New Avengers #54 ( Marvel – Bendis / Tan )
“A Sorcerer Supreme is chosen! Be witness to a very important chapter in Avengers history and the lore of Marvel magic! Plus, the Avengers finally have a big showdown with the Hood and not everyone walks away from it unharmed”
Well if there’s a Marvel book weathering the Dark Reign storm it’s New Avengers, a book which you’d expect to be most intruded upon. Bendis does a good job keeping this book on track despite some contrived Dark Reign infringements.
I could have used a bunch more issues of who will be the next sorcerer supreme, I find that interesting, even if I have no idea why Doctor Strange decided to resign, somewhere apparently toward the end of Secret Invasion after I’d already stopped listening (oh and after Thor #602 apparently, out now). Whatever I’m buying the morose Doctor, and I like the fact that just because he’s done with being Sorcerer Supreme he still hasn’t lost all his skills. All the fun, none of the pressure.
I do think #54 was kind of undramatic and not thoroughly thought out, I mean Mr. Bendis is writing alot of books. The dialogue seems somewhat forced and Brother Voodoo really only had, “Is this for real” to say? It all just seemed like the obvious happened at every turn, and I’m kind of used to Bendis seeing through the obvious to something cool. But not quite this issue. And the Hood, who’s been built up for what a year, was invited into Osbornes inner circle is now poof gone after a couple of panels of gibberish and Damien Hellstorm’s uncharacteristic wise cracks? A bit to easy I think. Although Hawkeye’s little Web Video at the end and Norman Osborne’s counter interview was clever, but underplayed, Hawkeye’s response of “We’re going to have to kill him” was pureil, and out of character.
And speaking of Clint, what’s with him staying in the Ronin costume? I haven’t seen him do anything as a hero as Ronin in particular. He can’t be as good with martial arts as he is with a bow. He’s a renegade, why wouldn’t he jump back into the Robin Hood role? So, I don’t get that, or why he needs to keep it secret that he’s back. Did I miss that too when I stopped wasting my money on Secret Invasion X-Overs?
Billy Tan’s art has been getting better every issue as is his story telling. He used to be one of those one pin up per panel guys, with no real continuity across frames or pages. His line quality and skill has never been in question, but not he’s settled down into a real nice story teller. Not all of it is perfect, but look at early Hitch/Neary or Cassady and I think you’ll see ya got a special artist here.
I really like the colors on this book. Without going into why, they are so well done and balance they make my eyes happy. Justin Ponsor rocks and has rocked for awhile. It’s rare to say this, but without him, this would not be the same book.
Story B-, but better’n yer average Joe by a ways