Avengers #1 Heroic Age May 23, 2010 10:49:18 GMT -5
Post by humanbelly on May 23, 2010 10:49:18 GMT -5
Yep, there I was at one of our smaller LCS's (picking up the end of that Archie Proposes series for my daughter), and I thought, "okay, it won't kill me to try just the first issue".
And. . . I have to say that it benefitted from my initial low expectations. It is not bad. It works as a starting point, w/ almost no SIEGE-related info needed to follow what's going on.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS-- CAREFUL!!
The biggest point in its favor is that it seems like BMB may have grudgingly been listening to some of the complaints and criticisms of us much-maligned "old-timers" after all. Most of his overly-clever dialogue tricks have been left at home-- the style is fairly straightforward and at times amusing without being cutesy (Well, Kang makes one gratuitously wry comment that is completely out of character-- but one can't expect miracles). Bendis is still terribly weak at writing dialogue where everyone has a different voice, though. This is particularly noticable with Thor, whose manner of speech is now so contemporary that he could be anyone else if you weren't looking at the pictures. But BMB isn't the first writer to have this problem. The plot itself has the beginnings of being a vintage big ol' Avengers chase-'em-down & beat-'em-up w/ myriad twists and turns along the way. We've got Kang, there's an Ultron element, there's--- a surprise (but very welcome!) mastermind revealed in the last panel.
The art: as I've said before, JR Jr. just doesn't do it for me much anymore, although this isn't really bad work. He's dynamic, but as always, his faces are awful (and identical) and his mastery of anatomy needs to re-apply for a learner's permit (there's a panel where Thor's arm seems to have lost its elbow, and just curves conveniently like Plastic Man's). Klaus Janson's inking has just gotten rougher & rougher over the years, too. Man, he used to be the KING of fine detail. Oddly enough, it's colorist Dean White who I think deserves a lot of credit for maintaining the art's overall visual appeal. There's a lot of depth and shading that would be missing w/out his efforts here. The art's okay-- and wouldn't at all keep me from getting this book.
Interviews W/ the Avengers text piece at the end: Very, very weak. If Bendis wrote this, then it completely reveals his limitations, I believe. Every character sounds like every other character. I believe he may have done a bit of homework/research to tackle this-- but I don't think he assimilated what he read. Tony Stark, in particular, shows such an astounding lack of depth or self-awareness (mentioning repeatedly how "hot" Jan Van Dyne is) that it proves insulting (man, there's that word again) to the longtime reader.
BUT-- I would still give the book a reasonable grade of B-, maybe a B, even. Benefit of the doubt, as it were.