Well, while the New #1s hit the DCnU today, over at the House of Ideas the team of Bendis and Dell’otto put out an annual, a little late for summer but timed right nonetheless, that actually feels like one of those great old Marvel annuals, the ones we waited all year for, the ones the writers and artists busted their arses on. You remember? Annuals!
New Avengers Annual#1 follows up on Brian Michael Bendis’ story thread from the beginning of the Age of Heroes, wherein Wonder Man was questioning Steve Rogers, Iron Man and Thor about the reason for and the necessity in the world of the Avengers, and actually blamed the team for some of the great sins of the modern Marvel era.
In this well-paced issue, we learn the sins of which Simon Williams spoke, although more room than necessary is devoted to them. The list could’ve been a nice and powerful one-page collage while more room was devoted to Simon’s Revengers, reminding newbies (and folks who have been on hiatus, like yours truly) just who these people on his team are. As it is, a little research and memory strain may be necessary, gentle reader.
Oh, not that there is nothing to be found in this issue worth the price. (Well maybe not. Five bucks? C’mon!) Still, the action in this issue is hot, there are some nice character moments between Luke and Jessica, Simon and Carol, and believe me, the whole brawl really brings the house down – literally!
Gabriele Dell’otto’s pictures are not exactly my cup of tea, but I must admit the artist is a fine storyteller. While it is sometimes hard to know the baddie from the good guys in those blocks of dark ink, the action does carry well from panel to panel and some of the facial expressions are right on. Just wish it was more consistent.
I was thrilled this Simon thread has gotten picked up, and I understand it will continue in this fall’s series of Avengers annuals. Still, for five bucks, I was left feeling a little wanted, more so than I wanted to be after what I consider a pretty good annual for modern times.
So here is thanks for a good story, a good annual and the promise of more down the line.
But five bucks? Really? Really?!