New Avengers #26


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New Avengers #26


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Alex Maleev
  • Inks: Alex Maleev
  • Colors: Alex Maleev
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Dec 20, 2006

Hawkeye, everyone’s favorite Avenger, returns from the dead looking for Wanda to make sense of things.

I am sure most Avenger fans waited eagerly for the reappearance of Clint Barton back into the Marvel Universe. Last time around he found himself resurrected from the dead, but only to be taken shortly after during the crisis of House of M. Many devoted fans (of Hawkeye) were thrown back into a tizzy, but thankfully Bendis has decided to correct this mistake yet again. Is this just a tease, or is he really sincere of his resurrection of everyone’s favorite Avenger?

Well, I am here to say that Clint Barton is indeed back from the dead, but I am not sure if this is what most readers expected. Surprisingly, this story is rather hauntingly told as Clint wakes up in the ruins of the old Avengers mansion. He’s not sure what is going on, so he seeks out Dr. Strange for some answers, and is given a clean bill of health in the process from the Sorcerer Supreme. Clint then asks about Wanda’s whereabouts and of course Stephen cannot give him the answers to her present location since she is no longer using magic to be tracked. Clint then thanks the good doctor for all his help before going off in search of finding Wanda despite what he has been told about her.

Now after reading this issue, I wondered what in the world Bendis was trying to say with this type of story. For the most part I felt his scripting chores here were very lean, and he obviously left much of this tale open ended. I was expecting a bit more insight into Clint’s often impulsive nature, but oddly he seemed so underwritten here. Maybe even a bit out of character, but Bendis obviously chose to tackle this confrontation between the two longtime Avengers in a more lyrical approach. Sadly, I wanted fireworks, but all I got was ill-fated melodrama.

If nothing else, the guest art of Alex Maleev was beautifully rendered throughout. I’ve been following his previous stint on Daredevil and his work has matured so much over the last five years culminating into this incredible masterpiece. There were echoes of artists like Klimt and Sienkiewicz imbued into every panel, which gave the work a ghostly and ethereal quality. I am hoping he tackles his next project (Spider-Woman) in the same vein as he has done here, since this kind of style speaks volumes about his maturity as an artist.

My feelings overall are a bit mixed. On the one hand, this story was exceptionally told on a visual level, but I felt the script accompanying it lacked that added extra punch. I guess I wanted more of a clear cut confrontation between the two, but what we ended up getting was a story filled mostly with ambiguity. I’m not saying this is a bad approach, but after reading this issue of Hawkeye’s triumphant return to the Marvel Universe it seems rather downbeat.

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