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New Avengers #10

Posted: Monday, September 26, 2005
By: Kelvin Green



"The Sentry" part 364 of my god when will this torture cease?

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis, Scourge of all that is Good and Holy
Artists: Irrelevant, as the corruption that spews unfettered from Bendis' word processor obscures all other aspects of the book. But for the sake of accurate records, Steve McNiven on pencils and Mark Morales and John Dell on inks.

Publisher: Marvel Comics


The General?

The General?

The hamfisted abandonment of all those interesting but apparently unnecessary bits in the Sentry's background is insipid and moronic enough without the evil mastermind behind it all being a pastiche of a character from a British humour comic. For those readers unfamiliar with The Beano, this would be the rough equivalent of Batman finding out that his parents had been brutally murdered by Pikachu.

And it's not just rubbish; it's slooooow rubbish. Bendis' pathological inability to pace a story properly is laid embarassingly bare by the gargantuan infodump this issue as lead character Emma Frost (who you'll remember is not an Avenger, New or otherwise) hurriedly explains the plot in a lengthy series of fat densely packed speech bubbles. A plot which wouldn't need explaining if Bendis hadn't needlessly overcomplicated things with his demented half-arsed retcons. Is this why Bendis requested an extra issue to tell this anti-story? Because he'd already written three issues of utterly meaningless faff and realised that he needed to provide some sort of explanation? He shouldn't have bothered. If he'd left everything unexplained, readers could have come up with their own endings, roughly 97% of which would probably have been better than this offal.

There's one good bit in the entire issue, and that's finding out that Avengers Tower is the very same building as the Sentry's Watchtower, that it had been disguised until now, and that it had somehow drawn Tony Stark to it as a home for the new team. I love that idea of destiny invisibly at work and only recognisable as such in hindsight; Bendis started to make some interesting observations about the role of destiny in forming the Avengers about twenty three issues ago (well it felt that long ago), and this is a similarly neat touch. for that.

But on the whole this is sanity-shreddingly, internet-breakingly dire, a prolonged exercise in shameless unstoppable cack-handery, and I can't believe that it's taken four bloody interminable issues to wade through this faeculent nonsense.

The General. For fuck's sake...



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