Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Avengers Annual #3

Well that ended up being fairly easy, didn't it? After Clint Barton foolishly set out to kill Norman Osborn and was captured, Osborn is relishing the chance to grill Clint for information. The entire Dark Avengers team shows up to intimidate Clint, but unfortunately he's not really having it. Bendis does a good job writing Clint here, he is smart and brave and actually sounded like Hawkeye. Surely that is where we're going to end up after Siege, right?

Bendis handles the villains well here, they are in positions of power; but still villains. I didn't see as much of Ares' good streak as I'm used to, though. I really enjoyed seeing Mentallo forcing Clint to relive the worst parts of his life (many of which didn't seem so bad). I could have done without seeing the stupid Avengers Disassembled death though, that still seems stupid 5 years later. Mentallo's reaction to the Avengers ladies was classic, he immediately cowers and tries to say it wasn't his fault. Speaking of the ladies, I really dug the weird little strike-force that rescues Clint. Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, Mockingbird and Jewel are actually a pretty powerful team. I could really get used to these folks getting more spotlight. Mockingbird has been a favorite of mine for so long, I love seeing her banter back and forth with Clint. I mean, c'mon, look at that cover. They look like an Avengers team, don't they?

And I'm hoping Bendis has seen the light on the archer. At the close of the issue, Hawkeye sort of recants his vengeful threats, so maybe the character is going back to his roots. And how about that splash ending? I would have loved to have Reborn tell the story of Steve Rogers' return, but man, that "I Want You" style shot at the end was awesome.

Mike Mayhew's art tends to look a tad too photo-shopped for me, but I can't say that here. The painting is stunning, with each of the ladies especially looking like different people. Artists often have all their people look the same, but Mayhew does a wonderful job making each character stand and act differently. Having Spider-Woman have a conversation while stuck to a wall was just icing on the cake.


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