New Avengers #51 ( Marvel – Bendis / Tan / Banning )
“WHO IS THE NEW SORCERER SUPREME? Doctor Strange has failed as the Master of the Mystic Arts and all the other mystic characters are the heir apparent. Strange comes to the New Avengers for help as the mystic battle royale begins. Plus, how can the Avengers trust Spider-Man if he won’t take his mask off”
Issue two in my cycle of on-again/off-again relationship with the Avengers. Now throw into the mix Dr. Stephen Strange! This is a character I always have liked, but never picked up in a monthly book because, well, there hasn’t been many Dr. Strange monthly books in some time. I find him to be an awesome cameo/supporting character. I hope, and it looks like, it could making a comeback in the Marvel Universe.
Not a big action issue. This installment mostly takes place with character around a dinner table or in a diner. Not to get all artsy on you, but I think idea of placing 99% of issue around food really humanizes the characters. Not just in their need to eat (honestly, when was the last time you saw the JLA on Chinese take-out night?), but in the conversations around the dinner table. It goes from serious to funny, and back to serious in a page. Just like a normal family diner Kudos to Mr. Bendis in bringing a family feel to his characters, if that was indeed what he was doing.
Could this be the beginnings of the next big Marvel event? I wouldn’t be surprised. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced that the next big event, The Search for the Next Sorcerer Supreme, has already been announced and I missed it. I’m not a big fan of the Marvel’s pantheon of magic users, but with the right writer it could be very cool.
On a final note: Why did Marvel bother with the entire “One Day Later” thing if Peter was going to unmask in front of the Avengers anyway? I understand Pete’s reasons, and I especially liked the interaction with him and Jessica Drew, but it just seemed a bit rushed.