Thursday, February 23, 2012

Avengers #22

Well now, this is a fun comic, but it seems Bendis sure has a dim view of the government and the American public in general, doesn't it?

It is always entertaining seeing super-villains get the upper hand, and by stacking the deck for Norman Osborn, it is not surprising things are going so well. He’s got the armies of AIM, Hydra, and more working for him. He’s got a traitorous SHIELD agent handing out powers. He’s got Madame Hydra and the AIM Scientist Supreme all working in his corner. After last issue, the Avengers have Quake and Vision, that’s it. Everyone else is taken out. (Although I did love seeing how “out” the Red Hulk is. Even unconscious they can’t put him down!)

This entire issue consists of the villains rubbing it in. Each one of them is gleefully mocking our Avengers, and it seems the government is buying in. That’s right, the shadowy-faced POTUS is going to reach out to Norman Osborn. I think it’s a little silly that anyone would think Osborn can keep the upper hand for long, but it really forces the bleak situation home.

Bendis has set up a fantastic situation here. If the characters from this comic actually come around and use their smarts and powers to win the battle, this could hold up as a great Avengers story. There are tons of members who could pull this off. (I’m pulling for Quake to earn her spot on the team.) BUT, if Bendis has someone else from outside the book show up and rescue the Avengers, it will be yet another story where Bendis’ Avengers were so incompetent they had to be rescued.

Nick Fury. The Defenders. The X-Men. The FF. I really hope the Avengers can clean up their own mess this time, because bringing in a new character to save the day is bad storytelling AND anti-climactic. But I’m holding out hope that Iron Man or someone has a trick up their sleeve!

Renato Guedes is doing his best, and some of his panels look fantastic. The facial expressions on Madame Hydra are a particular high-point. But at other moments, the art still looks a bit scratchy, the Quake and Vision sequences in particular.


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