Thursday, June 25, 2009

Avengers: The Initiative #25

Avengers Resistance Assemble! It is no secret that Christos Gage is one of my favorite writers, consistently spending time and energy on characters and properties that number among my favorites. As the Disassembled arc of Initiative wraps up, I'm really excited to see where he's going with the new status quo in this title. Having Tigra, Gauntlet, and the New Warriors set themselves up to take on the Hood's gang of evil Avengers is genius. It looks like we may get more screen time from some 2nd stringers like Diamondback, Prodigy, and Trauma, who deserve the panel time (Diamondback especially). Not to mention the fact that this looks like the place to check up on the best kind of Marvel villains; the ones that made all those bronze age Marvel books so much fun. Razorfist, Scorcher, Griffin, Living Laser, and of course the Taskmaster are wonderful characters and I can't wait to see how they interact with both allies and enemies. I love this level of the Marvel U and I hope this book keeps going for a long time.

Gage does a tremendous job making me HATE Norman Osborn here. Osborn's overwhelming sense of superiority is clear in his cold interactions with Tigra and Gauntlet. In both cases, he acts like he's giving them their heart's desire with only a small, reasonable compromise to give him what he wants. (And how great is it that Norman thinks Tigra would be honored to be on the Dark Avengers?) I was a little surprised that Ares would be ok with maiming a professional soldier like the Gauntlet, but I suppose Ares loves following orders over all else. Tigra's "escape" from Moonstone was wonderful too, as Tigra just slashed open Moonstone's top. Tigra took her out by exploiting Moonie's vanity, making it a much shorter fight (and probably the only way Tigra could win). The Hood's dialogue was another high point. He tries to act like it was just business when he beat down Tigra, but he can't help throwing in an additional threat to her to keep looking tough. He practically forced Tigra out the door.

Humberto Ramos does a decent job on art, but there is a lot more talking than action this issue. I don't really like his super-skinny take on Tigra either, but he did do a nice job on the Hood's flunkies. With a top tier artist, this would have been an "Excellent" comic, but as is it is a strong "Good."


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