While this comic certainly does make you wonder if this is seriously intended as an ongoing title (and since it is likely going to be a high-selling comic for Marvel, I’d imagine that it will be, somehow), it is also a strong beginning for one of the first big issues spinning out of Dark Reign.
A lot of the intriguing nature of this comic comes from finding out who Norman Osborn chooses to fill out his Avengers roster, so if you figured it all out beforehand, one of the big draws of the book is gone, but I don’t think it is fair to criticize a book for something like that, as Brian Michael Bendis should not have to worry when writing a story about being judged on whether the reveals will ACTUALLY be revelations.
Bendis’ trademark dialogue style works beautifully for this book, which is mostly just Osborn making his way around the Marvel Universe recruiting people to join his new Avengers team.
Mike Deodato does a fine job on the artwork, fitting in nicely with his Thunderbolts work (as this series is very much a successor to Warren Ellis’ excellent Thunderbolts run).
One thing that stood out a bit to me, in a negative sense, was the whole “Iron Man keeping a bunch of his extra armors in Avengers Tower and not doing anything about them being there when Avengers Tower comes into enemy hands.” Heck, I don’t even get why it is necessary for Osborn to use actual Iron Man parts to create Iron Patriot. Especially when Osborn is a weapons manufacturer himself, something he even brings up this issue!
By the by, that reminded me of perhaps my favorite part of the comic – Osborn’s hiring of his new top deputy. Strong dialogue and character work by Bendis.
The actual team is a nice mix of bad guys, sorta bad guys, one sorta good guy (At first, I was thinking, “How could Ares possibly be falling for Osborn’s routine?” and then I thought, “Wait, what the heck do I know about Ares? He’s basically a blank slate, so if Bendis says he believes in Osborn, fine.”) and one real good guy who is clearly here for his own reasons.
I can’t wait until we get to see the team in action!
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