Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Review: The Avengers #12.1

The Point One Initiative marches on with The Avengers #12.1. This book, like many Point Ones, has a lot riding on it because of the movie property. Can writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Bryan Hitch make me an Avengers reader?

This post contains face-melting spoilers.
Read at your face’s risk.
If symptoms continue for more than 4 hours, contact [insertgeekhere].

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this story. Some of them are minor but none of them are positive.  In the beginning of the book, they list the main Avengers for the new readers.   When the team goes to rescue Spider-Woman, they don't even have half of them there! Hawkeye is in one panel with no lines, so it's a good thing he made it on the cover.  I could excuse that but some of the rescue team don't even get introduced. A lot of characters are involved with The Avengers, how am I supposed to know who is who?  New readers may be totally lost by this, while Marvel readers will probably be able to follow this. 

And when did Wolverine get a beak?
The story really dragged the entire time. We watch the Avengers bicker for a while, get really angry, beat up some idiots, and then find out that a really bad villain is back. I felt so bored the whole time, and when a fight scene finally showed up, it took two panels. Even with all of that time for talking, I never felt like I was connecting with the story or the characters. None of the characters were focused on for more than a line except Spider-Woman, and can anyone explain why she had to be naked?  I just don't understand why that was necessary. I have no idea what in that story was supposed to make me keep reading. I imagine the hook was supposed to be that Ultron was back but by the time he showed up, I was just happy the issue was almost over.

This is where I start showing what I have learned about Marvel U from Point Ones and step out of my n00b shell a bit. In the scene where The Avengers assemble, we see a lot of characters, almost the whole hero roster of the Marvel Universe. Now, here is where Marvel lost any potential readers from reading Avengers. Why is Ben Grimm in a Fantastic Four uniform? It could be a continuity thing, or just for old time's sake. In the end, I could really forgive it. It's just that Marvel went out of their way to publicize Johnny Storm's death and the end of the Fantastic Four. Major news outlets covered it for the masses. Any potential new readers brought in may be confused and any lapsed readers may just get irritated. I would have kept continuity in Point Ones, especially any issue where a movie is coming out. No matter how different the movie plot is, it does help bring in new readers.

I just don't think this would have worked for either new or lapsed readers.  New readers were not given enough background about characters (like their names) and lapsed readers would have been irritated with the lack of continuity, not to mention the boring story.  I would not recommend this for any readers.

My Point One Journey so far: 
* Review: Uncanny X-Men
* Review: Thor
* Review: Captain America
* Review: Uncanny X-Force
* Review: Hulk
* Review: Deadpool

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