Or – “Combining Five Old Things = The Next Big Thing!”

Norm-O is out of prison, teamed up with a coterie of scum and villainy, ready to once again launch his one good idea scrambled up to look different than before.  If the Marvel Universe were a call center, he’d clearly be the one in charge…

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously, in New Avengers:  When Captain America and Iron Man went to war, the Avengers split down the middle.  Once Iron Man took over the world, the New Avengers were an underground team working behind the scenes.  When Captain America returned from the dead to take over the world, the New Avengers just sort of kept hanging around.  In recent months, the New A’s failed to keep Norman Osborn from escaping from prison and have honestly been somewhat useless overall.  Will this be the moment where the team proves itself to be more than the sum of it’s remarkable parts?


As much as I enjoyed the issue wherein Daredevil joined the Avengers a few months ago, the first few pages of this issue filled me with a deep disappointment about what Bendis intends to do with the characters.  Here’s a hint:  It seems to be mostly poop jokes.  DD encounters Squirrel Girl for the first time since saving her life, and finds that the little lady has developed a crush on him, so much so that she’s failed to notice that baby Danielle Cage has soiled herself.  Elsewhere, the New Avengers and Iron Man recover from last issue’s assault from agents of AIM and dealing with the realization that somebody stole a sample of Wolverine’s blood.  This whole segment feels weirdly out of place to me, with a couple of moments of personal interaction that are interesting, but mostly it’s a showcase for Bendis’ unpleasantly strident take on Tony Stark and a LOT of discussion.  Indeed, most of this issue is conversation of one sort or another, and admittedly Mike Deodato does a good job of keeping things interesting with his panel layouts, but when it’s all said and done we’re looking at a lot of talking heads.


The villains from Secret Warriors are back, as well, and Gorgon does have a strong moment halfway through the issue wherein he has a quick conflict with Madame Hydra, but it, too, boils down to talky-talky.  Spider-Man doesn’t trust Victoria Hand, Jessica Jones worries about Norman’s threat to kill her daughter, Hawkeye’s brother finally gets something to do, and Skaar, Son Of Hulk, just… stands there.  Norman’s new helicarrier thingy looks remarkably like an Imperial Star Destroyer, and Victoria Hand transmits Norman coordinates allowing him to outfox the Avengers.  Part of me is sure we’re getting a face turn from Victoria that will justify her as a good person, while the other part of me can’t find any real support for that sort of thing and worries that it’s going to be exactly what it looks like.  As the issue ends, the New Avengers arrive just in time to find that the Dark Avengers have taken down the menace that they set out to stop, leading us to what they promise us is a battle between Avengers teams next time.


I don’t intend to come back for next issue to find out how it all shakes down, as this issue feels like retreads from top to bottom.  Spider-Man has been verbally hanging a lampshade on Vicky Hand’s untrustworthiness for over a year now, but no one has actually done anything about it.  This team’s leader, Luke Cage, is defined entirely by his response to his wife’s fears, which carries over to his team as well.  Sadly, Iron Fist and Doctor Strange are set-dressing this issue (as are Mockingbird and, strangely enough, Wolverine) and are much better served in the recent Defenders #1.  New Avengers #19 is well-drawn but draws on the same territory that we’ve been working with for about five years now, taking it’s bloody time to get nowhere in particular, and existing in a timeframe that is hard to reconcile with the last issue of Avengers, earning a disappointed 1.5 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

Faithful Spoilerite Question Of The Day:  Doesn’t it undermine the awesomeness/specialness of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes when literally EVERYBODY seems to be a member these days?

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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  1. Michael
    December 18, 2011 at 10:55 am — Reply

    I don’t get a lot of the New New Dark Avengers.

    – Why is Skarr even there? Did he and Banner/Hulk have a falling out I’m unaware of?

    – Gorgon taking Wolverine’s name and costume? Why? Aren’t there a lot of other Avengers he’d more easily fit in as?

    – And this chick taking the place of the Scarlet Witch?

  2. TaZ
    December 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm — Reply

    I give this two “Feh!”s. Too soon for Osborne. Someone give this title a quick death, leave Luke Cage with the Thunderbolts and keep only The Mighty Avengers, Secret Avengers and Avengers Academy.

  3. Ced
    December 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm — Reply

    I agree, I prefer Luke Cage in Thunderbolts. I also agree about Osborne beeing way too soon.

  4. darklighter1
    December 20, 2011 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    Yep usually Bendis in his outright stealing of ideas for Avengers stories will wait a few years between copies. This story just happened before the Heroic Age last year. And the banter….oh the HILARIOUS banter…..all it’s missing is the laugh track.

  5. January 4, 2012 at 9:46 am — Reply

    I totally agree. I just keep waiting for the reveal that this whole arc isn’t what it appears to be, a poorer version of “Dark Reign,” but Bendis really needs to do SOMETHING different to convince me of that. Otherwise, it’s just a confusing jumble.

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