Current Reviews


New Avengers #36

Posted: Thursday, November 15, 2007
By: Chris Murman

Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Leinil Yu

Publisher: Marvel Comics

For being known as the head deconstruction writer among comic scribes, Bendis sure did pack a ton into 22 pages this month. Make no mistake about it, Brian took advantage of delays in his other Avengers title and his many dangling plot threads to wrap them all up in one nice, neat issue. Frankly, it wasnít that bad either.

Does that mean I should cancel my subscription to the ďI hate Bendis Club?Ē Hardly, but keep reading, I donít let him off that easy.

The rabbit hole grows deeper than imagined as the foreshadowing to next yearís ďSecret InvasionĒ, combined with wrapping up the cut-short Venom symbiote crossover between Mighty and New Avengers and Hood-turned-Kingpin story arc gave me a much unanticipated charge from reading this months story. I actually felt my heart beat raise a step above normal this time, and it wasnít from the shower scene that Yu drew for us lowly readers.

Luke Cage explains what we would have read about (if Bendis could get his artists to keep up with him) to his wife and baby: The epidemic that was a Venom symbiote infested New York while the Hood and his minions used Deathlok to further divert from them stealing $12.7 million. Along the way, Logan catches a naked Jessica Drew off-guard to question her motives in taking the Skrull-Electra to Tony Stark. Iím sure Yu wanted me to enjoy his bringing of Black Widow into the growing three-way shower scene, but my mind was racing to the brimming feud between Hoodís crew and the Marvel good guys.

I say good guys because in the final splash page many a random Marvel hero is brought to light. The Fantastic Six, the Silver Surfer, Thor, Daredevil, all Avengers (including Young), even Howard the Duck are standing at the doorway to the new Kingpinís hideout. Iím not even going to explore what all of these appearances mean to the significance to the D-list villains banding togetherÖnever mind, I guess I just did. Regardless, if thereís not one heck of a fight scene to open next monthís issue #37, Iím going to be one unhappy reader.

Say what you want about the team-up of Yu and Bendis since Civil War, but I find it amazing the range this artist shows for drawing up any conceivable situation the writer throws at him. I found considerable enjoyment from the different Venom-inspired versions of the Avengers we know and love. Even his less than detailed style added some fun in deciphering which Venom was who.

My eyebrow raise comes from the end to the symbiote-fest that comes from Tony Start figuring out all too easy how to defuse the Venom problem in the Big Apple. Regardless of what goes on, itís that easy for the renegade Avengers to look the good-guy Avengers in the eye and go their separate ways? Also, just like that, we are to believe Drew didnít rat out her former teammates to Stark, even under duress of the adamantium claws? Also, the good guys found the bad guys a little too easy after the Hood ran around under ďfog of warĒ for several issues. Was this a fault of the truncated story lines that Bendis needed to wrap up before his new crossover hit newsstands? Thatís the best news Iíve heard in a long while.

Maybe thatís the way to get Bendis to cram enough story into one issue for readers. Just tell him to turn in scripts several months in advance, than tell the scribe that one of the pencilers has fallen ill and he needs to truncate his story to allow for the delays. Sounds to me like the perfect storm for writing. Iíve never said Brian Michael canít write, just that he gives me too much rope to hang myself with. The less rope you give the writer, the less the reader gets as well. Iíll take my Pulitzer now, thank you.

As far as Avengers stories go, my enjoyment could not be higher. The art was solid, and the story held my attention for nearly all of the pages attached, so the victory goes to BMB. Give me more issues like this, and Iíll think about taking back my insults Iíve cursed your way many times.

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