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…and the rest

Brian Hibbs

I always felt bad for the professor and Mary Ann during that first season of Gilligan’s island. I mean, not only were they stuck with a bunch of idiots, but they didn’t even rate a mention in the theme song!

Last week I discussed DARK AVENGERS #1, but the whole Avengers franchise just got a semi-reboot, so here’s “…and the rest”, after the jump!

NEW AVENGERS #49: now I’m certainly hoping there’s more to the Luke & Jessica’s baby thing, because otherwise that was the single worst dangling plot thread wrap up in history, with absolutely no suspense or energy whatsoever. There’s got to be more to this, right? Right? There’s no logical reason for the “Jarviskrull” to do what he did, and there’s certainly no real motivation in the pages here…

Does the kid even have a name? I just can’t remember! I just flipped through the comic again, looking at all of Luke & Jess’ dialogue and it’s all “the kid” “the baby” “she” and so on. When Tzipora & I talked about Ben, even as an infant, we said his name ALL of the time.

Here’s the weird one, too: this issue was solicited with a $3 cover price. It shipped with a $4 one. There’s no extra pages. There’s nothing special about this issue whatsoever, and NEW AVENGERS wasn’t, I thought, one of the new $4 monthlies. Even if it was, it is completely tacky to raise the price after the book has been solicited and ordered.

(Our sales look to be down by ~20% on normal first week sales… though that COULD be post-SECRET INVASION burnout, hard to say so early)

But here’s the thing: I don’t know what the premise for this book is at this point. I guess, maybe, it is “street level rebels” — but that’s really a dull premise, as most of the post-CIVIL WAR adventures showed… and they don’t have the advantage of everyone and their brothers “looking the other way” seemingly every issue – and given they’re already presenting “NEW versus DARK!” as the centerpiece of next issue, it confuses me even more where this *or* DARK can go in the next quarter, next six months, next year.

I mentioned in my review of DARK that I was satisfied with the density of the storytelling for the price. I was very much NOT feeling that in this issue — this just flashed past without any real depth or meaning to it. I can’t possibly say anything better than EH, and even that’s a LOW “eh”.

For $4 a throw, it’s got to be a lot better than that!

AVENGERS THE INITIATIVE #21: Christos Gage gets his A-List shot… on a book full of B-list characters! Spending the issue wrapping up a number of plot threads, I thought there was good humor and action chops on display here. I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing “Clor” again, but it was used here to adequate effect. I don’t understand, really, how Trauma could take the lightning hit, but not the hammer blow, but that’s really quibbly stuff.

Where this is going to end up going as a “Dark Reign” title is still a little unclear, but I’m going to assume that the basic intent of the book being “training ground for heroes” is going to stay effectively intact. It’s not a bad premise, really, but there needs to be a core of characters that I really care about to keep it going.

I was amused by “Gorilla Girl’s” self-awareness, though, and I’ll give this a very high OK, bordering on “good”

MIGHTY AVENGERS #21: Dan Slott takes a step over sideways, and gives me the closest I’ve read to what I would consider an “Avengers” comic book in… well in four or five years, maybe? Big epic threat, powerful heroes, in-team and internal conflict, all in the Mighty Marvel Style. Now there’s a premise I can kind of get behind. Even though this is decidedly “classic” in feel, it also feels really fresh because Marvel hasn’t really done a comic like this in a while.

If Slott can keep this level of energy and tone, this could be a really fun ride. It isn’t Shakespeare, but it is a return to a tone that’s been missing from Marvel books for a while, and it feels like it has a distinct reason for existing, at least so far.

I liked it ($4 cover and all) — GOOD from me.

What did YOU think?



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