New Avengers #58

All hell breaks loose in this issue. The New Avengers have had their cans handed to them and are left with Mockingbird to defend them, by herself. Her "kickassery" buys her some time and allows for a few of the Avengers to punch back in, but the odds seem stacked against them once the Wrecking Crew shows up and starts kicking the behinds of the weakened heroes. To make matters even more unbearable for the squad, Norman Osborn and his "Avengers" show up. For the first time in the "Dark Reign" era of Marvel comics, it appears as though Norman Osborn is held over a barrel as Jonas Harrow manages to paint Osborn and his crew into a corner.

Bendis doesn't write for all ages in this book, and the book is all the better for it. This isn't the shiny, happy Avengers, this is a team that rolls their sleeves up and gets dirty while they avenge. Here they meet some foes willing to give back everything the Avengers can muster and more. Bendis puts the team at risk and leaves us wondering about their safety as the entire landscape shifts. Known and sometimes chided for his knack for using talking heads to great lengths in comics, Bendis doesn't give those heads much room to breathe in this issue.

Immonen does a magnificent job bringing clean lines filled with grit to this story. Relying upon chiaroscuro for dramatic effect in most instances, Immonen deftly throws details into panels when it serves the story well. This is a great looking book filled with fighting, explosions, fighting, more explosions, and lots of characters who do some fighting. For the first time since they contributed to Hercules' coma way back when in "Avengers," the Wrecking Crew pose a serious threat, and look great doing it. For some odd reason, Immonen's Wrecker reminds me of Bendis.

This Avengers title offers up a blue-collar team. Bendis and Immonen make the team and the predicaments enjoyable to read. As someone who has been extremely leery of the "New Avengers," I found myself pleasantly surprised with this book. The true test will be what happens in the battle royale -- featuring dozens of villains -- in the next issue. Bendis has my curiosity piqued enough to come back and find out.

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