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Divide and Control

February 17, 2010

     Just before the events of Siege, the New Avengers find themselves under siege by the Hood’s gang, under orders from Norman Osborn to kill every one of them (except Spider-Man, who he wants to kill himself).  The Hood uses the Norn Stones to give his entire crew a power up.  Later, Captain America (Bucky) and Steve Rogers look at Steve’s old apartment, which got demolished in the last fight.  They get attacked by the Living Laser and the Corrupter, the latter of whom takes control of Bucky, as well as some H.A.M.M.E.R. agents.  In a parallel story, Spider-Man and Spider-Woman stake out Stark Tower to see what’s going on.  They get attacked by the Griffin and the Mandrill, the latter of whom can now detect them, and Mandrill likewise takes control of Spider-Woman.  Although Steve manages to free Bucky from Corruptor’s control thanks to Corruptor’s own idiocy and amazing bullet deflection, Spider-Woman is not so lucky, zapping Spider-Man just above a crowded street.

     You know, I’m rather sad that New Avengers is getting canceled.  Although I’m excited to see the real Avengers back (minus Wolverine and Spider-Man), Brian Michael Bendis really hit his stride with the Dark Reign status quo.  He’s had a great opportunity to do some character work with the background of the ongoing New Avengers/Dark Avengers and Hood’s gang conflict, and this story is no different.  The parallel structure works great, even though it is a tad annoying that we have chemical/pheremonal manipulators in both stories.  Bendis also continues to prove that he is the best writer of Spider-Man dialogue (and Mandrill, oddly), and he has genuinely gotten me interested in the real Spider-Woman.  Stuart Immonen’s pencils are superb in this book (aside from the rather awkward-looking cover, which features Steve Cap with barely any fingers minus his thumb), and we actually get to see people’s eyes a lot.  Daniel Acuña, however, is just as bad as usual.  Although his Spider-Man and Mandrill are surprisingly good, his Griffin has a flat face, and Spider-Woman looks as bad as every other woman he draws.  At the very least, it looks like Bendis will be resolving the Avengers/Hood conflict that’s been going on for the past twenty-five/thirty issues.  I just hope he writes the new Avengers book as well as he’s been writing this.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 8.7      Dialogue: 8.8      Overall: 8.8

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