Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Review: Avengers #9




COVER BY: Romita Jr., Janson & White

WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis

PENCILS: John Romita Jr.

INKS: Janson, Palmer & Hanna

COLORED BY: Martin, Hollowell & Milla

LETTERED BY: VC’s Cory Pettit

Publisher: Marvel

Release Date: January 26th, 2011


Bendis talking heads again … but good talking heads!

There is not a lot of action in this outing of the Marvel Universe’s most secret group, the Illuminati, but there is a lot of character and plot forwarding. Steve Rogers is outraged that this “secret” – not one of his own – is happening during his watch as the world’s top cop, and places the blame squarely on Tony Stark’s shoulders. Even the regal refereeing of Thor himself cannot calm this explosion of wills.

As the other members of the Illuminati, now revealed to the super-world in the ruins of Attilan, explain their reasons and strategies to three assembled teams of Avengers (New, Secret and “Adjectiveless”), Rogers and Stark go toe-to-toe the way we have been waiting for them to do since the end of Civil War. Of those side discussions, I am curious as to what effect the “secret” being kept by Dr. Strange from Luke Cage and his team will cause. It is the same writer, and Bendis has a way of making these nuggets tasty all over the Marvel U.

I was wondering if the story of the Hood’s freedom would be explored somewhere else (Editor's Note: Check out "Avengers Academy #8," on-sale now - Mighty Matt). Luckily it unfolds in AVENGERS #9 in time lapse fashion, one of the best Bendis tools. I just wish I could ID more of the “big boy” super-villains at the Raft. I am sure John Romita Jr. and his inkers are throwing us some great continuity bones here that I have not picked up on yet. (Can any of you readers ID some of these villains on the Cosmic Book News forum?)

It was nice to see the teams gathered and several characters having a “say,” not just standing around as dynamic background. The odd feeling among the other Illuminati members, even Medusa, was palpable.

And as I predicted months ago, when they made love as the Hood was possessed by Dormammu, we have the return of Madame Masque in this issue. I wonder how long, if ever, Whitney might find there is a bun in the oven … of Dark Dimension origin?

JRJR handles the art chores great in this mag, with no size crowd (three-count-‘em-three Avengers teams herein) even challenging his magnificent pencils. Everyone looked as they should, with the exception of Spider-Woman. Will he ever get her down right?

Looks like the Hood is gonna cut loose next issue, as the Avengers’ search for the Infinity Gems kicks into high gear!