Norman Osborn takes his New Dark Avengers to the street!
New Avengers #19
At Avengers Mansion, picketers are protesting that the Avengers aren’t keeping the world safe enough which confuses Daredevil, but not quite as much as why the team went on a mission without him now that he’s a full fledged member of the team. After the explosion at Stark Resilient, Tony’s convinced that A.I.M. was behind it, but he doesn’t realize that that it’s a much scarier threat than that. Osborn is actually building the morale of his team by making his case why each of them are better than their heroic counterparts. He reveals his big secret… Osborn has an “inside man”. At the Mansion, Victoria Hand gets a call that the Avengers need to respond to. She places a call to say she’s given someone a few extra minutes because she’s sent the team to the wrong place. When they finally get the correct coordinates, they find Osborn pumping up a crowd after saving Miami from an Atlantean attack.
I’m going to start with a few smaller things that bothered me about the issue. The opening with Daredevil seemed a bit forced after he was given membership to the team, then absent for an issue, the suddenly reappears only to find he’s not been called to help the team. Why didn’t Matt’s buddy, Luke Cage, call him to go on a mission? Isn’t Daredevil on the team? The next thing is that it’s so clearly set up that Hand is the supposed “inside man” by how the end plays out that even if she isn’t, there’s no way to get out of how much Brian Michael Bendis set it all up. If she is truly working for Osborn, it’s been so telegraphed that it’s a letdown. If she’s playing Osborn, there’s not quite enough evidence to support that she’s happier working for Steve Rogers than she was at H.A.M.M.E.R. Yes, she’s been ordered to do this by Rogers, but we’ve seen so little of exactly what she’s about in this new Heroic Age, it still doesn’t quite sit right that she’s good or bad. It it turns out to be someone else, there’s been no evidence of it. It’s a corner that there’s no real good way to really see if Bendis can write his way out of it. There’s certainly no good way out for Victoria Hand with the team that she’s supposedly the liaison to. At some point, she needs to be either respected or ousted. I have a feeling she’s going to ride this line with characters like Spider-Man for a very long time to come.
Finally, and I’ll make this one short… If the populace fall for Osborn’s scheme again. Boy oh boy… The American people would be dumber than anyone has ever given them credit for.
All in all, despite the three things I just pointed out, this really isn’t a bad issue at all. In fact, this arc has started particularly strong. I may not trumpet Bendis’ skills all that much, but if there’s one thing he can do, it’s that he can write one hell of a Norman Osborn. He’s so twisted by his desire to take down heroes, he’s scary to see in any Marvel comic these days. I do love that both Gorgon and Madame Hydra discuss exactly what makes Osborn a loser in general. He talks a great game, but he always pushes too far and ends up getting defeated. Every single time.
As always, Mike Deodato brings his A game. I particularly like the call back to his Dark Avengers run in the scenes with Osborn. It’s dark. It’s tense. It’s just dark. Between Deodato’s pencils and Rain Beredo’s coloring, the book pops with stunning visuals and wonderful palettes to make every page something exciting and beautiful to look at.
In my honest opinion, I believe this is by far the most interesting arc to date for this series. It’s fun, it has excitement, and outside leaving Daredevil behind (oopsies!), the New Avengers don’t stumble around as much as we’ve seen in recent issues. This arc, so far, is just what this series needed!
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Nice tension with Osborn involved again. While the Avengers sit back, Osborn strikes and the two teams’ collision course is about to pay off. As always, great art.||A few things that bothered me – Daredevil feels shoehorned right now, Hand may be doing what Rogers wants, but the story around that feels like there’s no satisfying conclusion, and it’ll be pretty disappointing if people fall for Osborn’s Avengers again.|