New Avengers #50 Review

The Revolution has enjoyed Bendis’ work on Dark Avengers. The same cannot be said for what Bendis has given us on New Avengers. This title has been a consistently poor read. I can only hope that Bendis finally gets this title back on track and moving with some type of purpose in mind. New Avengers #50 is a big issue and has been hyped as the showdown between the New Avengers and the Dark Avengers. Let’s see if Bendis can deliver. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Avengers #50.

Creative Team
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Billy Tan, Matt Banning, Justin Ponsor, Brian Hitch, Rain Beredo, David Aja, Dave Stewart, David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez, Alex Maleev, Steve McNiven, Dexter Vines, Morry Hollowell, Leinel Yu, Mark Morales, Dave McCraig, Steve Epting and Greg Horn

Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with the New Avengers staring at the paused picture of the New Avengers on their television. Hawkeye is pissed off and is ranting that they need to go kick the Dark Avengers’ asses. The others are just stunned. Clint spits that they are probably Skrulls. This prompts Iron Fist to quip for Clint to stop using the word Skrull. Iron Fist says that he is sick of that word. Luke chimes in that he is sick of that word, too. (So am I.)

Iron Fist comments that Sentry and Ares are sellouts. Ms. Marvel disagrees about Sentry and says that Sentry is simply a sick man. Luke chimes in and says that Ares is the god of war. Clint calls Ares a “Thor wanna-be.” Luke tells Clint to say that to Ares’ face. Clint says that he would. Luke does not believe that statement.

The New Avengers proceed to figure out that Marvel Boy is Captain Marvel. That Moonstone is Ms. Marvel. That Venom is Spider-Man and Bullseye is Hawkeye. The New Avengers are pissed that the Thunderbolts are posing as Avengers. However, nobody recognizes who is posing as Wolverine. Logan replies that it is his son, Daken. The New Avengers are all stunned silent that Wolverine has a son. Spider-Man is stunned that Wolverine has even had sex. (This scene is ridiculously decompressed.)

The New Avengers talk about how since Tony paid for everything with SHIELD money that Norman is now in control of Avengers Tower. Captain America asks Spider-Man if there is no question that Norman Osborn is the Green Goblin. Spider-Man swears that Norman is the Green Goblin and that Norman is a murderer and a psychopath. Captain America adds that now Norman has surrounded himself with criminals from the Thunderbolts. And now Norman has weaseled himself into a position of power. Captain America states that they have to believe that Norman is intent on abusing his newfound power. (Duh. Look at the big brain on Cap.)

Captain America states that they could go fight the Dark Avengers. However, Captain America asks what would they do then? Cap says that they cannot arrest the Dark Avengers. Clint pipes in that they could expose the Dark Avengers for what they are. Spider-Man, the master of the obvious, points out that they are out-classed by the power of the Dark Avengers. (Bendis is talking me to death.)

Ms. Marvel states that they might be able to beat the Dark Avengers. Ms. Marvel says that she has Tony’s power inhibitor that he used on the New Avengers a while back when he lured them to Avengers Tower by using Steve Rogers’ dead body as bait. Ms. Marvel says that they could lure the Dark Avengers somewhere and then use the power inhibitor on them. Luke says “And beat the black off them.” (Whaaat? Why in the hell would Luke say that? First, it is stupid and ignorant. Second, none of the Dark Avengers are black. That was dumb dialogue. Once again Bendis makes Luke look like an idiot.)

Jessica Jones then points out that they are running out of places to live and that they cannot lure the Dark Avengers to Cap’s hideout. Ms. Marvel says that they can lure the Dark Avengers to some other place. Spider-Woman then says that she thinks that she might come into play at this point.

We cut to Avengers Tower with the scene from Dark Avengers #2 where Norman tells the team that the Skrulls are done and that they are not going to go after Tony Stark for their first mission. Moonstone then suggests that they introduce themselves to each other. Daken asks why they would do that. Moonstone says that it was her way of saying that she does not know what the hell Daken is. (God, I have sat through ten pages of talking static heads and now I have to re-read a scene of dialogue from an earlier issue. Bendis is putting me to sleep.)

Suddenly, Spider-Woman arrives on the scene. (Thank god. Please fight. Do not talk.) Venom attacks Spider-Woman and asks Norman if he can eat her. (That is so fresh and original getting old.) Spider-Woman says that she came here to talk to Norman. Hawkeye asks if he can kill “it” before Venom eats “it.” Norman says that Spider-Woman is not an “it.” That she is not the Skrull queen.

Norman asks what Spider-Woman wants. Spider-Woman says that she first went to the New Avengers but they did not want her. That they all hate her because she looks like the Skrull queen. Norman answers that he has no desire to look at Spider-Woman’s face, either. Norman says that he has no spot on the Dark Avengers for her.

Venom says that Spider-Woman is a Skrull. (This issue is just awful so far.) Spider-Woman screams that she is not a Skrull and blasts Venom. Sentry grabs Spider-Woman’s arms and tells her to stop. Spider-Woman blasts Sentry in the face. It has no effect on him at all. Sentry says “No. Seriously. Cut it out.”

Norman tells everyone to stop fighting. Norman says that Spider-Woman has nothing to offer him. (This scene is about three pages longer than it needs to be.) Spider-Woman says that she knows the location of Luke Cage and the New Avengers. Spider-Woman asks if that information is worth a roster spot on the Dark Avengers.

Norman points out that Luke already tried to con him. Spider-Woman says that she knows. Spider-Woman says that she was an agent of SHIELD and Hydra. Spider-Woman says “Just give me something to do, man.” We then get three more static panels of the same shot until Norman finally smiles.

We cut to the New Avengers at the old Hellfire Club house o’ sin in New York City. Wolverine says that he thought about this location if the New Avengers ever needed a place to hide out. Luke can’t believe that Wolverine would have suggested this location as a place to live. Wolverine quips that it would have been better than nothing. Luke answers “Not really.” (Dios mio. This issue is an ode to decompression at its most extreme form. Are we going to talk about the amount of navel lint that Luke accumulates due to the “wife beaters” that he wears?)

We have to sit through Ms. Marvel giving an unnecessary explanation about how the power inhibitor works. Evidently it is like a biological EMP. Mockingbird asks how they will know when to use it. (I would suggest using it when the bad guys show up.) Spider-Woman appears on the scene and tells them to fire it up now. That the Dark Avengers are right behind her. Wolverine sniffs the air and says something is wrong. (Yes, you are correct, my short furry friend. Something is wrong. We have been 18 pages and gotten more mind numbing and rambling dialogue than one person can possibly handle.)

Suddenly, the power inhibitor explodes. (Damn Starktech!) Iron Fist says that they should retreat immediately. Spider-Man says his spider sense is tingling. Wolverine says that his is as well. The door blows up and little red riding Hood and his merry band of D-list super villains enter the scene. (Aww, were you expecting to see the New Avengers knock heads with the Dark Avengers? Sorry. NO SOUP FOR YOU!)

We cut to outside of the Hellfire Club and see the Dark Avengers on a nearby rooftop watching the Hood and his thugs attack the New Avengers. Norman says that it was a trap after all. Norman says that the New Avengers will get the message. Norman says that the Dark Avengers will not join the fight. Norman continues that he does not want his first act as top cop to be him beating up Captain America. (Norman is hands down the smartest character in this issue.) Norman tells everyone to get into the Quinjet. Ares looks totally despondent that they are not joining the battle.

We then slide back into the Hellfire Club where the New Avengers are brawling with the Hood’s merry band of losers. Mockingbird asks who the villains are that are attacking them. Clint explains that it is the Hood and his band of villain. (Jesus Christ. Is Bendis going to explain even the most basic things to the reader like the reader is two years old? Is it too much to ask for Bendis to just shut up and just give us some kick-ass action with no talking to make up for all the decompressed dialogue we have gotten for the past 22 pages?)

Ah, no such luck as we get tons of inner narration from Iron Fist about how crazy his life is and that he only joined the New Avengers to help out his old buddy Luke Cage. Danny drones on about he needs to spend more time as Danny Rand and blah, blah, blah.

We then see Luke Cage fighting one of the Wrecking Crew. And we get plenty of inner dialogue from Luke about, well honestly, not about anything important at all. The long and short of it is that Luke still does not trust Spider-Woman. Luke thinks that Spider-Woman is still a Skrull. (Guuuuh.) Luke thinks she set them up and that he is going to have a talk to her after this fight is over. (For God’s sake do not kick her in the vagina, Luke. Control your natural urge to do so.)

We then cut to Clint and Mockingbird fighting side-by-side. We get double inner narration from the duo. Clint thinks about how the Hood would have known that the New Avengers were in the Hellfire Club. Clint wonders what the relationship is between the Norman and the Hood. Mockingbird just thinks “Not exactly sure who anyone is, but I can hit them. I’m with Clint. We’re kicking ass. This is good.” (Now that was a damn good narration.)

We see Spider-Woman fighting some of the thugs. Spider-Woman’s inner narration is all about how this is all her fault, that everyone hates her and whine, whine, whine. Next up is Spider-Man’s inner narration. (Because, evidently, you just can’t have a kick-ass brawl without talking the reader to death in the process.) Spider-Man thinks how he always turned down offers to join the Avengers. And the one time that he decides to join the Avengers they are fugitives on the run and blah, blah, blah.

We next hit Wolverine and his inner narration. Basically it is just Wolverine thinking “Kill them all!” And next on the inner narration grand tour is Captain America! Welcome Cap, what is on your mind during this “wild” and “exciting” fight? Well, it seems that Cap is thinking about how at one point in his life he would have been on the villains’ side of this fight. However, Cap is now a different man. That he represents something bigger than himself. That this is the team that Steve wanted. That Bucky has to make this happen.

Bucky says screw Norman and Tony. That the New Avengers are the Avengers. Bucky then thinks that Steve fought in many fights like this. However, Bucky has his own style of fighting that is different from Steve’s. Bucky whips out a gun and start shooting at the villains.

Next is Ms. Marvel’s inner narration. (God, this is so formulaic and boring.) We get plenty of inner narration about how the Hood is a total loser and blah, blah, blah. Ms. Marvel blasts the Hood in the face. The Hood shrugs it off. Finally, the comic book gods smile on me and the incessant inner narration ends. Ms. Marvel tells Spider-Woman to blast her with everything she has. That Ms. Marvel will absorb the energy, power up and then let out a blast to take down all of the villains.

Spider-Woman does so. Ms. Marvel then lets out a massive energy blast that takes down the villains. The New Avengers then turn tail and run like a bunch of scalded dogs. We cut to Cap’s love shack where Clint is pitching a total hissy fit about Norman Osborn playing the New Avengers for total chumps. (Get used to it, Clint.) Wolverine is pissed that they turned tail and ran.

Captain America tells everyone to calm down. Clint states that the Hood and Norman are in cahoots. All of the New Avengers agree that the Hood and Norman must be working together. Spider-Woman apologizes for what went down at the Hellfire Club. Ms. Marvel answers that it was not Spider-Woman’s fault and that she helped to get them out of there. Clint then storms out of the room. Everybody sits around and asks where Clint is going.

We cut to a breaking news report on TV. We see the newscaster stating that they have an unexpected interview. We see Clint next to the newscaster. Clint drones on for two pages full of the same panel shot. (Well, we began the issue with a series of static panels with talking heads, so why not end the issue with a bit more of the same?)

Basically, in the two pages of dialogue Clint says that Norman is a bad guy and is employing criminals to be on his Avengers. That the New Avengers are fighting for the people and that they will continue to fight for the people. Clint tells the people of America to fight for their rights. (Nah, Americans are very docile. Give us an SUV, a Wal-Mart, some beer and crappy “reality” TV shows and we won’t complain about anything.) And that Clint promises that he and the New Avengers will be there fighting alongside of the people of America. End of issue.

Commentary
The Good: New Avengers #50 was a total train wreck of a read. However, I can still satisfy The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity with this issue. Bendis does give the reader a large fight scene that runs for a whopping 13 pages. While it certainly had its defects in its delivery, it was still enough fighting to satisfy many action fans.

And while I took issue with much of the inner narration during the brawl as being unnecessary, I have to admit that I loved Mockingbird’s inner narration. This was the only inner narration that I actually found well crafted. Mockingbird’s narration gives the reader a nice insight into her character and her frame of mind as she deals with being back in the 616 Universe after her long absence.

I also did not mind Captain America’s inner narration. Now, I still thought that Bendis went overboard and gave us too much inner narration by Cap. But, at least the narration was useful in bringing readers who do not read Captain America’s title up to speed about Bucky’s character and his differences with Steve Rogers. This helped to give Bucky his own style and approach to the role of Captain America.

The Bad: New Avengers #50 was a hot mess. Bendis gagged up a poorly crafted issue. New Avengers #50 was terribly paced. The story creeps along at an almost maddeningly slow pace. This issue was a study of decompression in its most extreme form. The entire issue was ridiculously decompressed, but the first nineteen pages were just outrageously slow and dull.

New Avengers #50 suffered from poor plotting. There is a total lack of plotlines on this team title other than the one involving the New Avengers determined to expose the Dark Avengers. That is it. Compared to other team titles like Guardians of the Galaxy that boasts several major plotlines, short range plots and long range plots, as well as a myriad of sub-plots involving the different team members; New Avengers comes across as substantive as an anorexic super model.

There is an alarming lack of depth to New Avengers #30. This 37 page story is mostly fluff. Bendis takes what might be enough content for half of a normal sized issue and stretches it out as much as possible. Don’t be fooled by the fact that this issue has almost double the amount of pages as a normal issue. Don’t fall for the belief that you are getting more for your money. You are not. Yes, there are more pages, but the content in New Avengers #50 is less than what is found in most regular sized issues of other titles currently on the market.

The unending waves of pointless babbling dialogue and inner monologue nearly drowns the reader. So much of it was completely useless and unnecessary. The dialogue and inner narration drones on and one with no point or purpose for the majority of the issue. This is certainly some of the most incredibly decompressed dialogue that you will find in any comic book on the market. Some of the frivolous dialogue borders on being absurd. It is almost as if Bendis simply is in love with his own voice and wants to reader to love it as much as he does.

It is practically condescending in how inanely hand-holdy New Avengers #50 comes across. This issue is a perfect example of the writer telling the reader everything rather than showing the reader. Bendis proceeds to tell the reader everything down to the most simple facts and shows the reader nothing. This issue is a case of lead balloon dialogue where the reader need not engage their mind for even a moment as Bendis spoon feeds the reader as if they were two years old.

What made the endless rambling dialogue even more annoying was that it simply re-hashed dialogue and information that we have gotten over and over on this title and other titles since the beginning of Dark Reign. Bendis simply re-hashes everything that has happened since the end of Secret Invasion. I appreciate set-up work as much as the next read, but enough is enough. I am tired of reading the same discussions on every single Avengers title over and over.

Most of the dialogue is your typical Bendis speak which is Bendis’ default setting when he has no grasp of the external voices of the various characters that he is handling. The character work continues to be extremely thin. None of the various members of the New Avengers have much of a textured, fleshed out or nuance personality. Instead, the various members of the New Avengers either possess a generic and bland personality or they are simply walking stereotypes. Clint and Luke in particular come across more as caricatures rather than actual characters.

Another problem with New Avengers #50 was that Bendis gave the reader the old bait and switch with the fight scene. This issue was hyped as the showdown between the Dark Avengers and New Avengers. Nope. Instead, we get to see the New Avengers battle the Hood and his band of D-listers. Again. The fact that I find the Hood to be incredibly one-dimensional and a total C-list character hurt my interest in this fight scene. And the Hood’s team of loser villains still do nothing to spark my interest.

Unfortunately, the large fight scene was dragged down by the endless and boring inner narration from each of the characters. And the structure of the fight scene and the inner narration was so mechanical and formulaic as we methodically plodded through a page of narration from every single member of the team. And almost all of the inner narration was useless and unnecessary. There was no real need for any of the inner narration from Iron Fist, Luke, Clint, Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, Wolverine and Ms. Marvel.

Instead, the only thing the endless inner narration accomplished was to get in the way of the action. The inner narration bogged down the fight scene and served as more of a distraction to the reader than as an enhancement of the fight scene. Imagine seeing a sweet fight scene in a James Bond movie while having to listen to an endless barrage of inner monologue from James Bond about the most frivolous details of his life. It would drive the viewer crazy and seriously dampen the fun and excitement of the action scene in the movie. Well, that is exactly what Bendis achieves with his monolithic wall of inner narration during the fight scene.

Now, I do not mind a little bit of inner narration during a fight scene. But, I place an emphasis on a little bit. Less is always more when it comes to an action scene. Inner narration should be used sparingly, period; and only when it advances the story. The vast majority of the inner narration that Bends overwhelms the reader with serves little purpose and does not advance the story in any substantive manner.

Bendis ends New Avengers #50 with a total thud. This was a dull ending that did little to get me excited about coming back for the next issue. If I had never read the New Avengers before and this was the big issue designed to pull me into adding this title to my pull list then Bendis failed miserably. There was nothing in New Avengers #50 that would tempt a new reader to want to hop aboard this slow and bloated train. Still, it was thematically fitting that New Avengers #50 end just like it began with a series of static panels and talking heads.

In general I strongly dislike artwork by committee. It only works for me if the artists involved can blend their styles together in order to prevent the issue from having a schizophrenic look. Unfortunately, that does not happen in New Avengers #50. We get a whopping 18 artists in a single 37 page story. That has to be some kind of record. And the art styles clash as we shift artists from page to page during the long fight scene.

And even the parts of New Avengers that are handled by the main three artists are dull and uninteresting. The reader gets nothing but an endless onslaught of small panels with talking heads in them or we get the same static panel over and over with the only changes being the dialogue balloons. New Avengers #50 was just so visually unappealing on so many different levels.

Overall: New Avengers #50 was an extremely disappointing read. And it is made even more so by the fact that Bendis is capable of giving us a much better effort than what he turns in on this title every month. Ultimate Spider-Man is a consistently good read. Dark Avengers has been entertaining. However, New Avengers continues to be one of the most unimpressive reads that Marvel publishes.

If you have enjoyed what Bendis has given us on New Avengers over the past couple of years then definitely pick up New Avengers #50. You will certainly like this issue. However, for everyone else out there I would strongly recommend avoiding New Avengers #50. This title is definitely not worth the inflated cover price of $4.99.

14 Comments

  1. How? How did Tony lose Stark Tower because he built it with SHIELD money? Stark Tower predates his tenure as head of SHIELD. It predates Civil War! Does Bendis not remember his own canon? They keep saying it was built with SHIELD money, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how!

    I know, I keep harping on this tiny, dumb detail, but it’s symptomatic of so much of what’s wrong with this terrible series. And everything else I hated (like, everything) was already in the review.

  2. Stark Tower was destroyed in WWH, and stark used shield money to rebuild it in the aftermath. Although there was alot to dislike about this issue, there was a couple of things I enjoyed. It really liked the fact that Ares is hesitating and questioning his allegiance with Osborn. It is very in character with him. The whole Ares miniseries that came out a while back is about Ares trying to find redemption in the eyes of his father and to be a good father to his son. This is more or less how Ares has been portrayed in Incredible Hercules as well. Ares isnt trying to be evil, he doesnt even hate Hercules, he is jealous of Hercules. So when I saw him hesitate like that, I was pretty enthused. Also, the art by commitee was jarring at points (Maleev, whoever did ms. Marvel) but Mcnivens page looked amazing as to be expected and Aja, Epting, Tan, Hitch and whoever did the Ronin/Mockingbird page all did good jobs as well. I felt the book had a good second half, including Clints rant to the media, I just felt that the first half was for the most part really clumsy and unneccessarily expository. I guess they were trying to make it really REALLY accessible to new readers, it being a multiple of 25 issue.
    -hobosk8er

  3. Arrhhh!!

    I can understand that you REALLY don’t like New Avengers so PLEASE stop reading it! I feel that you are almost enjoying ripping each new issue to shreds. I personally would have given this issue a 6.5 (6 for story, 7 for art) as was quite enjoyable despite being ‘slightly’ flawed.

    I would be much happier if you wrote more detailed reviews for the likes of Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Factor. The comic book industry would surely benefit if people of any influence (such as yourself) would use their talents to promote well written, but underselling, titles instead of ripping into poorly written, but well selling, titles.

    While I am at, I would love to see reviews of comics like Fables and Kick-Ass on your site. I am a big fan who enjoys your very detailed reviews. I really love the sarcastic comments but am worried that you might break your sarcasm meter if you review any more issues of New Avengers!!!

    Keep up the good work,

    -JonHend

  4. Okay, I’m sorry, but most of the time you’re a brilliant reviewer, but this was just you being crappy and bitchy.

    You had Robin and Invincible, two issues that got story ratings of 9 and 8, get small bunker bulletins, while New Avengers, an issue that you excessively point out as being a huge load of crap, gets a whole review just amping on how terrible it is. I’m sorry, but even if you make the most valid, intelligent, and overall insightful points I’ve ever heard, it still sounds like endless bitching.

    How about, from now on, you give bunker bulletins to the shit issues, and full reviews for the good ones. I love this blog and visit everday, and am always dissapointed when great issues get high ratings with tiny, two-paragraph reviews, and then crap issues get these four page long reviews of you just going on and on about how it’s the worst thing since Hitler. It’s really just a big disapointement for fans of your blog like me to read.
    -rapscallion86

  5. I have to say that I’m surprised on how Bendis is able to write a good book like Dark Avengers and the following week one as vapid as this one.

    Though I have to disagree in one point if I may. I think that Bendis does write a decent Spider-Man and gets Peter’s humor. The only problem is that even then he tends to overplay his hand.

    It is a shame, because it is a sound concept.The execution is lacking though.

  6. I thought that this was a very disappointing issue and certainly not worth the $4.99 cover price.

    In particular, I really disliked the way Bendis wrote Captain America. Brubaker does such a great job giving the reader a nuanced and complex character study of Bucky. In New Avengers, Bucky came off as a total prick, ranting about how these were the real Avengers because Steve picked them and how he didn’t give a damn about Tony. It’s as if Bendis forgot that Tony and Hank Pym founded the Avengers. Don’t the Mighty Avengers get to claim the title Avengers as well?

    On the plus side, I found it hillarious when Luke Cage ripped Spiderwoman. One of Bendis’ favorite characters ripping another one of his favorites. Priceless.

  7. So it takes Tony four years to build it the first time, and, what, a few months the second? I’m sorry, that’s nonsense. Is government money magic? It stinks of authorial fiat outweighing reality, and I don’t buy it. And if I don’t buy the little details, I definitely don’t buy the big, already-shaky plot.

    I see that this review is controversial, and I’m sorry for that, Rokk, because frankly, I thought you were a little generous with the issue. This isn’t an Avengers book. Which makes sense, because this isn’t an Avengers team. It’s yet more of Bendis playing dress-up with his pet characters and failing to convince me of why I should care about them, while spitting on those he doesn’t care for, regardless of their character potential or history (Tony and Hank are good examples of this, but hardly the only ones). If I want fanfic, I have an internet full of it, for free. I don’t need to pay Marvel for it.

    I think I’m done with Marvel for a while. This regime won’t last forever, after all.

  8. Rokk and Co., I think maybe the problem you’re having here is simply that Bendis has evolved (or devolved, if you wish – and I’d agree with that, really) into a writer who’s style you just don’t like.

    This is how he writes. It’s like going to see every Tarantino movie and then complaining that there’s too much talk and too many flashbacks (and in fact, really, I guess that’s a good comparison; really, what is Bendis but Comics’ Tarantino?).

  9. A truly bad issue. Check that page with the New Avengers watching the TV, where the same panel is repeated three times. Look at Cap standing in the background, stroking his chin and not saying a word. He holds that pose continuously. You’d think the editor would have realized how ridiculous this looked. Just emblematic of the lack of attention/thought/work that went into this.

    On the other hand, I could look at Mockingbird and Ms. Marvel in their poses all day.

  10. Bendis as Comics Tarantino is a good comparison, everything he touched used to turn to gold, now hes pretty hit and miss, and when he misses, boy does he ever.
    -hobosk8er

  11. Looks like you thought as little of NA #50 as I did, Rokk.

    NEW AVENGERS #50 is terrible, filled with meandering conversations that do little to advance the story’s plot, 14 pages devoted to fights that weren’t about anything and were resolved by a child’s notion of how Ms. Marvel’s power works, and a conclusion consisting of another speech.

    From en editorial standpoint, the story shouldn’t have been published as written. Practically everything in the issue except for the bits with Wolverine’s son and the ending, in which Barton outs the Dark Avengers, is filler that neither advances the story’s main plot or advances subplots. The artwork in which the conversations happen doesn’t serve a useful purpose, since it’s not cinematic, and the characters don’t need to be described to the reader repeatedly. A prose writer could have handled the same material in a fraction of the page space, at a fraction of the cost, by embedding it within an actual story.

    But, give a good writer the series to work with, and he’d find that the premises for DARK AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS #50 are nonsensical, because they rely on the ridiculous notion that Stark was disgraced by the misuse of .S.H.I.E.L.D. funds, and the conclusion to SECRET INVASION, which had a crime fiction writer trying to provide an ending to a “sci-fi” storyline, in spite of knowing practically nothing about sci-fi, much less SF. The result was a sci-fi storyline with a crime fiction story ending that made no sense whatsoever.

    Look back at Bendis’s “Avengers” material and you’ll see that happening repeatedly: A crime fiction writer attempting to write superhero fiction, or sci-fi, without understanding any of the SF elements that he’s trying to use. That ignorance ruined “Avengers Disassembled,” ruined the first MIGHTY AVENGERS arc, has ruined Dr. Strange as a character, has resulted in many issues of NEW AVENGERS written as crime fiction disguised as superhero fiction, and will certainly taint, if not ruin future issues of AVENGERS material.

    All those examples of a genre fiction writer working in the wrong genre are the basis for my claim that Marvel is targeting stupid people as readers, because if the people there valued superhero fiction as a genre, and had a functioning set of editorial standards, they would hire writers who actually know how to write superhero fiction.

    P.S. One specific example of one error producing another is in this issue. Bendis somehow thinks that an EMP burst suppresses the flow of current in devices temporarily (NEW AVENGERS, MIGHTY AVENGERS), when a burst actually burns out unshielded circuitry within the pulse’s range. He goes from that mistaken belief to concocting a biological version (power inhibitor) of an EMP generator. The result is conceptual junk, because the initial concept was invalid.

    Bendis’s AVENGERS and SECRET INVASION (SI) issues have been ruined by flagrant instances of technological and scientific illiteracy, the worst of them being the impossibly effective Commodore 64 virus in MIGHTY AVENGERS #6, the impossibly effective “alien virus” in SI, and the ignorant mishandling of DNA in SI.

    Given how rickety the Marvel Universe is, it would be difficult for any writer to consistently write superhero fiction that didn’t have occasional plot holes, but Bendis mishandles real world science and technology, and does so practically every time science and technology are mentioned. Those defects are a class apart from the usual storytelling problems (idiot plot, deus ex machina, continuity errors, etc.), and are a major reason why publishers have editors. They’re supposed to eliminate such mistakes before they appear in print.

    Bendis’s failed events have, arguably, turned the Marvel Universe into such a mass of garbage that the company should scrap everything and start over, with new writers and editors. That isn’t going to happen, of course, but people who care about superhero fiction should continue to point out just how terrible Bendis’s writing actually is, lest people believe that Marvel’s star writer actually knows what he’s doing.

    SRS

  12. I’ll probably post this under your survey as well, so you can do with it as you wish. Granted, there are a several books I would like to see given review space (Moon Knight immediately jumps to mind), but as I see it, you are providing a service you certainly don’t have to provide, so what you devote review space to is your prerogative. That being said, any book with the word “Avengers” in the title – whether it’s a good or bad book – has to be regarded as a Marvel flagship title. I completely understand why, despite its consistent wretchedness, you continue to post review for “New Avengers.”

    People may not like negativity, but sometimes you’ve got to call a spade a spade. This book has not been even remotely good for a long time now, and Bendis has not only wrecked this title, but also managed to completely botch Marvel’s big event – “Secret Invasion” – last year. “New Avengers” is like the “Seinfeld” of comic books: It’s a book about nothing. Clint’s mad about Norman using the Avengers name. Big whoop! And, really, if Bucky is still this uncomfortable being Captain America, just bring Steve back already.

    I could go on and on, like you did in your review. The Hood is a ridiculously bad villain, and Luke is a pathetic excuse for an Avenger. And is the Sentry ever going to actually do anything? See, I had to catch myself again. It’s easy to do with crap like this.

    I’ll vote in the survey, but, Rokk, it’s your blog, and whatever you want to do, I’m with ya.

  13. As a fan of the C and D list villains of old Marvel, (Porcupine, Plantman, Slug, etc.) it doesn’t surprise me that they still get their butts kicked. It does bother me when their independent attributes and storylines get tossed in favor of crappy plots like Breakout and the Hood’s Gang. Slug’s a Miami drug capo, and an immobile one at that, but suddenly he’s walking and working for the Hood? Right. I read your article on New Avengers 50, mainly because I read that the real Slug was back after the whole Secret Invasion thing (wikipedia said so). Unfortunately, I don’t see him pictured in the Hood’s grand entrance, making me wonder if it really is so. He’d be hard to miss on his tank-treaded wheelchair. I realize I’m probably one of the few fans of ol’ Sluggo, but he’s on the D list of my faves. Sorry to see New Avengers sucking, and the D listers sucking worse than usual to boot.

  14. Venom is black. You can beat the black off of venom, it would be awesome. Also he might be referring to the blackness of their souls. Thirdly people in Harlem say “I’m gonna beat the black off that guy”. Luke Cage is from Harlem, and proud to be. He doesn’t want to sound like Captain America…or say…Thor? It’s good dialogue. Maybe being from Wisconsin or something it doesn’t ring true for you, but that moment was real to me.

    Speaking of beating the black off folks. Jeph Loeb had Juggernaut literally beat the black off the Black Panther in Ultimates 3 #5. Pretty offensive!

    http://jephloebmustdie.wordpress.com/

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