Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Review: New Avengers #14


To those who said writer Brian Michael Bendis could not plot and script an involving tale about a Marvel female hero besides Jessica Jones – especially after the “zipper club” lineup of Avengers was announced – I present Exhibit One: New Avengers #14.

Rarely if ever has Mockingbird, who used to call herself the “Eighties Lady” back -- well, in the ”˜80s, been presented so well, in both story and art.

I will confess: After Marvel made the announcement it was gonna off one character per quarter and knowing Fear Itself was coming up, bets on Bobbi being the corpse were high around the CBN offices -- at least near my cubicle. But – surprise! – not only is she better after all that 1950s mish-mash, but she is a stronger and better character for it.

And least for now. Her vow on the last page makes me wonder if I should tear up those betting tickets or not.

No lover of Bendis-heads am I, but it has really worked swell in these Avengers and New Avengers issues that are connected to the Fear Itself event, I must say. And immediately tying them into the ongoing chronicles of our Assemblers running in the back of both books since the relaunches was a stroke of genius on the writer’s part, I must say. 

Whether she recalls fondly her days with the West Coast Avengers or not, Mockingbird has never been enjoyed more by this reader than those Steve Englehart sagas – until this issue.

(Now just an aside here that I realize this continues to cut the number of heroes without powers down, those like Hawkeye, Black Widow -- the Batmans of any team. But the journey to see if the new Bobbi will be up to the standards of her “two benefactors” – Cap and Fury – will be a joyful one, it is hoped.)

Mike Deodato’s art was one of the main reasons I used to enjoy Secret Avengers and his layout and storytelling abilities in this title have been both welcomed and amazing. Even from very far away, a failing of my buddy John Romita Jr., characters still look like who they are and not stick figures from Don Heck’s sketch book.

Ditto the gloriously subdued colors of Rain Beredo. Great mood establishing. When Bobbi saw the fall of Avengers Towering silhouette, it was a powerful moment made more so by the approach of the 10th anniversary of 9-11.

More than any other Fear Itself satellite title, New Avengers makes the most of its threads for its characters. And that ain’t easy in these days of blockbuster events.

The "Eighties Lady” has entered the 21st century!