“This ain’t Captain America’s Avengers,” Luke Cage says in New Avengers #16. “This is my Avengers.”
And indeed it is.
Aside from the fact that I am growing weary of the “Interview as Story” mode of comics and that this is an aside to an event I am not even reading, I really enjoyed this comic. Some may not have, but they may not go back to The Defenders and even further with Luke, DD, et al like I do.
Scribe and M.U. architect Brian Michael Bendis has been taking threads and memories from the 1970s and ‘80s and weaving this team, almost as much as the FF, into a family since Cap was assassinated, maybe even before.
And now, more than ever, with Steve Rogers’ carte blanche edict and the keys to Avengers Mansion, Luke has been able to pick and choose his Avengers, something I hope remains true after Fear Itself’s conclusion.
This issue, even told in this manner, is really one of those great Roy Thomas “Making of an Avenger” stories; his involved the Black Panther and the Vision, Bendis’ involves Daredevil – a hero that was hinted to be joining an Avengers team since the writer’s earliest days on the book. (Remember the controversy of Ronin’s identity?)
Instead of going for the glory, here in New Avengers Bendis often goes for the heart. It is what brought Dr. Strange back into the fold, what is bringing DD in, what made the Thing return. Friendship, family, ties that bind in a universe were there have not been a thousand reboots or relaunches. Characters have known each other, developed feelings and they matter to each other.
The ending of this “DD becomes an Avenger” issue could bring tears from a rock.
And what can I say about the art of Mike Deodato? It is increasingly detailed and amazing, and I see touches of Gene Colan and John Romita Sr. at once. Spectacular, both in times of calm and in times of action.
This is THE Avengers book of our time, as far as I am concerned. I hope it does not get lost in the mish-mash of movie promotions and who does or doesn’t have a Hulk on their team.
We will see in 2012, I guess.