Review: Avengers Assemble #1 By Brian Michael Bendis And Mark Bagley

Avengers Assemble #1

Written by Brian Michael Bendis

Art by Mark Bagley, Danny Miki, and Paul Mounts


The short of it:


There’s a new Zodiac, a new Stark Tower, and a new team of Avengers that is not fully limited to the movie roster seen on the cover. The team hangs out for a little bit, but then we cut over to the Hulk. Hulk just wants to be left alone, but then the army shows up and gets attacked; he goes to help them, and he does, but they just attack him because he’s the Hulk and they’re the army. Then Hawkeye and Widow team up and wind up getting attacked by the new Taurus, cue the heavy cavalry, but are they enough? And just what is the Zodac trying to steal?



What I liked:


  • How about we start with the art. Mark Bagley had a great run on Justice League a few years back (he was great, the book notsomuch), and now he’s finally doing the Avengers. He’s a natural at it, too. He’s got the Mighty Marvel style, and to say its the best looking Avengers in a while may just be my opinion, but I prefer his work here to Mike Deodato, John Romita Jr, and Daniel Acuna across Bendis’s other two books.
  • I like the interplay amongst the team, which has always been something I’ve praised about Bendis and his time on the Avengers. He does character work well, and seeing the team interact you get the feeling that they’re actually a team.
  • I dig the action. From Hawkeye showing off, to Hulk smashing a giant puddle, to Thor and Iron Man playing heavy cavalry. There’s good pacing in the action here, and I like it.
  • If I was a new reader looking to get on board with the Avengers, this would actually be the most accessible title to do so with. Not because it’s a number one, but because Bendis goes ahead and just ignores everything else. It works here.
  • I’m in favor of a new Zodiac, the last one was a clusterfuck that I never wrapped my head around. Plus, Aquarius and Taurus are awesome.


What I didn’t like:


  • Why in the blue hell is Bendis writing three Avengers ongoing books? I don’t care if he’s getting ready to leave, the two he was already writing were piss poor. Why does he get a third? Why does he not have to hand one of those books off to someone with fresh ideas? Why is this even a new book and not just the next arc on the core Avengers title?
  • Third grade Hulk doing generic “Hulk smash” dialog, despite that in his own book his intelligence has actually been defined in his current Banner free state as….not a short bus rider. Come on, just because classic Hulk is fun to write doesn’t mean that you have to completely blow off current Hulk to write him.
  • Didn’t Bendis’s last arc on Avengers open with him debuting a new team?
  • Did Tony Stark get super rich again in the three months since I quit reading Iron Man? Because last I checked he was broke and trying to build himself back up. In other words, not financing skyscrapers for superhero teams.


Final Thoughts:


My first and only thought about this book when I look at the cover is “Yup, there’s a movie coming out”. I mean, look at it, that’s the movie roster, Hulk included. Hulk is randomly joining the Avengers, or at least teaming up with them, for the sake of movie relevancy. Yes, I understand that cross promotion works, but it just feels forced here.


Did Thor go back to being Thor? I don’t read that book, but I’m going to imagine that the Tanarus stuff was resolved. I’m going to hope that it was.


Why does the army just always insist on hating the Hulk? I feel like at some point some soldier would realize Hulk was defending them and say something. Not that everyone would just blindly attack Hulk and assume anyone else attacking them is obviously his friend. This sort of thing has bothered me for a while.


I really want fresh blood on Avengers. This book should have been a homerun to go with Marvel’s potential biggest thing ever. This book should have been huge, and not just featuring their biggest name. Justice League with Geoff Johns was a top seller because he’s their biggest name and he’s never had a run on the League (as a solo writer). But with Bendis, his Avengers titles were already dipping in sales without needing another new number one to try and drive them up. Readers falling off doesn’t mean relaunch the book with the same writer, it means try someone new. This is Bendis’s sixth first issue of an Avengers book, SIXTH!


Overall: 6/10

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