Overview

New Avengers #22

Review

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New Avengers #22

Credits

  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Leinil Yu
  • Inks: Leinil Yu
  • Colors: Dave McCaig
  • Story Title: New Avengers: Disassembled, Part Two
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jul 26, 2006

Luke Cage is given the choice of accepting the Superhero Registration Act or refusing it and becoming a criminal once more. Which side do you think he’s going to choose?

Well, this is the story of one hero that I eagerly awaited due to the heated events of Marvel’s Civil War. Of course I am talking about Luke Cage and he of all heroes is so intrinsically connected to the War, given his ethnicity and upbringing. The question here though being brought to light debated the merits of Luke’s personal freedom held against becoming a "corporate sellout" as he so eloquently put it. All I can say is that this indeed turned into one ugly affair when it was all said and done and Luke did indeed pick a side.

The story opens with Luke getting a house call from Tony Stark and Carol Danvers. Of course he is expected to join the ranks of registered heroes and work for the American government, but Luke knows that by doing so he compromises his ideals as a hero for hire. He’s basically against the idea and to make matters worse he’s got to worry about the repercussions this will have on Jessica and the baby. So he agrees to Jessica’s decision of leaving (with the baby) and going off to Toronto, Canada while he stays behind to defend his right to personal freedom. By the stroke of midnight the registration act becomes law and Luke is quickly accosted in his own home. A fight breaks out and true to his nature, Luke Cage fights back with all his might.

I really have to hand it to writer Brian Michael Bendis for cutting quickly to the chase with this issue. In the past I have been critical of some of Brian’s meaningless quips and qualms laced within his dialogue, but there was none of that here. Instead he wrote a deeply effective story of one man’s right to live peacefully in his community with a family and do what he does best as a hero for the people. Brian also managed to ignite a fairly topical debate about the advent of civil liberties (as seen through the eyes of Luke Cage) in the opening few pages to further perpetuate the ramifications of the registration act. Again, this was one of the better stories I have read from Bendis of late and I hope he keeps up the trend with stories of this ilk.

The art of Leinil Yu worked well in tandem with this deeply effective story. I found his pencils to be solid and his finishes handled in a "rougher" style that lends greatly to the grittier moments seen here. He was definitely suited for this kind of story, but I wonder how his work will stack up overall once he becomes the permanent artist on this series with issue #27. I guess only time will tell, but in the interim you can enjoy a solid story from start to finish that included Leinil’s art and the muted tones provided by colorist Dave McCaig. This was issue was full value for me and it was one of the better stories I have read here since this series started almost two years ago.

Overall, this Civil War tie-in arc seems to be shaping up nicely and so far an excellent follow-up to the Collective storyline. I am wondering if Brian is finally finding his mark here on this series, and if so then why has it taken nearly two years to do so? I know many readers may disagree with my viewpoint here, but it’s just an opinion after all. Anyhow, enjoy another good story from Bendis and crew and maybe, just maybe, there is hope long term for this series.

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