Comics: Avengers #1 reviewed by JD

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: John Romita Jr.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Reviewer: Johnny Destructo

A LOT of people are going to be happy when this hits shelves tomorrow. Everyone who hates change will be basking in the warming 40-watt bulb of Been There, Done That.
Much like BRIGHTEST DAY over in the DC Universe, things are supposed to be looking a little brighter in the Marvel U. The dark times are over, and now begins The Heroic Age, but if this issue is any indication, THA is a lot like the 80’s/90’s revisited. Everything about this issue (except BMB’s dialogue) feels like the AVENGERS comics published when I was just knee-high to a grasshopper. And I know most people will probably be ecstatic about that. The problem, for me, is that I never LIKED The Avengers back then. Every so often, I would tune in and see what was what, be interested for one or two issues at the most and then drop it again. The last couple years will go down in my history as the most entertaining, interesting and unpredictable time for the Avengers. This issue, however, will not be part of that history.

As creators, I cannot express how highly I regard Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. This isn’t an attack on them or the standard that they set just by being in the business. Crazy talented, those guys. But this issue is not a shining example of their creative prowess. The artist story-telling is strong, the pace is fast on both ends, but it just isn’t hitting for several reasons. SPOILERS NOW!

Art: While for the most part the book looks downright beautiful, there are a couple things that took me right out of the book, art-wise. Every woman with long hair has the same lazily drawn long hair. It all comes straight back off the forehead, back over the scalp and down the shoulders in a form that makes Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman look like they have a giant slug laying over their head. And then there’s Maria Hill. The big reveal of Maria Hill just made me go “Wait. Maria Hill? Is she hiding behind the misproportioned Annie Lennox with a bad wig on?” And there’s a scene where she’s standing behind the team and says “Wow. I hate that guy”. I actually had to flip back a couple pages to find out who that dude was and why he was there. Oh, nope, that was Maria Hill. And why does Steve Rogers look like he’s in high-school, while Tony Stark looks old enough to be Steve’s pappy? By anyone else’s standards, it’s good stuff. But by what I’ve come to expect from JRJR, not so much. As for the…

Story: The dialogue is all there, funny, casual yet weighty when it needs to be. But the plot? Really?

Doc Brown: Marty! Ya gotta come back with me!
Marty: Where?
Doc Brown: Back to the future!
Marty: Waitaminnut whaddayadoin, Doc?
Doc Brown: I need fuel! Quick, get in the car!
Marty: Wait, what? What happens to us in the future, do we become assholes or somethin’?
Doc Brown: No no no, you and Jennifer turn out fine! It’s your kids, Marty! Something’s gotta be done about your KIDS!!

Yeah, the end of Back to the Future is the first issue of THE AVENGERS, but without the bad-ass “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t NEED roads!”

Kang shows up and basically says “Your kids turn out to be assholes in the future. Fix it.”

Granted, there’s a little after that I’m not gonna spoil, but that’s the gist. For a first issue jumping-on point, it’s not exactly new material we’re seeing here. The only reason I’m gonna keep picking it up is because of my trust in BMB and JRJR. These are quality guys who consistently do quality work, and they deserve the benefit of the doubt. I have no doubt that Bendis is going to build on this and make it something pretty cool, but this issue just feels so “done” to me, sadly.

And hey, even if it turns out I don’t like THIS Avengers book, I’m sure I’ll like one of the other 17 Avengers titles that are starting up.

Check out the original review and other cool reviews at

JD is the host of the PopTards Podcast and is your mother’s favorite son. When he’s not doing that, he’s a full time Senior Graphic Designer/Illustrator. You can book his face here!

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