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A Bit Bi-Polar

May 7, 2009

Ever since Dark Reign started, Brian Michael Bendis has been at the top of his game.  With New Avengers, he’s continuing the story of the Hood and his little demon possession, as well as showing us who the next Sorcerer Supreme is.  I always believed that Dr. Strange would only ever be replaced once he was dead, so I’m definitely annoyed in that respect.  But this issue is, for the most part, good, so my apprehensions have been put aside.  Dr. Strange tells the story of the battle between himself and the Hood, and it’s a doozy of a battle.  Now, I’m a bit surprised that the Hood could somehow become stronger than the mystical master himself, but it’s also a part of Bendis’ attempt to actually ground Dr. Strange’s power, so I still approve.  Then, we have the debate over whether or not they’re going to help Strange, which takes basically no time at all.  Then, we have the Hood freaking out about his powers, Madam Masque, the Son of Satan, and the setup for the next issue.

On the whole, this was a good issue.  But there’s a few glaring problems.  First of all, Billy Tan’s art isn’t as good as usual.  In particular, there’s one panel where Spider-Man’s body doesn’t even look proportionally correct.  Then, there’s the really forced joke about New Jersey.  We get that people hate New Jersey.  It doesn’t need to be shoved down our throats.  Then, there’s the really bizarre dialogue with Spider-Man about stealing a Quinjet.  Since when was that so important to him?  I’m confused.  Lastly, there’s the Son of Satan screaming into the phone at Hellcat.  Since I don’t know much about the character, I can’t say that the dialogue was odd.  But other people seem to be complaining, so maybe it was out of character.  At any rate, the scene was a bit awkward.  Now, Chris Bachalo, on the other hand, did superb work in this issue.  His male faces often suffer, but that wasn’t the case in this issue.  And the writing was still mostly sound.  But this was definitely the weakest issue thus far since Secret Invasion ended.

Plot: 8.6      Art: 8.6      Dialogue: 8.0      Overall: 8.3

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