Or – “This Ought To Be Interesting…”

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The post-Secret Invasion landscape of the Marvel Universe has set Norman Osborn and the New Avengers on a collision course.  Having stolen their names, their costume, their credibility, and their very identities, naturally the team wants a little bit of payback.  Having saved baby Danielle Cage from capture, Captain America and his new team now have to contend with the realization that, this time, the odds aren’t in their favor…

NA1.jpgPreviously, on New Avengers:  All the kings horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put the Skrull empire together again.  Mockingbird, Spider-Woman, and a host of others are back from outer space, but they’ve returned to a world gone mad.  Tony Stark a fugitive, Norman Osborn a national hero, Captain America dead, red skies, burning seas, DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER!  Total.  Chaos.  Luke Cage pulled a massive scam on Osborn, seemingly joining the other side to save his daughter, then smashing Bullseye in the face with a crowbar and escaping.  Returning to his teammates, all of the assembled Avengers are horrified to see Norman Osborn’s press conference during which he reveals his Avengers team, including ersatz versions of Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel, Wolverine, Hawkeye and Iron Man, as well as real Avengers Sentry and Ares.   Insult?  Prepare to meet serious injury…

“Who the HELL are these so-called Avengers?” cries Carol Danvers, as the stunned team watches their counterparts pose for the cameras.  The team tries to suss out who all is involved, marking Marvel Boy, but unsure of the rest until Luke Cage makes the connection.  “Those are the #&$@ing Thunderbolts!”   When they ask Wolverine who his doppelganger is, and Logan tersely replies.  “S’ my kid.”  After a moment of silence, Spider-Man makes another unpleasant connection.  “You’ve had sex?”  Heh.  The team figures out how it’s all connected, and Cap asks how they can pull off an attack.  Ms. Marvel tells them about Tony Stark’s power inhibitors (last seen when Iron Man tried to capture the New Avengers after Civil War) before Jessica Jones asks how in the hell they expect to get into Avengers Tower.  “Actually,” says Spider-Woman, “that’s where I come in.”

Some time later, the Dark Avengers are stunned to see Spider-Woman arrive and ask for asylum.  Bullseye and Venom want to kill and eat her (hopefully in that order, but Jessica’s power allows her to quickly take down all save the Sentry.  Osborn smiles pleasantly, and tells her that she has nothing to offer him.  “I know where Luke Cage and the others are hiding out.  Is THAT worth something?”  Norm points out that Luke just scammed him with that last issue, and she tells him that’s where she stole the idea…  After long moments, Norman agrees.  Across town, the New A’s hang out in the abandoned headquarters of the Hellfire Club, awaiting an attack by the Dark Avengers.  What they get instead is a full-on assault by The Hood and his League of Losers.  The Dark Avengers watch from a distance before setting off for Latveria (as shown in their own book) and we get lots and lots of the fighty-fighty from the Avengers.  Each team member gets a little page of their own, showing a bit of their personality, and there’s some awesome artwork from David Aja, Alex Maleev, Michael Gaydos, and Steve McNiven (as well as a disturbing seemingly computer generated page from Greg Horn) before Spider-Woman takes down most of the villains and the New Avengers escape.  The issue ends with Hawkeye/Ronin walking off, only to show up on network news telling everyone about Norman Osborn’s history.  “I came here tonight to tell the truth…   These are not Avengers. These are not heroes…  Don’t let the bad guys win.  You FIGHT.  Fight for your freedom.  And I’ll be right there fighting alongside you.”

Wow.  I did not expect that.  Hawkeye’s move is a bold one, but I can’t be sure that it’s not one that will have huge negative consequences down the line.  I was worried that this issue was going to blow the big Avenger vs. Faux-venger battle so early in the Dark Reign era (like Vince McMahon says, ya gotta make it last to the pay-per-view) and it’s nice to see the team in action against honest-to-Pete villains, but this whole “The Hood is the most powerful blah blah blah fishcakes” is getting old.  If he’s that big a threat, why does he get beaten senseless every time he appears, hmmm?  In any case, the issue isn’t a bad one, and serves as an okay milestone, giving us some depth on the various characters, and showing how they see the new world order.  I do like Bendis’ Spider-Man banter, and the explanation by Wolverine of how he needs to kick Daken’s ass to teach the boy a lesson is an example of how to write Logan dialogue well.  The various artists do well, but I wish we had more David Aja…  Overall, it’s a well-balanced 3 out of 5 star issue, and New Avengers #50 still proves that the concept behind this book still has gas in it.

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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7 Comments

  1. Josh P.
    March 8, 2009 at 6:40 am — Reply

    A Mavel review!?!

    By golly, cats and dogs must be living together!!!

    On a serious note, thanks for reviewing this book.

  2. mosdef
    March 8, 2009 at 11:05 am — Reply

    I really liked this issue. It didnt have the brawl fest between the two avenger teams and my biggest worry about the current marvel u was addressed. Im so glad Hawkeye went on the news and said. cause i have been thinking that since they let Normon Osborne take over SHIELD. Cant wait to see the reprecussions of that little speech

  3. March 8, 2009 at 1:21 pm — Reply

    Billy Tan was at my LCS last week signing this issue and selling prints of the covers to #50 & #49. Really cool, low key dude. He said that he’s working on a new mini-series/event, which when I kept on pressing him about Iron First not being in NA, he said this new project would be “street-level”. I asked if it would be like Heroes For Hire, he smiled and said yes … and that there would be Iron Fist so I would be satisfied.

    Anyway … I’m still digging this title (Mighty Avengers however … has been dropped).

  4. March 8, 2009 at 5:07 pm — Reply

    Mighty is a more problematic beastie right now. There’s a lot of weirdness going on in there, and too many characters whose time-space coordinates are strange. When does it take place in terms of Hercules, Hulk, and other characters’ books? I’m giving it another couple of issues, but the first one was a bit odd.

  5. Steven
    March 8, 2009 at 7:17 pm — Reply

    Does anybody else see shades of Liefeld’s cap in that pic?

  6. mossdef
    March 8, 2009 at 9:00 pm — Reply

    I tried reading Mighty but i dont like any of the characters and Matthew youre right, i dont know whats going on time story wise.

  7. Brother129
    March 9, 2009 at 10:38 am — Reply

    Not knowing the timeline in Mighty Avengers….wasn’t that Bendis’ whole m.o. for like all of his MA issues?

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