By: Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Daniel Acuna (art & colors), Cory Petit (letters), Lauren Sankovitch (associate editor) & Tom Brevoort (editor)

The Story: Now that Fear Itself is over, it’s time for a new Avengers line-up.

Five Things: 

1. Really enjoy Acuna’s art. It took me a long time to warm up to Acuna’s artistic style (or maybe he just got better).  Of course, his art looks very different than different than most artists because I don’t think he’s inking in the traditional sense.  I’m not sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me to know this was 100% digital art where he’s doing as much creation of the art with color as with lines.  It makes for a lovely way to lay out a page because he’s mastering all the light sources.  Misuse of light is something the human eye is very good as seeing even IF we can’t quite verbalize what is wrong with a panel.  For me, the only thing holding Acuna back is that his characters’ heads sometimes look strangely attached to the body.  It’s not in every panel that this pops up, but it does happen.

2. Interesting to have a new team. This is always fun.  One of the neat dynamics of these team books is, “Who’s going to join?”  “Who’s going to leave?”  Granted, this has been watered down a little with there being SOOOOOOO many Avengers, but it’s still kinda enjoyable to see who Cap thinks is “worthy” of getting called up to the Major Leagues.

3. Character returns out of the blue. I feel kinda bad complaining about this, because I’d probably complain if Marvel released a 5-issue miniseries called, “Return of ______” and it would be similarly tedious if Bendis just made the return of this character consume an entire 6-issue arc.  So, maybe Bendis and Brevoort made the proper choice, but the return of _______ still felt entirely out of left field (in a bad way).

4. No action. We need our heroes to do a little more.  Too much talking, not enough doing!  I know this is a common complaint against Bendis’ works.   I generally like Bendis a lot because he writes very well, but it wouldn’t hurt my feelings to have fewer issues where there is no action.

5. No Spidey & Wolverine?  Really? It can’t really be a new team if you let the old team members continue to loiter around the Mansion.  Then you have a situation like the X-Men where you don’t really have a team, you’ve just got a collection of super-powered beings.  I want the Avengers to be a defined team and if we have new members in this issue, then lets send Spidey and Wolverine back to whence they came.  They’re both WAY overexposed right now in Marvel comics.  I mean, Wolverine is isn’t just a member of the X-Men teams, he’s headmaster of the new mutant academy.  That’s a full-time job.  He doesn’t have time to be an Avenger anymore.  They both had a nice run, but let’s hope that Bendis can give them back to their more proper series.  Also, Wolverine and Storm are on opposite sides of the X-Men Schism and Storm basically told Wolverine they can’t ever be friends again because of X-Force (and they haven’t gone back to address that yet).

Conclusion: Nice issue in a lot of ways.  It’s always fun to have a new team line-up.  The only troubling thing is that there isn’t much action, but hopefully that’ll get fixed in the next issue.

Jumping on point?: This is a great jumping on point for new readers.  Start here and enjoy the next story cycle.  In fact, probably the reason why we have no action in this issue was so that Bendis could make it accessible to new readers.

Grade: B

-Dean Stell

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