Saturday, May 2, 2009
New Avengers #52
After last issue's team building dialogue, Bendis is back at it again with the talking this issue. Dr. Strange has fled from the Hood and sought refuge with the New Avengers. The team is happy to help Dr. Strange and they basically want to use the Doc as bait to catch the Hood. With the Hood serving as a main emissary of Norman Osborn's Dark Reign, he's a perfect target for the New Avengers. Meanwhile, the Hood is struggling more and more with his possessor, Dormammu. While we don't see Dormammu in the issue, knowing he is the demon making things so tough on Dr. Strange is a nice way to add to their long conflict. The problem is, that's it, that's all that happens in this comic. Most of the issue is spent in banal conversation between the New Avengers, with lots of the repetitition and pointless interruption that Bendis uses when things aren't really moving along. As I said last month, when the plot calls for it, the talking in a Bendis book is really strong. However, Bendis has a tendency to fall back on talking and talking when it is not necessary and often times it actually robs the book of momentum. I feel this story is ok, but now it is taking too long to get anywhere. On a nit-picky issue, I had fired that the magical hero of New Orleans was Brother Voodoo. It turns out the Hood is heading there to take on Hellstrom, the Son of Satan. I've got to figure that Hellstrom will kick Hood's butt, if he doesn't, I might start having issues with the Hood's power levels. If I compare this to Mighty Avengers, it seems like there is no way this can even be the same concept. I suppose these might be ok issues in trade paperback, but waiting a month for basically no plot movement is quite frustrating.
The Chris Bachalo Hood-based pages are evocative and scary. They look fantastic. The Billy Tan pages are actually a little on the plain side. Tan just doesn't have a dynamic enough style to make it fun seeing people talk for 20 pages.