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New Avengers #8

Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2005
By: Jason Cornwell



"The Sentry, Part 2"

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Sal Buscema and Steve McNiven
Inks: Mark Morales
Colors: Morry Hollowell
Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft's Albert Deschesne
Publisher: Marvel Comics
$2.50 U.S. / $3.50 CAN

Plot:
As the Sentry is confronted by the fact that the only proof of his existence are some old comic books we see this knowledge proves to be too much for him to handle and he pulls off a quick vanishing act. We than look in on Spider-Woman who is able to keep the Wrecker occupied for long enough for her team-mates to get back into the game, and together they are able to take him out. They than join the group of heroes that have assembled outside the home of the Sentry.

Comments:
I'm still sticking to my "Fisher King" theory when it comes to the mystery surrounding Sentry as I'm thinking the Sentry has never been anything more than a comic book character in the Marvel Universe, and the version that appears in this story is a confused man who has latched on to these comics to shape his reality. This of course would also explain the emergence of the Void, as if this man is using the comic books to shape his reality than he also bring the Sentry's big weakness into existence. Still, while I like my theory, like all good mysteries this issue still leaves the door open for multiple paths that could be taken to explain the Sentry, and the fact that I'm genuinely curious about receiving this explanation certainly works to this arc's advantage. I also have to say that the final page certainly invokes memories of a classic Avengers story that had the assembled Avengers confronting the insanely powerful Korvac outside his suburban home, and I have to openly wonder if this parallel moment is simply wishful thinking on my part. As for the other story that is running through these pages I'll give Brian Michael Bendis credit for coming up with a unique way that Spider-Woman could defeat the Wrecker, and didn't make for the most exciting sequence, it does a pretty solid job of introducing one of Jessica's more passive abilities to the readers, and it also results in a very funny exchange when the other members of the team react after she reveals this power to them, with Spider-Man of course getting the funniest line in this scene. The issue also offers up a nice little flashback scene where we see Iron Man makes Wolverine an offer to join the New Avengers, and I have to say I rather enjoyed the final reason that is used to explain why Logan accepted the offer. I also have to give Brian Michael Bendis credit for his work on the opening pages of this issue, as that is a perfect recreation of a 1960s Marvel comic, from it's bombastic narration, to it's utterly pointless guest-appearance by Thor.

The demand for Steve McNiven does seem to be quite high, as it seems every month features a story about what his next project is going to be. However, one only has to take a look at his highly detailed work in order to understand why writers would want him working on their project, as there's some great big impact shots in this issue, from the scene where we see the New Avengers arrive for the second round with the Wrecker, to the cooler than heck final double page shot that closes the issue, as we see twenty-two of Marvel's heavy-hitters have arrived to "help" Mr. Reynolds with his problem. Steve McNiven also deserves credit for his work on the exchange where we see Logan considering Tony's offer, as how can one not love his expression when Tony mentions that he's a very rich man. I also have to say it's great to see Sal Buscema's work in the opening pages, as he does a lovely job of bringing readers back to the early days of the Marvel Universe. I also loved the little touch of the old advertisement that we see on the back on one of these comics, as I've seen this ad hundreds of times.



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