September 27, 2009

Marvel Snapshot: Avengers Alley

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Written by: Billy
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Greetings fellow comic geeks to another addition of Marvel Snapshot. This week will be an all out Avengers discussion. I have to admit when I first started collecting comics it was just Spider-Man and X-Men, but then came along Bloodties; A crossover event starring the Avengers and the X-Men that I just had to have. I immediately was drawn into the world of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and couldn’t wait to see what was coming next, as well as stock up on back issues.

 So lets get down to business regarding the current state of things. In my phpThumb aihumble opinion all three regular Avengers titles have been pretty consistent with writing and artwork. First we’ll take at look at Avengers Initiative; I think this book has had its ups and downs but shows promise for the future. One thing that I really like about this book is the fact that it showcases some new characters and also some that get little or no face time elsewhere. People like the Constrictor, Tigra and Taskmaster are just a few that come to mind.                                                                                                      

Currently in Avengers Initiative, Norman Osborn is using his authority to place super criminals in each of the fifty state teams to basically be puppets for his bidding. He has also ousted Gauntlet, Tigra and the former New Warriors from the project putting them on the run from Hammer and the registration act. I really dig Christos Gage’s writing and feel he has a good foothold on each character’s needs and what they bring to the table. On the other hand Rafa Sandoval’s artwork is better than his predecessors but that isn’t saying much.

Lets switch gears now and take a look at The Mighty Avengers. This team was severely impacted from the events that took place during Secret Invasion. First off, the Wasp was killed which in turn sent Hank Pym into a downward spiral, but now he has risen to take the mantle of team leader. Right now the team is mainly a rag tag group of misfits that really don’t fit in anywhere else. Maybe this is why I feel the title works so well.

phpThumb maI really enjoy Dan Slotts writing in this series. He completely understands each character and usually takes one of them to new heights on a monthly basis. I feel like his dissertation has a lot to do with how much I enjoy this book. It’s worth noting that Gage has recently joined Slott with the writing duties on the title. I’m not a huge fan of Khoi Pham but I think his covers and close ups are quite good. This book has really turned it up a notch since they started a story line a few issues back about Loki masquerading as the Scarlet Witch to influence the team to do her handiwork. I thoroughly enjoy Hercules and Amadeus Cho being on this team, especially when the scenes include Pym and Jarvis. The back and forth banter is really cool. This book has seen some heavyweight opponents lately as well; Modred, Chthon (he possessed Quicksilver) and a new foe called The Unspoken. This last enemy has me very excited because it is a character from the past but one we haven’t seen before. The Unspoken is the former King of the Inhumans and was unspeakably powerful, but in a weakened state he was ousted by Black Bolt and his lackeys and exiled forever.

Next we have New Avengers, which has been nothing short of spectacular since it’s inception. Brian Michael Bendis is the writer and Billy Tan was doing a great job with the art but has recently given the reigns over to Stuart Immonen. This is one move that isn’t so great if you ask me, but the art is tolerable; I just don’t care for his big action scenes. As of late this title has phpThumb nashown us the search for the new Sorcerer Supreme since Dr. Strange has given up the mantle. This leads to a wild fight against The Hood and his demon master Dormammu. It also was cool to see some old school magical/mystical characters that don’t get much face time; we saw Damon Hellstrom and Brother Voodoo who was chosen as the new Sorcerer Supreme by The Eye of Agamotto. More recently though we have seen Norman Osborn turn up the heat in trying to find and stop the New Avengers. The last couple of issues have shown the Hoods gang falling apart, and the Hood himself being assisted by Loki in finding a new source of power since Dormammu left him. We have also seen Dr. Jonas Harrow who is an old Spidey villain and techno genius get his hands on some Stark-Tech that dampens superpowers. He has taken down the New Avengers and even Osborn and his crew of Dark Avengers. Yes, not even the mighty Sentry or Norman’s Iron Patriot armor was a match for this device.

There is not a more exciting time that I can recall in all three of these monthly titles!

Next week I’ll ask a tough question: Who is more overused, Wolverine or Deadpool?

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Marie

    Nice article Billy! Can’t wait for next weeks debate!

  2. Kristin

    Wolverine or Deadpool? I’d add Spidey to that list, too.

  3. billy

    Well Kris, in my world Spidey only exists in New Avengers so I left him out. Lol.

  4. In ‘Initiative’, which members of the former New Warriors are getting some face time?

  5. billy

    Hey Andy, Justice pretty much gets all the face time and dialogue but you do get to see Rage, Slapstick, Night Thrasher and a few others.

  6. Kristin

    I finally read my New Avengers from last week, and I gotta say. I felt ripped off, at $3.99. That is some of the sloppiest art work I have seen in comics. I mean really, really sloppy and messy and bad.

  7. billy

    @Kristin, I agree that Tan was doing a great job. Stuart Immonen has been on board for a couple of issues now.

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