New Avengers #16


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New Avengers #16


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Steve McNiven
  • Inks: Dexter Vines
  • Colors: Deborah Weinstein
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 15, 2006

A new threat arises with ties to House of M, and the New Avengers are called into battle after both SHIELD and Alpha Flight fail miserably.

I am not sure how I feel about the events that took place in this issue. I have often been sitting on the fence over this series, and I will admit that I have debated taking this title off my pull list. But yet I keep on buying this title every month, probably because the lure of a few members on the team.

My personal fav is Luke Cage, but I’m afraid he wasn’t much of a factor here. In fact the Avengers take a back seat for the most part, as the majority of this story revolves around the build-up of a new threat. It starts with a major explosion erupting in Alaska and rising out of the wreckage is a human figure writhing in pain and glowing very brightly. From there the story picks up with the new SHIELD head honcho (Director Hill) in a tiff over the recent announcement made by the Avengers (last issue) that they are reforming. She manages to raise Tony Stark on com-link to question his motives. There’s obviously some animosity building up here, but Tony laughs it off as best he can and gets offline with her.

Director Hill starts to fume even further, but that’s only the least of her worries once she gets word that a powerful force is running afoul in the North Pole. Of course she deploys a group of SHIELD troops in the area to investigate, but they are quickly obliterated. The threat is way too serious for ordinary men, so she alerts the President and in turn the Prime Minister is also alerted. What results here is a surprise guest appearance from Canada’s elite super-group Alpha Flight, but I’m afraid that’s short lived as well. This threat in turning out to be bigger than anyone can fathom, and in times like this only the Avengers can help out. But will they?

That’s the intriguing part of the story I heartily enjoyed the most. It’s also the one good plot point that writer Brian Michael Bendis established at the start of this series, and the build-up of animosity between SHIELD and the Avengers continues to grow rapidly. I’m not sure what his point here is with that thread, but I have a feeling it’s going to play a greater importance as the series moves forward. Beyond that, I liked the level of intrigue he established here and it reminded me of an episode of 24, so kudos to him for doing that.

The art for this issue was handled by Steve McNiven, and I can’t say I am a big fan of his work. He’s been dubbed one of Marvel’s ‘Young Guns,’ and as part of that initiative Steve’s profile has been raised considerably. His style tends to be linear, and often the use of colors make his work look more dynamic that it really is. Again, it’s just my opinion, but I don’t think he is the ideal choice for a team-laden book like Avengers. I am actually looking forward to the start of Mike Deodato’s run next issue, so don’t miss out on that one!

I should also briefly point out that the issue has eight pages of story featuring Kickers, Inc. from the former ‘New Universe’ line. I know that line is getting a makeover in the spring, so I guess Marvel has figured sliding the story into the back of Avengers will help build some interest. Hopefully it will.

So I think this is a good start to things, and I am very curious to know how this new threat has ties to the House of M. I am sure there is a larger picture here, and all I can say is that this issue has piqued my interests. So I say Avengers Assemble!

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