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Mighty Avengers #11

Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
By: Christopher Power

Brian Michael Bendis
Mark Bagley, Marko Djurdjevic
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: Mighty Avengers #11 arrives in stores tomorrow, March 26.

I must admit, I am pretty perplexed by this book. The last couple of issues have been somewhat confusing in terms of the motivation of one of my favorite villains: Dr. Doom. This issue continues the theme of Doom learning the arcane arts (through use of time travel and the bed of Morgan Le Fey) in order to do… something. I must admit I am lost on what he was trying to do now. It seems to have something to do with protection, but most of his actions have nothing to do with protection. In fact, most of his plan involves walking around raving like a lunatic calling people childish names. Doom, in my mind, has always been one of the more sophisticated villains, with a habit of monologuing, but always doing so in an epic way; not like a petulant school child who has had his secret club-house discovered.

Honestly, I'm not sure what to say about the issue plot line itself. The Avengers are captured, again, under Ms. Marvel's watch as leader. They bicker among themselves and have various pointless thought bubble discussions in their own heads. At one point Doom gets into that annoying habit and has a really long thought bubble discussion with himself; one that is very hard to follow because it is interjected with him shouting at the Avengers.

The Avengers escape through unusual powers displayed by Spiderwoman. Then there is a countdown, and an explosion. I feel sorry for the Doom soldiers. I'm pretending they were Doombots.

Do you ever get the feeling that there are characters that Bendis thinks are really cool and underused, adds them to books, and then does not seem to have a clue what to do with them? This seems to be the case with Dr. Strange and Bob the Sentry. These two characters are constantly either out of scene or impotent. In this issue, Bob is away with Iron Man, and when he does appear, he plays the Deus Ex Machina role to defeat Dr. Doom. I'm not sure what Doom was doing when Bob ripped his armor off, but I'm guessing it was going to be cool.

It also seems that Iron Man is the only effective hero in the entire Marvel U. these days, with the Avengers looking like idiots (and sounding the same) for most of the issue. Bendis clearly loves Tony Stark and tends to present him as some sort of bizarre combination of Shaft and Rambo. All we need is the word "sucker" added onto the end of several sentences.

The book ends with a hot tub scene that is supposed to remind us that something "just ain't right" with Jessica Drew, and there may be Skrulls about.

The art in this book is okay, with only minor quibbles. In particular, the metal on Doom's armor appears pliable through a lot of the book. The art done for the Morgan Le Fey scenes is wonderfully rendered with soft colors making the room feel warm and welcome. No wonder Doom keeps going back.

Overall, the whole book is pretty lackluster and feels like everyone wants to get to Skrully type business. Hopefully the next issues are a little clearer in the plot line.







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