New Avengers #20


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New Avengers #20


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
  • Inks: Joe Pimentel
  • Colors: Dave Stewart & Richard Isanove
  • Story Title: The Collective - Conclusion
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 21, 2006

The Avengers track the Collective to Genosha—where Eric Magnus Lehnsherr now resides—for the final confrontation.


This review would be worthless without mentioning spoilers, so this is your final warning. If you read any further, you can officially consider yourself invested!!!

Okay, the story so far is that during the House of M, all but 198 mutants (out of millions) lost their powers. The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only change form. So the energy from all the mutant powers basically had to go somewhere when Wanda Maximoff "took them away." And where they went was into the atmosphere as a collective energy that needed a sentient host. This is where poor Michael Pointer comes into play. As an unsuspecting mutant with the ability to absorb energy, Michael was overtaken by the collective and sought to release much of this energy back to those who might be available to receive it. One such former mutant is Magneto, who happens to be writing a memoir on Genosha when Michael comes calling.

On the whole, the pacing on the Collective story arc has been very uneven to say the least. The first issue shot by very quickly thanks in large part to a number of splash pages. Now this last part is pretty much crammed together in comparison—there are still several splash pages, but the issue is dialogue heavy in a hurry-up-and-explain-everything-so-we-can-get-to-the-Civil War-tie-in-issue! sort of way. Not only that, but there is the matter of the "big reveal" that the Collective is actually Xorn (I’d rather pull an eyeball out than get into the convoluted history of this character…), whose story was never fully explained, but Marvel decided to use and hopefully create some closure on that whole mess. I would have preferred to see it tackled in an X-book, but the state of the Marvel U. makes this an acceptable setting, too. One can only hope that it sticks this time.

The art on this issue looks very rushed as well. Deodato is a little more "clean" than this, and Pimentel’s inks are overly murky for an all-out superhero action title such as this. Even the colors are sketchy from page to page, and I would regard Dave Stewart as one of the industry’s finest.

Overall, I think I like the ideas this issue/arc were going for a lot more than the execution. At any rate, Xorn is done for (fingers crossed), Magneto may have his powers back, and the Marvel Universe may have a new and potentially powerful mutant (Michael) to add to the ranks.

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