Overview

New Avengers Annual #1

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New Avengers Annual #1

Credits

  • Words: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art: Olivier Coipel
  • Inks: Drew Geraci, Danny Miki, et al
  • Colors: Jose Villarrubia, Richard Isanove and June Chung
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Apr 26, 2006

Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are getting hitched! That is, if the all new Super-Adaptoid doesn’t destroy the Avengers before they even get to the altar.

Yelena Belova, one of the incarnations of the Black Widow, was burnt and disfigured in a battle with the new team back in the first arc of New Avengers. She’s been hiding away since, recuperating in the care of some mysterious caretakers. Now these people want to offer her a chance at revenge on those heroes. They’ve developed a more advanced Adaptoid technology and wish to allow her to use it. Meanwhile, Jessica Jones comes to Avengers Tower, new baby in tow, to deliver an answer to Luke Cage’s proposal. And just as things are looking up and the group begins its celebration, all hell breaks loose.

I was pleasantly surprised by this issue. For a second, based on the cover art (which is quite exquisite) and the fact that Bendis is writing, I was certain this was going to be a four-dollar talking heads issue. What we get here is almost the exact opposite. Yes, Bendis gives the team some time to meet the new Cage/Jones baby, and it’s mostly conversational, but the overall story revolves around the resolution of an older subplot regarding Yelena’s promised revenge on the Avengers. Resulting from that promise is a formidable new villain that the entire team takes on, but only one is able to take down…and ultimately not with brute force as one might figure. It’s an interesting resolution to the conflict that only raises further questions considering the story is said to be continued in New Avengers #22, which is four months away.

Oh, yes, and there’s the wedding of two heroes, whose relationship started off a little rocky back in Alias #1 and blossomed into something many fans cheered for more of. The wedding is only a few pages long, but the dialogue and guest stars make the reader want a little more.

Unfortunately, the art is inconsistent. It’s not Coipel’s fault, though. Many pages are solidly well-rendered. Others look like they were penciled by someone else, and that can only be because there are an inexplicable EIGHT inkers in these pages, each leaving an indelible mark on the finished product. There are also three colorists at work, but their contributions don’t seem to detract as much as the inks. Despite all that, I can’t say the art is bad, just jarring and less novel than when Bendis does these specials with multiple pencilers. Those are more fun because they tend to showcase different styles, but this approach of one penciler/multiple inkers just doesn’t work like that.

Overall, the story is well written and well drawn (it’s the finishing I have a problem with). Perhaps for the non-critical viewer, the art won’t be such a factor either. All I know is that I’m very intrigued by what New Avengers #22 might bring.

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