Robot 6

The Fifth Color | Some disassembly required for The New Avengers

You’re going to have to bear with me on this one, but I promise the metaphor is apt: People like piñatas. They are bright, colorful, cartoonish and, best of all, when you get a group together and beat it with a stick, candy comes out for everyone to enjoy. Imagine if no one hit a piñata, that they just gave the birthday boy or girl this big papier-mâché candy container. The construction is sometimes pretty cool and I’ve seen some piñata that are shaped like Wall-E or festive (and gruesome) zombie piñatas that one might want to keep, but that’s a waste of good candy and a good time. No matter how delicate its construction or elaborate its presentation, piñatas were made to be broken and enjoyed in its component parts.

See where this is going? Check the title. Yeah, I want to disassemble The New Avengers. Just whack on that book like a blindfolded elementary schooler until all the candy falls out. Because it is withholding candy from us. One of Marvel’s most popular books, not to mention a cornerstone in this New Era of comics that came from Avengers Disassembled and Civil War. It was the first book of the new regime and has lasted consistently since, all helmed under Brian Michael Bendis. Because of this, New Avengers specifically has had a major effect on Marvel comics and how our heroes are presented to us. His Avengers are now the across-the-board norm, and to disband these new heroes would be like disbanding as old an institution as the Fantastic Fo- … Oh, yeah. To hell with them, them. Let’s crack that papier-mâché creature in half!

WARNING: I’ll be talking about the last few issues of New Avengers, and talking about them rather disparagingly.  So be warned, someone may indeed be shot, but I’d say it’s safe to venture forth.

It was great when it all began....

It was great when it all began....

It’s weird to think of the “new” Avengers as an “old” institution, but they really have been the main stage in all of the major Marvel events since their debut in 2005. Their purpose was simple: that Captain America, after the rather violent death of his old institution, decided to form his own new Avengers team based on super-criminal issues cropping up in New York City and on the world stage. “His ‘full champion license’ status with the government gives him the authority to assemble any team he requires for any given mission,” says Marvel.com, and this is pretty much the reason they’ve stuck to. When Captain America was shot and taken out of the picture, Luke Cage and Bendis both demanded they were all still Avengers because “Captain America said they were.” On one man’s authority this new team founded, and on one man’s dedication it would remain and this is why the current New team hasn’t seemed to gel in the past ten issues.

The New Avengers returned from “Siege” with a brand-new No. 1 issue and an approach that had been tried before. Their roster is a little larger than the Adjectiveless Avengers (depends on if you count Squirrel Girl as a reservist New), their members a little less rolling in regular cash, and the Charlie to their Angels is Victoria Hand, a former evil secretary. Their sort of under-the-table mission is to fight crime and injustice however they see fit. No charters, or some vague idea of Captain America watching them from afar, like an overseas parent mailing some checks. Luke Cage is the de facto man in charge because the idea of the New Avengers, a bunch of street-level heroes taking the fight to the criminal element, is something ingrained into his moral fiber.

The New Avengers vol. 2 #1

I was a regular Rocky fan....

It seems the rest of the team is mostly there to grab a quick lunch or a large breakfast.

Honestly, they seem bored. The Thing has barely acted above a declaration of Clobbering Time and an admonishment on how to destroy Doombots. Spider-Man incessantly whines about the mundanities of working with them, Doctor Strange seems sort of guilted into crashing at their place. And Wolverine likes pancakes. The idea of them all working together is one man’s lofty goal and another’s desperate paycheck.

And that paycheck is a more hotly debated issue in the series than the Doombot that crashes into Luke and Jessica’s dinner date (yeah, they do take in meals a lot in this book). Luke Cage in The New Avengers #7 has a good reason for wanting to do this on their own, to be cut free of government regulation and work as a real, live team of vigilante heroes. But at the same time, he’s broke and can’t afford not to have a liaison to help him coordinate this team in the name of global enforcement. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t Luke Cage getting a paycheck for running the Thunderbolts’ rehabilitation? Isn’t Spider-Man now working for a major think tank and earning income? Isn’t Ms. Marvel a former CEO and has worked in the “mundane” industries before? Danny Rand, billionaire? Why would a money conversation last for more than a page with these heroes?

After all, a lot of them are on other books. Wolverine’s dual status as both an Avenger and … an Avenger is not in question, but Spider-Man and The Thing totally have places to be. Iron Fist has a Power Man to train in another miniseries. In fact, the whole idea of an underground unit of Avengers seems entirely out of place when the main characters are supremely prominent in other books. Please see again, Mr. Ben Grimm: He’s got so much stuff going on in the new Future Foundation that moonlighting with the New Avengers is slumming it, to be honest. Spider-Man can certainly be everywhere at once if the writers have a great story, but the best story he’s got right now is in his own book! I would much rather read about his adventures in science and every day life than him kvetching about being a masked hero in a team with rather loose secret identities.

from Avengers #9

Waitin', chattin'....

It weakens Spider-Man as a hero if he’s in a group that’s just not as competent as his solo work. These last issues of The New Avengers are watching the team scope out a underground H.A.M.M.E.R. installation, and involve Mockingbird going in undercover and Doctor Strange investigating in astral projection. Both seem to cover similar territory. We also learn that Iron Fist doesn’t have a driver’s license, a cute touch to a guy you don’t really think of as a roadster, but when an essential part of your plan involves driving trucks away, it looks like you really didn’t think things through. Like they’re not prepared for this mission. When Doctor Voodoo (Papa Legba guide his soul) was in a huge battle with the forces of magic that could unmake our plane of existence, only Wolverine was sent in to do battle while the rest of the team sat in a meditation circle. When it was over, there was just sort of a massive shrugging of shoulders and, in the next issue, they ate breakfast.

I see it as a level of incompetence these characters should not have. There are too many redundancies between them, better books to read them in and, then as a kicker, the last two big storylines in the book don’t really involve the Avengers at all. Right now, half of our book is dedicated to the untold history of Nick Fury’s Avengers Initiative. The story before that one was a personal set of decisions made by Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Before that it was all about the Sorcerer Supreme and forces the New Avengers just were not equipped to handle.

They’re not going to change a thing, however. The rants and railings of one lone comics blogger won’t change the world; it’d be just as foolish for me to think I could as it would be to needlessly put a highly trained scientist SHIELD agent where she could get shot in the ensuing chaos. The New Avengers book sells, hands down, no questions asked. Bendis has made Luke Cage a household name, and his scripting of an Avengers title is going to be consistently sold, month after month. At this point, even the word “Avengers” doesn’t mean the same any more. It’s an adjective, like “Dark” or “New.” It’s a way for Marvel to call attention to a book rather than explain what the book is about or who it contains. When you have three other Avengers books, the words starts to lose some meaning, so I don’t think the House of Ideas is all that concerned about the standard of content. An Avengers book needs to focus on popular heroes, a greater plot at large and have lots of peril and personal moments. They do not need to have bylaws or a specific purpose, they don’t need a chairperson and a hierarchy of leadership; a guy with a grand idea works just fine. Bendis has cemented this Avengers standard into the landscape after disassembling the old and, while papier-mâché, it does make a lovely piñata.

But what if we cracked into that sucker? What if we disassembled the New Avengers into their component parts? How much candy could we really get? Well, for one, half of the team would live on in other titles where they might get more screen time or get working on personal projects. Since the book has revolved around Luke Cage and his family, why not cut down on the regulars and make a new title for their unique superhero slice-of-life tale? Call it Alias, let ‘em swear and get mature because growing up and having a family leads to a lot of adult situations (no, not just sex). I think there’s just one or two ongoing MAX title right now (PunisherMax, DeadpoolMax, right? Correct me if I’m wrong), so why not bring Jessica Jones home and get back into the idea of what having an alias means to having a family?

Hawkeye & Mockingbird vol. 1 #5

A series like this showing up quarterly would be snacky cake for readers

This would leave Ms. Marvel, Mockingbird and Doctor Strange without a regular home, which is sad, but fixable. We would just have to embrace the miniseries a little more and package them more to look like ongoing titles. Black Widow has a series of minis that solved themselves within three to six issues and yet each mini and a piece to the overall arc of her character. This could and almost has been done with Mockingbird and her off and on with Hawkeye. Every once in a while, when a good story comes down the wire, you could promote a miniseries that keeps a consistent name, just different bylines. Not only could you produce these at your own pace, but readers would know there are Mockingbird comics coming out, just not on a set schedule. Make issue lateness work for you! And at the end of the day, you have a trade so it’s a win-win. The three above have not been able to hold a consistent audience, but readers still remain curious about their comings and goings. Why not give them some off and on minis that could keep readers current but remove the element of reading it full time.

The New Avengers are a great piñata, excellently constructed with all your favorite characters, but we shouldn’t keep it that way. We gotta crack that puppy open and feast on all the minis and new titles and familiar old series that we could have in its violent dissection.

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Comments

39 Comments

If it’s Luke Cage and Jessica Jones we’re talking about, then of course their New Avengers are more known for social gatherings and interrupted meetings rather than crime fighting. These guys are more casual than the iconic members in the adjective-less team, so there’s some slacking off after beating the big threats.

this is a pretty good article.

…and this is why although I loved Bendis on Powers and Ultimate Spider-Man, I had to drop these Avengers books after Siege. Total inaction mixed with ineptitude. No amount of witty quips and banter can make up for an action-adventure book done wrong in my eyes….

“I see it as a level of incompetence these characters should not have.”

I was just talking about this today. It angers and tires me with the level of incompetence this team exhibits. I’m tired of Bendis banter, but more importantly, I’m tired of the Luke and Jessica show with special guest Spiderman and some other heroes. The screen time is obviously not equal. I don’t know if breaking up the New Avengers is the thing to do, but something needs to change.

Many of the elements that fail for you are exactly why I love this book. I love the meals, the family atmosphere. I love that it’s not the old Avengers with their charter and their organization; it’s Luke Cage, a family man from a far from privileged background given the resources of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and trying to find new ways to make use of them and make the world better.

The paycheck scene was one of the reasons I decided to finally become a New Avengers subscriber, after following the series in trades for years. I loved the question at the heart of that scene – does taking money for trying to do good automatically change the work? I loved the banter. I loved the strong characterization for Jessica Jones and Victoria Hand. Hand is an especially fascinating character, bringing a great twist of modern politics into the Avengers – can we disagree with someone’s ideas on how best to run a super team (or a country) without writing them off as “trash”? I look forward to her future disagreements with the team, and how perspectives on both sides grow and change.

I don’t want to see Luke & Jessica return to “Alias” and curse words and too-dirty-for-primetime situations. I loved that book, just as I loved “The Pulse,” but those books were a journey. They were about Jessica Jones and Luke Cage learning to be their best selves, and realizing they were ready to share those people with the world. To walk away from the Avengers, to stop being “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” would be a step backwards for the both of them.

Meanwhile the Adjectiveless Avengers is eight white dudes and one white woman (two if you count SHIELD liaison Maria Hill). This does not reflect the diversity of our society. It is not inclusive to readers. To disassemble the New Avengers, a team led by a black man that actually features multiple super-powered women among the mighty, would be a huge step backwards for the Avengers franchise and Marvel comics as a whole. If the Avengers are Earth’s Mightiest, I want to see them be the best of everyone.

Could it be better than it is? Could there be fewer silly mistakes, and more balanced feature time for the characters? Absolutely. I’d like to see a lot more of Mockingbird, Ms. Marvel, and Victoria Hand myself. More Wong, even. But don’t take away the diversity, or the domesticity that make this team feel like real people, rather than just a country club that likes to hit bad people really hard.

I dropped the book for most of what you wrote about. Well, that and the price tag. I don’t feel the team itself really makes sense anymore. Most of the characters are on other teams already (heck Spider-Man and Wolverine themselves are on both the Avengers and New Avengers for some reason or another).

nice article, but i have to disagree.

i personally think “new avengers” is the best superhero team book currently on the market.

yes, since the relaunch there hasn’t been a lot of speaking parts for everyone, but i would much rather have this stable of heroes as avengers rather than any of the boring old “mainstays”. a lot of these characters were the ones i wanted on the avengers in the 80’s.

put alan davis on this book. have them fight ultron, dr. doom or even a major x-men baddie like sinister. all these internet bendis haters would be waiting to tounge polish his glistening bald head.

although, if they took cage, jessica & danny off this title for a while to relaunch a new alias max series with gaydos or maleev on art, i wouldn’t be mad at all. since this book has basically been a continuation of that excellent work.

but enough with the bendis/new avengers bashing (even though this article was only quasi-bashing. lol) the man is great at this comic writing thing.

thank you, mr. bendis.

spidey & logan are on both teams for one sole reason.
both characters = money.

Great article. Really enjoyed it.

I stopped reading Bendis’ run right after Disassembled, and every time I’ve checked out the book since, I realize I haven’t missed a damn thing.

Dan Slott “gets it”, and it’s a shame that he doesn’t have an Avengers title.

dan slott was ok.

bendis is GREAT.

that is all.

Seems like the Defenders. They’re all “non”teams.

New Avengers sells books.

Minis and solo series of these characters don’t sell and get canceled.

Have to agree with John. The writer has to realise that the new avengers is a book meant for different taste.
What he’s asking for is the same old same, and that’s what the original avengers book is for. The new avengers has it’s own tendencies, it’s own flare that can rarely be found anywhere within comics, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so popular. And as a famous statement goes, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, and new avengers continues to be one of the top selling books out there, they don’t need to change a thing.

I find Bendis’s Avengers extremely boring. Aimless. Half-assed.

Mr. Bendis, you can do better, I know you can. Powers, Alias, Daredevil, all of them great comics.

But why make an effort to write innovative comic books when you can just phone in the same old, same old and have it in the Top 10 list of best-sellers?

I love this article so much, I want to marry it

My two cents. Why did the OP waste time trying to frame this blog post as anything but an opinion on a book he clearly doesn’t like? Yes new avengers has flaws, no the team doesn’t win EVERY battle, but the conflict, family atmosphere and overall interactions of these characters is why those that love this book will continue to love this book. In my experience the avengers take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY. They had become very involved in the sort of traditional fan service stories that turned me off and drove me to he xmen until they too became “comics about comics’. Asthonishing xmen has been the only true fresh breath of life for the xmen in my eyes, and now of course age of x simply because you don’t need a phd in continuity to appreciate the storytelling. Same with new avengers. ohh and it ain’t jus blonde white men save the world. Bendis got me back into comics. From the first panel of alias onwards. Reading his scripting made me feel like comics had matured. It wasn’t all skintight suits and dick measuring competitions. Jessica jones and luke cage have now been with me every step of the way in terms of becoming immersed in the marvel Universe proper and somehow they’ve managed to keep me by making the mundane extraordinary. the juxtaposition of the regular man mindstate and the superhuman physique is more in the marvel vein than most books in avengers history. Pre bendis avengers was IMHO the most DC of marvel books (not that i don’t like SOME dc books), in the way that somehow only stuffy white frat men can save the world, as fans of the late dwayne mcduffie’s and the detroit Justice league can attest. Trends and time will no doubt lead to the reinstatement of the old boys stat quo, no doubt, and bendis will try to appease the ragin fanboy faction with the adjectiveless book but i am glad to have this bok around.

I disagree with the article, as this is the Avengers book I enjoy the most. For me, New Avengers #7 was one of the best issues in recent times, and I like that it is different to the other Avenger books out there.

I can honestly say I have never bought a New Avengers book, mainly because I thought the team was boring and didn’t make much sense as complements of each other. It was tempting when I learned Iron Fist was on the team, but I’d rather see him with the Immortal Weapons then uh… Ben Grimm, Spider Man and Wolverine. No thanks

Sorry chaps, but when you have to resort to the “the book is selling well so it must be flawless” argument (especially since the author acknowledges the book’s financial success herself), something is rotten in the state of Denmark…er, Bendis.

Now dont’ get me wrong: I won’t deny that Bendis debuted on the comix scene as an incredibly fresh, talented voice. His output so far contains many indisputable gems, from the rightly soon-to-be-adapted Powers and Alias to an amazing run on Daredevil and a monumental 150+ issues of Ultimate Spider-Man.

However, while the latter is still going strong after all this time, his Avengers Saga has been utter drivel since the end of Dark Reign (and during that mini-era, New Avengers was already in complete free fall). All the points of criticism discussed in this article (the bored, inept heroes, the meandering, unexciting plots, the poorly chosen team members) are not only spot on, but indicative of a deeper problem: when it comes to the(se) Avengers, Bendis is out of ideas.

When he started the book it was widescreen Marvel kick-splode mayhem at its finest: the Savage Land! Prison breakouts! Carnage! Getting thrown into the sun! By the Sentry! Why doesn’t someone just keep the Wrecker’s magic crowbar and aah, your pheromone powers are freaky, Spider-Chick! Let’s go to Japan and beat up the Hand next, okay?! And so on with Naked Wasp-Ultron, Norman Osborn As The Savior, a Skrull Jihad and Evil Cosplay Avengers. Good stuff. But for the past 100 years all it seems the New Avengers have done is fight in abandoned warehouses against a badly written Hood and his unnamed gang of assorted super-villains (who never seem to be using their powers), hang around bland HQs doing nothing, or make page-long speeches about the meaning of being an Avenger. And of course, bitch, moan and crack wise – ALL THE TIME. The same villains, the same tired dialogue…where’s the conflict? The stakes? The character evolution? Doesn’t Spider-Man ever get tired of being the butt of every joke in the book? Or Mockingbird, Spider-Woman and Mockingbird being there basically to add warm bodies to crowd scenes while never, ever getting to make a meaningful contribution? (Seriously, Maria Hill and Victoria Hand get to do more than 80% of the Avengers with actual powers – and they were both a lot cooler back when they were one person called Valerie Cooper).

So, concluding, time for either a new writer with some fresh ideas for this team, or time for Bendis to indeed Disassemble this particular cast of characters.

Shurron Farmer

March 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Thanks Carla for this article. I particularly agree with the fact of many of the New Avengers appearing in other books as well. As much as I’ve enjoyed the Avengers title under Bendis and Brubaker’s tenures, a part of me yearns for the charter-global threats-organization-style Avengers last seen/written by Kurt Busiek. I believe since there are 4 Avengers titles, there’s room for both street-level avengers (like New Avengers but not featuring members already appearing in other Avengers titles) and global-threats-level Avengers teams featuring a FEW members that also appear in other books.

I read the New Avengers but stopped after issue 24 or so. Much of that was because of Civil War, which I thought was just thrown out there and should of been led up to over a year or so. It wasn’t the best book I ever read and I find Luke Cage not very interesting. Sorry. I’m reading some of the stuff again and it’s alright. I couild do without Spider-man. I think Spider-man comices are the worst. They just destroyed them. I can stand him, but now he’s the worst superhero character ever now. So basically, just Spider-man and too a lesser extent Luke Cage are my only problems. Maybe some of the dialogue could be better sometimes.

Also, how is Bendis’ Avengers more diverse than previous iterations? Though I thought Busiek’s Avengers got boring a lot quicker than it had any right to considering the talent involved, he did introduce Triathlon and (shudder) Silverclaw during his run. And wayyy before that, my personal favorite Avengers team was led by Captain Marvel (the Monica Rambeau version) for a long time during the ’80s. And Avengers: Under Siege isn’t exactly remembered as Marvel’s version of the Detroit League.

But anyway, between those characters and the likes of the Panther, War Machine, Firebird and Living Lightning, how is Bendis’ Avengers (20 or so white guys and gals + Cage, and Doctor Voodoo and Echo for about 6 seconds each) a more diverse book than the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes of old?

Yeah, this is silly. A lot of it seems like it’s been written by people who never actually read those supposedly boring, old comics they’re complaining about. Roger Stern had a BLACK WOMAN as the leader of the Avengers (and that right after a white woman leading the team). He actually quit the comic when Marvel told him to make a white male the leader again.

The idea that the pre-Bendis Avengers were all about frat boys saving the world? Writers from Lee to Thomas to Englehart to Shooter to Stern had lots and lots of character work, even though they also had spectacular fights (that actually seemed exciting and honest, not the ironic detachment of all Bendis action scenes post his DD work).

I am not a traditional-minded old fart. I think Kurt Busiek had a few great stories and a few horrible ones (Avengers Forever anyone?), but c’mon. If Bendis were at least ground-breaking and edgy, I could forgive him for any “sin” of ruining the traditional Avengers. But he isn’t even that edgy! Mark Millar was edgy in the ULTIMATES, and that was great, even if a lot of traditional fans hated it. Bendis in the Avengers is safe, pop soda, PG-13 rebellion

I agree with pretty much everything stated in this article, and it just continues to amaze and depress me month after month as this and it’s sister book stay at the top of the Marvel charts. There’s an explanation out there.. one that doesn’t fall down to stating how wonderful the book is because it just isn’t. Bendis stated that there was no reason to write Avengers any different than Alias.. and he really doesn’t. And Alias never sold at #1 for Marvel as far as I remember.

Hopefully he finally gets bored writing it.. but if it’s anywhere near as dull for him to write as it is for me to try and read then he’s not discouraged easily. It’ll be a good day when the New Avengers.. or Newer New Avengers.. and the Avengers line of books finally break free from this direction and get something fresh started.

And don’t forget that Spidey’s in the Future Foundation, too. And Wolverine’s gonna be leading (if he isn’t already) an X-Team. Where do they find SO much time to basically stand around and do nothing?

JoeO, I think one of the reasons the comics sell so well is because, in this age of extremely expensive comics, neverending events, and marker glut, people tend to reserve their money for those few books that feel essential to the fictional universe’s narrative. Bendis’s Avengers have been the narrative center of the MU for the past 5 years.

Also (and I can’t believe I’m defending the Avengers books), I’ve found that his books are a lot better when you read them monthly. They’re superficially smart, funny, and cool. It’s only when you read a bunch of them in a row is that you become acutely aware that very little happens in the books and that he is telling the same story every issue.

Prowler, I certainly did not mean to suggest that the current New Avengers team is the most diverse the Avengers have ever been. I’ve heard great things about the Monica Rambeau era, and really need to catch up on those issues one of these days. There’s an obvious difference between the line-ups for the current New and Adjectiveless Avengers, though, especially considering that superheroic women remain a minority in comics today. Ideally I’d like to see superhero teams around 50/50 men and women, more reflective of our actual world, and with much stronger racial diversity than we see even in the New Avengers.

If we were to cut a superfluous Avengers book, I’d hate to see it be the New, because I enjoy the roles played by Jessica Jones and Victoria Hand, because I’d love to see some Avengers stories featuring Mockingbird and Ms. Marvel more prominently again, and because I think Luke Cage’s leadership sends a very different message than the traditional “big three.”

I want to see more non-white and/or non-male characters counted among Marvel’s big guns, given the exposure and respect they deserve. Right now the Avengers are the best-selling franchise Marvel has, and as Rene points out, they’re at the center of most of Marvel’s big event stories. That spotlight is only going to get brighter with the build-up to the Avengers film. As illogical and ridiculous as the many teams crowded under the Avengers banner seems some times, pragmatically, I think featuring these characters as Avengers – whatever the adjective before the moniker – does more to convince new readers to give them a chance than solo books and miniseries ever seem to manage.

What we really need to see is more of these characters given the big lead roles in Avengers epics and event stories, rather than relegating them to be the back-up muscle for Cap, Thor, Iron Man and Reed Richards again and again.

I have to say that I’d actually say New Avengers is one of my favourite Marvel titles they currently produce. If I only picked up three of my current pull list of all comics a month, it’d still be there – outstaying Secret Avengers amoung others.

On the flip side, I do agree with some of what is being said, and the New Avengers Dark Reign status quo was limp on the basis it was just repetative fights with the Hood. It also isn’t the best story telling out there – to take an example of another book that would be in that top 3, X-factor, it isn’t going to be using interesting and very original plot twists. What it is is a book with a good cast of characters including a couple of my favourites (Iron Fist, Dr Strange) and writing on characters which means I enjoy them here while I’m I can take them or leave them elsewhere (Wolverine, Luke Cage, Spider-man) with a nice balance of slightly exploring a couple of underexamined corners of the Marvel Universe with some very enjoyable dialogue and nice art, and while some people might want to have an edgier story, for me it’s a very enjoyable book.

I agree with a lot of what’s said in this article, the New Avengers became very passive after Civil War and just seem to react to whatever happens to be happening nearby them, all while moaning about it. It’s a shame because I really liked the early New Avengers arcs, especially the first one, the scene where Spiderman gets knocked into a huge mob of villains and they try to murder him is incredibly effective, seeing him get pulled beneath the horde of people whilst some of them cry out “kill him!” was one of the few times in a comic that I’ve felt a major character like Spiderman really was in deep shit. I liked Mighty Avengers and even Dark Avengers too, although Dark was mostly because it reminded me of Ellis’ Thunderbolts, albeit not nearly as good.

Bendis does write good character stuff, but towards the end of New Avengers more and more it felt like it was the ‘here is the status quo and what Luke Cage thinks of it’ book and not an Avengers title. Even with the relaunch the book was less about the New Avengers and more about the status of the Sorcerer Supreme, any team could have been in the place of the New Avengers with minimal change to the book.

I agree with the article, i’d like everything back to how it was.

I want all characters to be given equal screen time, regardless of there relation to the story or events.

I want to purchase hundreds of mini series about 4 or 5 mid tier characters than be exposed to a book called Avengers that doesn’t feature Thor.

I want the characters to only fight cosmic level super threats, and to ignore following up on past storylines.

I want everyone involved in the story to be instantly ready for any situation that befalls them.

I want devolution.

There is an ongoing title that features just what you are asking for, family dynamics, spotlight on individual lesser known characters, etc.. Its called New Avengers. I am not in love with the space being given to Fury and all that, but there are so many inconstancy’s in your argument that even if you have some valid points, which you do, they are lost. If you are upset that spiderman shows up for no reason, get over it, comics need to sell to be published. Ask someone to explain to you how capitalism works.

LOL i love visiting these forums on various sites just to read fanboy bitching about one thing or another :)

If you look at older Avengers stories, you will a lot of “sitting around eating breakfast”. However, I agree with the point the article is trying to make. I think this team is redundant and needs a purpose.

Concerned Reader

March 13, 2011 at 9:15 am

Eatin’ breakfast and introspectin’. This article fully explains why I don’t buy this “Hipster Avengers” title.

i admit new avengers could be a lot better for mostly because of all the power hitters the team has like the thing spider -man luke and iron fist. not to mention wolverine and doctor strange who lately really are not being used the way they should be used. though liked the paycheck talk for after all even super heroes do have bills to pay too. maybe its time for a new avengers shake up.

I see boh sides of this debate.

On one hand, Bendis’ New Avengers don’t do anything but talk, eat, and fight the Hood.

On another hand, Bendis writes perhaps the biggest superhero book which roster consists of debate between co-workers, a more visible diversity among the cast, and tendency to not simply do a major fight every issue.

I wouldn’t be surpised if part of the talks leading up to having 4 Avengers title did involve the acknowledgement of the fact that New Avengers wasn’t like the classic Avengers. Thus, Marvel had another reason to have another Avengers book. A book for those wanting how it use to be.

If there were to be a change to the Avengers titles, I think the best would be to have Bendis write New Avengers and have another writer handle Avengers proper.

Who that writer migh be, I don’t know.

Comic Business wise, I would guess Matt Fraction would be the companies top pick.

Movie Business wise, perhaps they could Joss Whedon for even a limited run to conicide with the Avengers film.

Fan wishing wise, you guess would be, if not better, atleast as good as mine.

I love the old Roy Thomas and Steve Englehart runs. I grew up on the Shooter, Michelinie, and Stern Avengers monthly. I was lukewarm to the Simonson run and enjoyed the John Byrne run. I quit reading during the Harras run. I came back during the Busiek run. Bendis’ Avengers are original in their own way but theres nothing revolutionary about them. Bendis fans will buy Bendis books no matter what the title is. The New Avengers would sell just as much if it is titled The Defenders or the Champions and New Avengers is closer to those teams in concept than the Avengers IMO.

I met Stever Gerber. And Bendis- you’re no Steve Gerber.

The main problem with New Avengers is that there’s no sense of desperation anymore. The series didn’t become “great” until the Civil War happened and the characters were thrown in unfamiliar terrority for a full four years worth of stories. It feels like the momentum built from 2006-2010 has been lost. These characters work best together as outlaws, not as well-fed goons yammering on about paychecks. No one likes rich people with cushy chairs. It’s a fact.

Living Tribunal

March 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm

It all comes down to simple economics. If you tack on the “Avengers” name, the book will sell. I bet they could sell a book titled “Uncanny X-Men Avengers.” It doesn’t matter to Marvel whether the book is good or not, only that it sells. They don’t care about diluting the character or the brand. The bean counters want sales !!!! Case in point: Hulk (the red variety) sold like hotcakes even though it was critically (and rightfully) panned by anyone with half a brain. If we really want to see change then we should sent Marvel a message with our dollars and spot buying the book. Nuff said.

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