This is it! The Avengers and Norman Osborn go toe-to-toe for their final battle!
Thanks to Norman Osborn acquiring the services of Doctor Rappaccini, he gets the ability to fuse his body with the powers of a Super-Adaptoid from A.I.M. This explains his overly amped up powers. This becomes evident to Iron Man when the Red Hulk acts too quickly to be stopped and pops Osborn right in the jaw. This gives Normie the ability to turn into a purple Hulk. However, even though a Super-Adaptoid is pretty darn tough to take down, the more experienced Avengers know that he can be taken down by overloading his powers. After Osborn is physically and mentally incapacitated, Captain America arrests for S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Washington for espionage and treason. Later, the president suggests Cap make nice with the press to try to reverse the public opinion Osborn has fueled some citizens with and Madame Hydra reveals her masterplan… Get rid of Osborn and use H.A.M.M.E.R.’s immense power and resources to rebuild Hydra into the biggest threat they’ve ever been.
I still believe this arc in both Avengers and New Avengers is a good one. Osborn has a quality to him that not only makes him a pretty darn annoying character that always seems to pop up with seemingly no one able to touch him, but it also gave both Avengers teams something to do that was more or less equal to each team’s power. This issue does some things nicely. It wraps up the story, it gives exposition to why Osborn’s got all these nutty powers and gives us a Hulk vs. Hulk fight that’s never a bad thing. All this and some pretty nice art from Daniel Acuña, someone I’m really digging these days as an artist.
However, the issue isn’t perfect from the story aspect.
I’ll start with my least of my three gripes. If there’s anything I’d rather see for the explanation of Osborn’s new powers it’s how it was exposed in the issue. I’d rather see it as one contiguous prologue and not have it switch back and forth from “two weeks ago” to the showdown and back. The second issue is how quickly the final battle wraps. It wraps so quickly that we only get two panels to see Osborn starting to literally come apart. We don’t get a guy struggling against the inevitable. We don’t see him fall over. We don’t get to see him get taken away. Instead it goes from him reacting to something being wrong, to his face melting half way off his skull, to Cap arresting agent Washington. It’s too quick. I had to go back and make sure I didn’t accidentally turn two pages instead of one.
The biggest problem is not on Brian Michael Bendis at all. It’s on Marvel. There’s still one issue remaining in this arc on the New Avengers side. The last thing we saw over there was Skaar seemingly betraying his Dark Avengers brethren. Why? I dunno. Is he out for the Avengers himself? Couldn’t tell you. Well, I guess I do know what happens because we see him in this issue. This is the type of error that should piss everyone reading these two series right the hell off. It’s an egregiousness error that derails the entire story.
That’s a real shame because the other two issues I had I could almost live with. The third error by Marvel itself is unacceptable.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Fair enough wrap up to a story that I did like for the most part. I really dig the art from Acuña. Might not be for everyone, but I’ve grown to really like it.||A couple small problems with how the exposition of Osborn’s powers work and his downfall, but the BIG BIG BIG error is having this book come out before New Avengers #23. It’s unacceptable and just plain crap.|
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