New Avengers #8


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New Avengers #8


  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Steve McNiven & Sal Buscema
  • Inks: Dani Miki
  • Colors: Frank D'Armata
  • Story Title: The Sentry - Part 2 (of 3)
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.50
  • Release Date: Aug 3, 2005

Several Avengers dig further into the past of the enigmatic hero, The Sentry, while the others try to recoup from their beating at the hands of the Wrecker.

The reconstruction of the Avengers since the devastating (and much ballyhooed) “Disassembled” arc has been interesting, to say the least. The team has formed and is beginning to gel, but there are still many questions remaining as to whether they can be as successful as the “old” Avengers. This concern is amplified as the crew of Wolverine, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman and Luke Cage take on and proceed to get waxed by a powerful, yet B-list (at best) villain--The Wrecker. At the same time, Iron Man, Captain America and comic scribe Paul Jenkins have tracked down the most powerful being--the Sentry--in the universe. The only problem: the Sentry is a fictional comic book character. So who is this guy who displays the power of a million suns, just like the guy in the comics?

The Sentry’s part of this issue is still a bit of a conundrum considering the involvement of Paul Jenkins as a character/creator of comics. There is also the question of what amount of previous Sentry story, if any, is to become canon for this “new” Sentry. The ending lends to the idea that at least a little of Jenkins’ Sentry mini from several years back will take a prominent turn toward current continuity. Whatever happens, it is an interesting mystery that Bendis has laid out. Another welcome continuation from the previous issue is the Wrecker fight. Bendis sometimes takes a hit for being too conversational and down-to-Earth for superhero stories, but the level of action and intensity remains high after Spider-Woman works her magic in a way that starts off sort of creepy but ends on a more humorous note.

The art throughout this book is utterly fantastic. Steve McNiven’s clean, crisp line work maintains a level of flashy realism that even David Finch has yet to reach…and I love Finch. But for all the beauty that McNiven achieves, the first several pages are drawn in the old school style by the legendary Sal Buscema. These pages hark back to the quintessential stories of yesteryear, where the Sentry lived only in the fictitious world of comic books. It is a wonderful sight to behold and a brilliant piece of character development.

I’ve enjoyed New Avengers since the relaunch/reteaming, but this Sentry arc has all the elements I look for in a story: action, comedy, mystery, danger, interesting characters and dramatic moments. It also has a great cliffhanger. Bendis and McNiven are weaving a tight story here, and it is proving to be Bendis’ best on the book so far…though some would argue that that isn’t all that difficult to do. All I know is that this is some damn good superhero comics.

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