After being severely injured in New Avengers #9, Mockingbird is on borrowed time, so with the defeat of the H.A.M.M.E.R. team last issue, Spidey, Doc Strange, and Thing get her to the nearest hospital. Back at the site of the battle the bad guys are being taken into custody while Ms. Marvel ponders on the fact that they just got their butts handed to them on a platter with an extra serving of whoop ass sauce from Superia. We also have the second story taking place in 1959 with Fury’s team of Avengers, who are being sent in to attack a Nazi base where the Red Skull was last seen. However, they get a very unexpected surprise during the attack that makes for a pretty decent cliff hanger.
I’m a bit torn between what I want in this particular story arc. At times I’m more interested in the present day story line, but then who doesn’t enjoy seeing the 1959 Avengers team rip through Red Skull’s Nazis? Maybe this is also because it’s not made clear yet if this flashback story has anything to do with what’s going on in the present, which is what I’ve been wondering since it started. This isn’t to say that the stories themselves aren’t great, but if they are tied together somehow I think it’s about time we were let in on the connection. Other than that, both of these stories are moving along nicely and Bendis makes sure that they have a flavor all their own as they run side by side. I do have to wonder where the hell Gabriel Jones vanished to. He’s running around with Fury and Dugan in the beginning of the arc, then “poof!”, the guy is gone. That part just doesn’t make any sense as no explanation was given as to where he went.
Since we get to spend a bit more time in 1959, we also get more of Howard Chaykin’s artwork. Though not my favorite parts of the book, I will say the double splash page of Namora riding the whale was pretty cool. Even Deodato’s work looked less detailed than it was in the previous two issues, and in some cases was reminiscent of Mark Texeira’s style. Not that it was a bad thing, because he still pulled off very good looking scenes for the present day story.
Seeing that H.A.M.M.E.R. is going the way of fanatical groups like Hydra and A.I.M. seems like a natural progression, and along with the group’s suspicion of being set up by the former assistant to Osborn, should make for an interesting twist. New Avengers #11 is yet another great installment in the series that reinforces the opinion that this is the best Avengers title currently available. The team dynamic is fantastic and feels more natural here than in the other books. For my money these are the best Avengers assembling, hands down!