Saturday, November 14, 2009

_New Avengers_ vol 1 by Brian Michael Bendis

The short answer: It's a great read with a fun plot involving a massive breakout of supervillains from one of those super-prisons the government loves to build in comic books. And it's a rejuvenation of the Avengers with new faces, but with Captain America at the helm, guided by Brian Michael Bendis. What more do you need?

I've been trying not to follow the current Marvel or DC comics world continuities for a few years now. I've been trying not to be up to date, and to cherry pick good collections of finished series and read those.

There are good reasons to do that:
  • I don't want to be waiting for the next episode of something to come out. I don't want to be held up by cliffhangers.
  • I don't want to feel compelled to buy every comic out there for continuity.
But graphic novels are more and more available at the library, so I don't actually have to buy all of these issues. And it seems I'm missing out. Bendis, one of my favorite writers, has been writing tons of books in mainstream Marvel continuity and I didn't know that. He's had time to write eleven volumes of New Avengers books behind my back.

Really, what with the availability of good news on the internet and all, I should have been keeping tabs on everything Mr. Bendis has written for a while now. I've enjoyed his Powers books to no end. I liked Jinx and Goldfish too. Ultimate Spider-Man was a blast.

Yeah, back when I started readin' comics, we didn't have the internet. You had to find out about new books from ads in other comics, or by reading one of the industry books, or by talking to weird older guys who hung out at the comic store.

Does that mean I'm too old to hang out at the comic store now?

But I was slow to look for comic books based on their authors, and then slow to apply that to mainstream comics franchises like The Avengers. I mean, you read the Avengers because you want to read big superhero slugfests, right? It's one of those franchises that's been around forever, through many different writers.

Well, following specific authors in comics isn't new. I remember people getting excited about John Byrne back when I was a teen. It's just new to me.

In any case, I've got something else to be excited about. My local library has the New Avengers volumes 1 through 11 available, and I've already read 1 through 5. Mr. Prolific Bendis has gotten ahead of me; it's time to catch up.


  1. Wow, we only have seven volumes of New Avengers at my library.

  2. And I've only read three or so. I really didn't care for either the Civil War or Secret Invasion (or whatever the hell they called that "everyone is actually a Skrull in disguise" crossover storyline), so I wasn't particularly interested in New Avengers stories that tied into that. Too many crossovers by far have been a problem for Marvel lately.

    But yeah, you jumped on the writer/artist bandwagon way late, my friend. I've been reading and collecting titles based primarily upon the creative team for many years now. Alan Moore is usually a good bet because he tends to attract very good writers, as does Warren Ellis. Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham teaming up on Fables is brilliant, as were Whedon and Cassady on Astonishing X-Men and Marc Millar and Bryan Hitch on Ultimates.

    But Grant Morrison has written a lot of comics illustrated by hacks (like much of New X-Men) or people with really weird, unpleasant styles (like much of Seven Soldiers of Victory). And I don't care how interesting the ideas may be, there's a reason why it's a visual medium and if the pairing of writer and artist is weak, then I'm not interested.