Overview

New Avengers #1

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New Avengers #1

Credits

  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Stuart Immonen
  • Inks: Wade Von Grawbadger
  • Colors: Laura Martin
  • Story Title: Possession
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jun 16, 2010

The New Avengers are not just the other guys anymore. Finally, they’re New by name, as well. Writer Brian Michael Bendis takes the team name he made so popular over the last sixty-five plus issues and changes their roster, direction, and stature in the Marvel Universe. This is still Luke Cage’s team, but the rules of the world have changed. No longer having to operate in the shadows, Cage and his motley crew weren’t sure if they’d even have a place to call home.

Skipping the customary building of a team episode (the act of getting together is done mostly off panel), Bendis gets right into the main thrust of his story, which is something he’d been teasing at in the previous title for some time. Magic in the Marvel U has been abused, and this world just can’t take any more of it.

Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, summons Stephen Strange (former Sorcerer Supreme) to inform him that all is nearly lost and something bad is coming; something that maybe even they can’t stop. What ensues is a battle of mystical proportions involving Doctor Voodoo, his brother Daniel, Stephen Strange, Daimon, and some unknown entity. The action is intercut with Luke Cage getting his footing, moving into the new headquarters, and putting together a team. Just like this title’s previous debut all those years ago, the team’s formation seems to be born out of clandestine happenstance and major conflict. In this case, the conflict occurs separate from the team’s formation and it all converges in a fun cliffhanger at book’s end.

Bendis and Immonen have successfully taken character dynamics that are familiar and work, while changing the feel and mission of the book. This is not just a B-Side version of The Avengers that launched last month. Even though it shares characters and a universe, it has a different tone and approach. There’s a whole new set of problems that a team book hasn’t dealt with in quite some time.

Immonen’s pencils, embellished with Wade Von Grawbadger’s always reliable inks and Laura Martin on colors, make this book bright and beautiful. Immonen has such a unique style that he matches well with a fluidity of panel placement. Never once does the eye roam where it shouldn’t, because he keeps you flowing in the right direction. The acting he attributes to his forms has to be mentioned. Simple looks that Jessica Jones gives her husband are more expressive and capture an emotion more than any dialogue box could.

As with Avengers #1 last month, the back up feature is the second part of Avengers Assemble: An Oral History of The Avengers. It picks up the Avengers timeline seamlessly from last chapter and is a very fun text piece, taking you into the minds of iconic characters. It’s early in this new launch’s run, but I daresay that this has been one of my favorite back-up features in recent memory. It acts almost as a palate cleanser, keeping us satiated until the next chapter.

Bendis and company hit this out of the park. I too shared concerns that this re-numbering may have been a ploy for better sales. Even if that was the case, the creative team has succeeded in making this feel like a fresh start and new direction. In conjunction with Bendis' other team books (Avengers and Avengers Prime), New Avengers is a healthy addition that doesn't tread water or rehash the same story.

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