Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by John Romita Jr.
Oh thank God this first arc is finally over, it just stretched on and on and on and it really didn’t accomplish….anything. At all. Even in the payoff, I still can’t figure out what exactly the point of all of it was. Kang is the good guy and the bad guy and you have to change the future to save the future which doesn’t actually change, and even though you fix things everything is still broken? I love time travel stories and crazy paradoxs, but this is just circular crap. At no point did Bendis ever go the extra mile to make we the readers care about these threats, just kept throwing more and more of them at us in rapid fire fashion.
And to make it worse? The threats had more oomph based on who they were, not what they had done. We were given Ultron and it was easy to see him as a big bad, because he’s Ultron and he’s one of the definitive Avengers villains. But it’s still pretty vague just what he did, I mean, he kills all humans off panel so that Kang can fight him over a wasteland? And then there’s Kang, classic Avengers villain, and crux of this story. Kang loses a fight and thus breaks time by being unable to accept defeat. Well, if that’s so, then why has he not broken time before? How many great losses has the great Time Conqueror had that he hasn’t shattered the time stream to fix? It’s just an issue with using poorly defined name value villains. Like throwing Dr. Doom at a story just because he’s Dr. Doom and not because he actually brings anything to the story.
This isn’t what Bendis does, it isn’t. He does good personal stories, he does street level. He’s a character writer, and as his record has proven, he’s not the best event writer. Look at New Avengers, the previous volume, he hit homeruns there by keeping everything clear cut and smaller scale, and it was the times he tried to do bigger things that the book faltered (The Collective). That’s why the current New Avengers has more potential as well, in my eyes, once it gets past the magic arc. Because it’s a team of lower profile heroes, not space and time savers.
The art was ridiculously inconsistent as well. There are pages where one panel looks amazing, but then the rest look completely phoned in. It just seems wrong, like, I’ve seen Romita at his best, and I’ve seen him at his worst, and in this book it feels like he’s not trying. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe he has bad inking, but one of his inkers is Klaus Janson, and I can’t fathom him doing a bad job. There are moments of artistic brilliance in this issue, and there are panels that just completely ruin that. I hope, I really hope, that the art either clears up in the next few issues or they just find someone else for the title.
I hate that I’m thrashing this book so hard, as when it was announced I was beyond excited. This was a book that I wanted, and I wanted it to not be terrible. Go find my review of the first issue, I loved it. Then go find me talking about any other issue and….yeah. The best part of this issue, honestly, is that Bendis decides to make us aware of the time loop by showing us what caused the panels of the animated movie Next Avengers in the first issue. He makes sense out of it by…..not making the most sense in the world.
Next issue is a brand new story arc. Please make me not regret hanging around, Bendis, you owe me one for not jumping ship with Secret Invasion.
Tags: Avengers, Brian Michael Bendis, john romita jr, Reviews, The Avengers