As the cover suggests, it’s all out war between the New Avengers and the Dark Avengers!
New Avengers #20
Norman Osborn has made his new Dark Avengers public. After being sent to the wrong place to begin with, the New Avengers arrive. When Osborn challenges Luke Cage’s authority, it’s time for an all out battle. The Dark Avengers have a couple surprises up their sleeves. They are well trained and organized and Cage’s boiling blood gives the New Avengers a slight disadvantage. When Cage finally gets to Osborn, Norman catches his punch and tosses Cage miles away. The New Avengers begin to turn the tides, but Osborn’s Ms. Marvel topples the team’s ship and gives Dr. Strange enough time to slip the good guys away. Just as the team is putting two and two together and realize Victoria Hand purposely sent them to the wrong place, Ragnarok (the mighty Thor clone) shows up to put the finishing touches on the team.
Each issue of this arc has gotten better and better. This issue cuts out so much fat and just gets to the slugfest that has been building since the series’ “Point One” issue. Whereas the last couple issues had awkward openings that seemed to detract from the overall plot, Brian Michael Bendis drops that and delivers a really good issue full of action and shows exactly how much of a threat Norman Osborn can be by giving the madman the win in this first round. He even gives individuals watching the fight and directly in harm’s way a chance to voice their opinion about the Avengers seemingly “starting a fight when there was none.”
I’ve said in the past that one of the issues I had, albeit relatively small, but still frustrating, was that Osborn seemed to instantly set up to have the backing of the public against the Avengers. While this is still a frustration, at least we have visual and scripted voicing of a couple regular people’s opinion. I wish that would have been the trigger that some people do believe Osborn’s extreme right-wing nuttiness might play against the Avengers. More often than not, it feels as though Bendis writes his Avengers books from a point of view that they are not well liked by the public. While it might be a more realistic thing, it makes for a much more X-Men like feel than an Avengers one. Instead of instantly having picketers show up in front of Avengers Mansion (right after, mind you, they saved the world from a fear god trying to kill everyone, and another god trying to kill everyone to prevent the fear god from killing everyone), it might have been better to build on that from Osborn pulling some strings.
That being said, this issue is still a ton of fun. Looking at this issue on its own steam and looking at this from what it is – a big ol’ battle – it succeeds in upping the ante. Bendis holds back on the banter and brings the arc to a climax in a very well balanced manner. It doesn’t feel forced (the last issue set this whole thing up), and it doesn’t speed by. It is just a good, exciting issue.
Mike Deodato’s art in this book is spectacular. From the opening two-page spread with the two teams beginning their battle to Wolverine getting his face smashed by Skaar to another two page spread of the evil Ms. Marvel bringing down the New Avengers’ jet to Ragnarok showing up on the final page, it’s beautiful. While this book utilizes few panels, each page is filled with beautiful images and certainly helps Bendis’ fast paced, but packed, pacing that made this issue as much fun as it was.
The best arc in this series’ history continues along with this extremely exciting and excellently drawn issue from the Bendis and Deodato team, and with the Thor Clone showing up, we’re barely going to get a chance to catch our breaths.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Action packed issue with great pacing and great art.||Very little to pick on in this issue. All around very solid issue.|
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