REVIEW: New Avengers #1 by Brian Michael Bendis

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New Avengers #1

Written by Brian Bendis

Art by Stuart Immonen

Can you say fun issue? I can say fun issue. Bendis drops us right back in it with the New Avengers, and the only things different this time around is the house they live in and that they’re authorized to be heroes! Luke Cage and friends are back for more! As the Heroic Age dawns, Steve Rogers reaches out to Luke Cage to put together his own team of Avengers (of anyone not Iron Man or Thor) and to, well, be the Avengers with them. Luke is not quick to forget about everything that has happened though, and does remain wary initially. There is a super sweet deal that he would have had to have been a fool not to take, however, and he does take it.

Our status quo is very reminiscent of what happened in New Avengers before, especially in the post Civil War era. This isn’t a team of super heroes that gets together to fight bad guys, the New Avengers are friends first and foremost, and they have a family atmosphere amongst them that you don’t typically feel with most super teams. While I never feared that Bendis would do away with it, as it truly is what set the previous volume apart, I am still glad, never the less, that he’s quick to return to it.

The pacing is spot on as he balances setting up the threat of the initial arc while concurrently establishing a status quo for his team, assembling the members, and even assigning their liaison, and then everything meets up. Very well paced, and the story flowed very naturally. Bendis has definitely figured out how to do first issues over the years.

It’s no spoiler that The Thing is a member of this time going forward, as it’s been a focal point of advertisements for the issue, and he’s even on the cover (posted above), so I don’t feel like I’m spoiling anyone mentioning his presence. I won’t say why he’s joining the team, but I will say that it does feel in character, and it makes possibly even more sense then Wolverine’s presence on the team.

Stuart Immonen grows into a better artist every month, which is astonishing since he was already great. He’s definitely defined his own style, and during his run on the previous volume he truly made the book, and the characters, his own. This issue does not disappoint at all as he continues to do what makes him great. Also, gotta say it, I LOVE his version of The Thing. I feel it channels the way the late Mike Wieringo would draw him during his and Mark Waid’s incredible Fantastic Four run, and I mean that as the biggest compliment possible. If anyone ever says channeling Mike Wieringo is bad, then they need their head examined!

All in all? Great first issue, and a lot of fun. Bendis is back to doing what he does best, and I’m glad that New Avengers is still on the stands in the wake of Siege and the dawn of the Heroic Age.

Overall?

9/10

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