Current Reviews


New Avengers #5

Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2005
By: Shawn Hill

ďBreakout! Part FiveĒ

Writer: Bendis
Art: Finch (p), Miki (i)
Publisher: Marvel

Plot: The New Avengers achieve their goal in the Savage Land, for like a second until the stakes are upped.

Comments: This is the best issue yet of Bendisí version of the Avengers. The humor really clicks this issue, which is peppered with funny, non-disruptive jokes. Heís got his players where he wants, and heís got the players that he wants. Even his Wolverine, in toned down version, works fine. Heís actually on the cover and in the book at the same time! Iíve never seen the reason (beyond editorial jealousies) to keep the X and Heroes worlds separate in the Marvel universe, especially as the Avengers made two X-villains into heroes in their earliest days.

Thus, I really appreciate Bendisí wish to integrate the two teams and their stories when it makes sense to do so, and welcome Wolverine to the team. Heís a shade of wild card this team might need, especially with (as itís shaking out) Lukeís stolid presence, Peterís wit, Jessicaís acumen, and Tony and Steveís experience already in the mix.

His explanation for being in the Savage Land alone (but on the same mission as the Avengers) is even convincing, once you realize Loganís complete faith in his own solo abilities. Nice to see Jessica get the drop on him, whether itís spider-speed or shield training or what have you. Her fading electro powers are back too, and usefully so.

Bendis doesnít bother re-introducing the Mutates to us. Either we know them or we donít, and theyíre usually just so much cannon fodder anyway, as they are here. The one with the vertigo powers seems a bit off-base, but it doesnít harm the story.

And the story is a pleasant surprise. The last thing I wanted last issue was another Savage Land, Mutates or Karl Lykos story. But it turns out thatís good, because itís actually all about something else. Layers, you see. Thereís a final page reveal that is visually downplayed by Finch, leaving the mystery a bit frustrating, but also deeply intriguing. Itís a pleasure to see the Bendis/Finch team creating a book thatís fun as well as violent.

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