My Week in Comics: May 21, 2010

The Heroic Age is officially underway! Which one of you guys were included in the giant photomosaic in Avengers #1? I was there, hidden in the big A of the Avengers logo! Or at least, I think it's me. The cheek is unmistakable! But I's time for the most verbose comic book reviews around! Let's see what I got myself into this week!

Invincible Iron Man #26 is setting up for something big, with Spymaster arriving in the title, the Hammer women selling Stark tech to (who else?) terrorists, and Iron Man slowly transforming into the dick he was before. It's all good, a set-up issue and nothing more, but with interest from Iron Man 2 funneling into this book, more Iron Man screen time wouldn't hurt. With me figuring out which comics to drop, Invincible Iron Man needs to hold my attention longer than this. A 2.5 out of 5.

Zatanna gets her first solo book ever in Zatanna #1, courtesy of Paul Dini, Stephane Roux and Karl Story. It's got everything I love about first issues: a strong set up on who the character is and what she does, gorgeous art (Stephane's Zatanna is gorgeous. You fall in love, you lose indeed...and by god, you will lose.), and a strong hook at the end that will get you buying the next issue sight unseen. It stands testament to the book's strength that I, someone who only has passing familiarity with the character courtesy of her appearances in Identity Crisis and others, already knows just as much as the true fans of the character because of this one issue.

My only quibble is that I feel iffy about the very first page that features a splash of her gagged and bound, about to be literally drilled from behind by actors dressed up as villains that include Dr. Light of all people, as part of her stage act. I dunno, I just feel that it makes Zatanna look like she's trivializing the history between her and Light, given the circumstances. Maybe I'm thinking about it too much, but for someone who's been reading comings for so long, details like that are hard to ignore. For people who haven't been reading that long, it's just a sexy and funny panel in a sexy and fun issue. This one's a 4 out of 5. If you don't physically have this book in your hands, rectify that situation now.

And so we come to Avengers #1, an all-new Heroic Age reboot of the supposed flagship Avenger title courtesy of Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita, Jr. Siege has come and gone, and the world is oncea gain embracing the concept of heroes being, well, heroes. And because of that, Captain Steve Rogers (top cop of the world, natch) decides to assemble the best and brightest heroes to serve as the shining examples of heroism. Cue Kang the Conqueror knocking on their doorstep demanding that they help him stop a dark and depressing future ruled by...the Avengers' children?

Yes folks. If you're one of the lucky few who bought Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, one of Marvel's direct-to-DVD animated movies, you're in luck as it seems that Bendis has inserted DVD-only characters into the Marvel Universe (the first time this has ever happened, if memory serves me right).

I didn't buy this to give Bendis one more chance (as I have had enough of Bendis-run Marvel), but to see how he sets up the Heroic Age with the top superteam of the Marvel U. And once again, Bendis proves me right by coming out with a woefully mediocre book. Almost every line in it seems forced and out-of-place, as if Bendis was channeling some good old-fashioned Avengers style storytelling, but he failed miserably. And never have I hated to read Spider-Man as much as I did here. John Romita Jr.'s art didn't help matters, with a scritch-scratchy art that left almost every panel a muddled mess. I honestly don't get the people saying this is 'strong and dynamic' art. When you can make Spider-Woman so grossly unappealing, there's something wrong with you.

I came in with the lowest of expectations, and even that wasn't met. Such a sad, sad state of affairs that this will probably be a top-selling book, giving Marvel the idea that people want more of this cross-hatchy, mediocre mess. 1.5 out of 5. Thank the cover of all things (I bought the simple white cover with the Avengers logo on it. Clean, unlike the inside of the book) for saving you from the failing grade.

More reasons for me to switch to DC. Step up, Marvel! Anyway, if you have questions or violent reactions to my review, leave a comment and let's gentlemen. Thanks for reading!

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