Friday, January 6, 2012

Avengers Annual #1 (2012)

Well, I managed to hold off for a few months, but eventually, my desire to see Wonder Man show up in any comic, even a bad one, overpowered my better judgment. I figured that even a badly-characterized, Bendis-version of Wondy was better than nothing.

Turns out, I was right.

The New Avengers Annual is more fun for me, filled with Wondy’s screed about all the problems the Avengers have caused. Even better is the Gabrielle Del’Otto re-designs of a bunch of forgotten characters. Say what you will, but Del’Otto is pretty good at updating and modernizing silly costumes into something great. Factor in the “Revengers” defeat of the Sitting Avengers, and I actually liked this book.

The Avengers Annual had some good parts too. The Revengers did fine against a team that enjoys long meals and conversation, but when the real Avengers show up, they don’t really have a chance. Wonder Man doesn’t even try to fight in this one, instead, he’s content to pile on Bendis’ current message that the Avengers are entitled, rogue agents who need to be shut down. This makes no sense for Wonder Man as a character, but to give Bendis credit, there’s an out. Wondy is doubting that he’s even real, since he was brought back to life by a pre-House of M Scarlet Witch. I’m not sure how I feel about nullifying the last few years of WM appearances, but I wouldn’t complain seeing him come back as just a powerhouse, not in the ionic form (hey, I miss the jet-packs).

After the Revengers are in custody, it’s a mixed bag of characterization for the all-dude team. Anti-Venom should not be the only rational member to speak out that he frankly agrees with Wonder Man’s assessment of the Avengers. Ethan Edwards and Goliath’s search for revenge makes sense, and Century’s alien reasoning was a nice touch. I know almost nothing about Captain Ultra, so I suppose he could be that petty, but Atlas shouldn’t have attacked the Avengers just because they didn’t want him as a member, that’s a miss. D-Man cracks me up; could he actually be working to get the Infinity Gems?

So I hope the redesigns stick around, and I hope people remember that Atlas, Goliath, and Century exist. I want Wonder Man’s ill-thought out villainy retconned as quickly as possible (although I do like seeing Cap, Iron Man, and Thor caught between the “New” folks like Cage and their old friend).


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