Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
This week we’ll be looking at reviews for Brian Michael Bendis’s Dark Avengers #10.
Kirk Warren at the Weekly Crisis Comic Review recommends the issue:
The most significant reason was that this was probably the first instance of all the characters having unique voices. Bendis typically excels in dialogue, but usually only on the street level or with a small cast of characters he has a firm grasp of. However, outside of his work on Powers, this is easily the best team/ensemble cast work I’ve read from Bendis.
Norman continued to be the character Bendis knows best on the Dark Avengers roster, but Venom, Bullseye, Moonstone and Ms Hand were all handled well in this issue. Don’t go in expecting character defining moments from every one I’ve mentioned though. I’m mostly speaking in general terms of character voices and how they are breaking out of the typical ‘Bendis-speak’ that plagues much of Bendis’s team books. In fact, while I actually think he’s taken Moonstone’s character a bit too far beyond Warren Ellis’s Thunderbolts iteration, which itself was a bit exaggerated of the Busiek/Fabian Moonstone, I’m just happy to see her and the others being written in a unique voice for once.
Matthew Peterson of Major Spoilers gave the issue 2 out of 5 stars.
This issue has it’s nice touches. I like how the implication is that Moonstone/Ms. Marvel/Dr. Sofen seduces Bullseye not because she likes him (he’s actually a reprehensible excuse for a human being) but because he’s wearing a Hawkeye costume, a callback to old-school Thunderbolts. I like the opening sequence, which feels like a drive-in horror movie, leaving me yelling at the stupid girls to get back in the car. I liked the use of Venom here, showing the obvious consequences of Norman’s shotgun approach to medication. But there are a lot of things that I can’t quite figure out. Wasn’t the Sentry left for dead at the end of last issue, his brains blown out? How long has it been since Captain Marvel/Marvel Boy/Noh-Varr disappeared, anyway? Why is the Man-Thing in Louisiana, and not his usual Nexus of Realities in Florida? And what about Naomi? My biggest complaint about this issue is the way it seems to exist as an island unto itself, not really tying in to anything else in the Marvel Universe, even it’s own previous issues. Having the Sentry get dispatched in almost exactly the same way as a previous arc underlines the problems with the character for me, in that he’s just too ridiculously powerful to use in a monthly title like this. How long has it been since he’s done something other than be jerked around by whatever armor-wearing schmuck needs a secret weapon? It seems like forever since World War Hulk, the last time I remember him actually being central to much of anything. The ending is big and suitably ominous, but the whole issue feels disjointed to me, and no amount of shiny Mike Deodato art can cover the fact that pretty much nothing happens this month. We get a scary thing, we get some blah blah blah, and then we head out to engage the scary thing… Cliffhanger! Even the COVER adds to the dissonance, showing a pretty much generic group shot, including characters who haven’t appeared in the book for months. Dark Avengers #10 is a disappointing ride for me, earning 2 out of 5 stars overall. Man cannot live on shocking reveals alone, and a successful issue needs more substance, at least in my mind.
Finally Rokk Krinn of Rokk’s Comic Book Revolution found the issue skippable”
I read team books for good storytelling, subplots, and team adventures. Bendis did not choose to include this in Dark Avengers. We continue to see page after page of the Avengers sitting around and talking about nothing.
The only action in this issue was a one page shot of Ares chopping Man-Thing in two. Hopefully, when we get to Siege Bendis will remember that these teams do go into battle and actually get to fight sometimes.
Bendis has the members of the Dark Avengers sit around and rehash the same old arguements that we have seen from them in the past. There is absolutely nothing new at all in this issue.
So what do you think?