, we can show her the world.” (Or you could continue to recklessly endanger your child and end up getting her abducted by Skrulls.)

We zip to the events during Secret Invasion #8 when the Skrull ship with all the captured heroes and SHIELD agents is opened up by Iron Man. Jessica sees Jarvis and realizes that she left her baby with Skrull posing as Jarvis. Jessica flies off for the Avengers Tower. Ms. Marvel grabs Luke and follows Jessica. The three arrive at the tower and see that their baby is gone. Luke cries. End of issue.

The Good: New Avengers #47 was yet another disappointing and dull Secret Invasion tie-in issue. It is not going to be easy for me to fulfill The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity with this issue. Let’s see. What was enjoyable about this issue? Well, this is the last Secret Invasion tie-in issue that we will have to suffer through on New Avengers. That is most definitely a positive thing.

Also, New Avengers #47 does catch Luke at a seminal moment in his life where the fact of him becoming a father and having to take care of his own child makes him examine his relationship with his own father. This is actually an incredibly realistic and common reaction to becoming a parent. Bendis does succeed in properly conveying the heady mixture of excitement and fear of being a new parent along. And naturally, new parents begin to gain a better understanding of their own parents.

This issue offers offer a candid look into Luke’s relationship (or lack thereof) with his father. And the flashback scene showed me a more appealing Luke Cage that had a bit more depth than the stereotype that Bendis usually gives us when writing Cage. As far as a Luke Cage story goes, this was a pretty solid little tale. However, I would still criticize it for being way too slow and dull. But, in the end, I would have given it a much higher score than what I gave this issue. Probably somewhere around 6 out of 10 Night Girls.

The Bad: However, the fact is, and I confirmed it once again by looking at the cover, that this is New Avengers #47 and not Luke Cage Special #1. And since this is an issue of the New Avengers I do actually expect an Avengers related story that actually stars the Avengers. I know that may make me sound like a raving lunatic and a madman, but I stand by that statement.

And that is the biggest flaw with New Avengers #47 and it has been a reoccurring defect on this title. I cannot be the only person who honestly purchases an issue of the New Avengers with the expectation of reading an Avengers story starring all of the Avengers. Or at least a good portion of them.

Instead, Bendis gives the reader yet another in an extremely long line of spot-light issues where he focuses solely on one or two characters. And the real reason for that is because Bendis cannot write a team title. And deep down inside Bendis knows that. Bendis’ strengths lie in solo titles like Ultimate Spider-Man and Daredevil. That is where his writing style flourishes and produces wonderful reads.

However, on team titles, Bendis crumbles under the weight of having to deal with more than two characters. Bendis is simply not capable of juggling a large roster of characters. And Bendis is not able to properly plot short-term, mid-range and long-term plotlines that involve all the members of the team like writers like DnA are able to do over on Guardians of the Galaxy.

New Avengers #47 was incredibly slow. The story just inches along taking up far too much time than it should. The story also is rather boring and dull for long stretches at a time. There is absolutely no action at all. And that is fine as long as the story offers a dense plot with strong character work and dialogue. However, that is most certainly not the case with New Avengers #47. For the most part this is an extremely talky issue where most of the dialogue borders on mere rambling.

I continue to be summarily unimpressed with how Bendis writes Luke Cage. With the exception of a few moments in the flashback scene when Luke tries to see his father, I find Bendis’ Luke Cage unappealing. Ever since the events of Civil War, Bendis has written Cage as being dumb and a bit of a crud.

We have seen Luke kicking women in the vagina. We have seen Luke place his wife and baby daughter in danger over and over due to his pride of not wanting to be registered. We have seen Luke being verbally abusive and physically threatening toward his wife. And we have seen Luke cursing in front of his baby daughter. Bendis has succeeded in making Luke look like a classless guy.

And Bendis seemed to go a bit overboard with making Luke the stereotypical dumb and clueless new dad. Luke refers to his daughter as “it.” I have never heard a new dad do something that dumb. It gets tiring that men are almost always portrayed as the idiot new parents while the mother is somehow genetically predisposed to know everything about being a parent. The scene would have been funnier if it had been Luke, the big bad tough guy, correcting Jessica about how to hold the baby, soothe the baby, etc.

New Avengers #47 was an extremely boring and dull issue to look at. And much of that blame is placed on Bendis since he did nothing at all in this story with the artists in mind. It is incumbent upon the writer to try and think of some scenes that can showcase the artist’s talent or that would be fun for the artist to draw. That is not the case in this issue as it seems the majority of the pages are the standard 9 panels per page layout. For the most part, this issue was nothing but static talking heads.

Overall: New Avengers #47 was nothing more than pure filler. It was blatantly obvious that Bendis was just stalling and wasting panel space until Secret Invasion concluded so that the Dark Reign plotlines could be kicked off in full force. Unless you are a huge Luke Cage fan, there is absolutely no reason at all to waste your money on this issue.

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