New Avengers #2
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen
This book just keeps benefiting from all the things Bendis does right, which ironically enough, is what’s killing his other Avengers book. The thing Bendis does right, that he always does right, is talking heads. He’s great at driving a story forward through dialogue and character interactions, and the pacing feels comfortable. He’s telling a story like the previous volume of New Avengers, or Ultimate Spider-Man. Even though this issue is primarily action it doesn’t change that. He’s got a great grasp on his characters, on their relationships, and even on how to play them off of one another and the end result is great.
So we’re in the aftermath of Luke Cage getting the Eye of Agamotto and growing super sized, while possessed Strange and Hellstrom look scary. It’s a big fight issue, but unlike other big fights that Bendis has scripted lately, this one is carried from cover to cover with his characters and their trademark quips and banter. The pacing is great, the characters are well defined, and everyone serves a purpose. It’s not even just a fight for the sake of fighting, there’s a plot behind everything. It’s a nice attention to detail that has been lacking in the other Avengers title. Everything makes sense…..and the women look right!
The Thing is one of my favorite additions, and while I can’t remember the last time I saw Bendis write him, he’s gold with him here. He’s a natural fit, and him being witty is just as natural. Maybe it’s just bias towards the book, but every character on the roster fits in perfectly with the style of the book. I mean, this is a twenty-two page fight and chase issue that at no point do you grow tired of, and at no point do you find yourself saying ‘Well they wouldn’t have done that!’, and that makes for the best kind of story. Even Wolverine going claw-happy works, and almost had me laughing out loud with just how random it was that it happened, and just how much I liked seeing it.
Stuart Immonen remains the best choice for art on this book, and his style keeps getting better and better. Seriously, I couldn’t stand the way he drew Ultimate Spider-Man, but this book feels more Avengers-y than any of the other Avengers books out there. And I mean seriously, it’s a total package. He can do the action, the emotion, and even just the random character moments. Everything looks great, every character looks uniquely them, and everything is nice and crisp. You really can’t ask for a better artist on this book, but I can ask that he pulls an Ivan Reis and stay on the book for as long as he can, because his pencils will only help make this book more special going forward.
I don’t want to give away too much, but Bendis paces the issue out nicely giving us a fun issue with enough plot to leave us satisfied and yet wanting more. Where we start and end are two very different place, and despite his history of padding stories out, this one really doesn’t feel like a victim of that.
Kudos, Mr. Bendis.
Tags: Avengers, Brian Michael Bendis, Heroic Age, new avengers, Stuart Immonen