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The Man’s Got Friends

December 28, 2009

     Continuing from the precarious situation of last issue, the New Avengers are stuck without their powers and completely immobile.  Still not sure why Ronin and Captain America are the same, but whatever.  Said that already.  Mockingbird jumps to the rescue, and other members give their last bit of energy to assist.  Ultimately, however, they get beaten by the Wrecking Crew.  Dr. Jonas Harrow tries to bargain with Norman Osborn to get the same kind of deal he gave the Hood, and Osborn is ultimately forced to accept when Harrow’s machine takes away the Dark Avengers’ powers.  The New Avengers manage to escape, but something is seriously wrong with Luke Cage.  They take him to the Night Nurse, but she can’t do anything for him.  Luke Cage is forced to surrender to Osborn for medical treatment and so the rest of the Avengers can escape.  Meanwhile, Loki takes the Hood and Madame Masque to Cuba to get him the Norn Stones to restore his power.  Jessica Jones freaks out about Cage, and she gets together a bunch of Cage’s pals, including Misty Knight, Iron Fist, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Dr. Voodoo, the Thing, Hellcat, and Valkyrie to rescue him.  The New Avengers distract the Dark Avengers while Cage’s band of friends rescue him.  Unfortunately, we also discover that, hidden on Cage’s heart, is a mysterious device, likely planted during the operation Osborn’s crew did.

     Geez, if Brian Michael Bendis had been writing this well from the beginning, I never would have complained about all the crap he did.  I do hate retcons, but they can be done well.  And this arc, as well as almost everything he’s done since Dark Reign started, proves how well he can write.  Even though this is a concept that’s already been done, Bendis manages to ground it enough in the current storyline that it’s quite fun.  The fact that the little weirdness about Ronin and Captain America is my only complaint is a very good thing.  Plus, he’s using a bunch of classic villains, like the Wrecking Crew and Harrow, to tell a great story, as well as bring in the cast of his other great comic, Dark Avengers.  Plus, there’s the intriguing sidenote of Hood getting the Norn Stones, indicating that he’ll be indebted to Loki in the upcoming Siege story arc.  Stuart Immonen’s work is also superb, though I have to say, sometimes his eyes kind of disappear into the rest of his faces.  Less an problem in the last issue, especially during the great scene where all Cage’s pals show up.  At this point, though, the random fights between the two Avengers team have been worn rather thin, so I’m glad Dark Reign is ending.  I just hope Bendis writes Siege like this, rather than like Avengers Disassembled or Secret Invasion.

Plot: 9.2      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 9.3      Overall: 9.2

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