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Hitting New Lows

March 11, 2010

     Well, the Mighty Avengers have three issues left to tie up all its ongoing plotlines.  So Dan Slott uses the latest issue to (mostly) tie up the Loki masquerading as the Scarlet Witch subplot.  Thor gets a call from Loki to help him, and Thor rather reluctantly responds, flying to his rescue at the Isle of Silence.  There, he finds Loki surrounded by the Mighty Avengers.  Rewind to the Avengers’ breakfast a few hours before.  Each of the team members discuss recent issues, like Captain America: Reborn and Assault on New Olympus (which, based on this book, doesn’t fit entirely timeline-wise), and Stature gets worried about whether or not this is a D-List team.  Quicksilver finally has enough of waiting and orders someone to tell him where his sister is.  The Wasp explains that the “Scarlet Witch” is really Loki, and the team decides to go capture him.  They head to the Isle of Silence, where Pym estimates that Loki will be returning fairly soon.  They set up a machine to capture him, then start essentially torturing him to get information.  About this time, Thor arrives (back to the beginning of the book) and is rather disappointed at his former teammates’ actions.  Loki says that he was pretending to be Eternity before, that Pym isn’t really the Scientist Supreme, and Thor forces the Avengers to give up Loki.  Pym then shockingly asks Loki to join the Avengers, to which even Loki responds that Pym is insane.  In response to Pym’s behavior, everyone, save Jocasta and Edwin Jarvis, leaves the team, though all of Jocasta’s bodies are in the process of being taken over by Ultron.

     Well, it may be because of editorial mandate or not, but this book has officially, as the title of the review says, hit a new low.  Slott rather strangely decides to systematically ruin every bit of character building he’s done with Pym.  He shows that Pym can’t come up with any original inventions (Pymspace was based on the Isle of Silence), that he’s willing to be violent (torturing Loki), that he’s crazy (willing to ask Loki to join the team), and that he’s arrogant (Scientist Supreme thing).  I now like Pym even less than I did before this title started.  I was a fan of him back in the Kurt Busiek/Geoff Johns eras of the Avengers, but not so much anymore.  We don’t get a satisfying conclusion to the Scarlet Witch/Loki subplot, the team disbands, and Slott doesn’t even bother to properly coordinate his comic with other events (Assault on New Olympus).  Neil Edwards’ art is as ugly as usual, with awkward poses, some characters looking younger or older than usual, and everything just looking like Bryan Hitch-lite.  Oh yes, and the attempt at mimicking Silver Age artistic sensibilities with the lack of shading during the troll fight scene wasn’t nostalgic.  It just looked even more uninteresting.  I’m sad to say that the book that I thought was going to be my favorite Avengers book post-Secret Invasion turned into my least favorite.  Slott seems to have a lot of trouble writing a classic or a modern Avengers story without screwing something up.  At least he’s only got two more issues left.

Plot: 3.9      Art: 3.5      Dialogue: 5.5      Overall: 3.6

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan Slott permalink
    March 11, 2010 4:46 pm

    Ouch. Okay… I’d say just wait for the last two parts. I think some of your fears might turn out to be unfounded. Also, continuity-wise, this issue takes place BEFORE the Assault on Olympus story in Hercules (that seeds of that story are actually hinted at near the top of the issue), and that storyline is addressed near the top of the NEXT issue. Honest! 🙂

    • artofwar11 permalink
      March 11, 2010 5:19 pm

      Oh, wow. Um… rather awkward way for me to have my first comment from a writer right when I’m bashing him… My complaint about the continuity was about the team, including Hank Pym and U.S. Agent, being together again by Assault on New Olympus, when it seems that the whole team has split apart after this issue. If what you’re saying is true, the team will somehow be back together again by the end of next issue, I suppose. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt for that. The only reason I was so harsh was because it seemed like there was so much potential for your run at the beginning, and so much of it seems… unused. I’m just curious, if you don’t mind me asking. Was the concept of the Unspoken your idea, or was it editorial mandate?

  2. Dan Slott permalink
    March 11, 2010 6:08 pm

    The Unspoken, a king who was written out of Inhuman history by Black Bolt, was one of mine. Given the timing, I thought doing the story there would lead to a good crossover/continuity-nod for what was going on in the DNA books. I felt the current crop of wonderful cosmic books weren’t getting acknowledged in the core titles– and a story like this would be a good way to link back to the Inhumans/Kree/Ultron/Quicksilver-Crystal-Luna-ties. It felt like a nice fit. If I’d been staying on the book longer, chances are we would’ve made a cast change at that point in the story, losing some members, but gaining either an Inhuman and/or a cosmic character or two. But since MIGHTY was wrapping at #36, we decided to keep the cast we had in tact.

    • artofwar11 permalink
      March 11, 2010 9:29 pm

      That’s too bad that you didn’t get the chance to change the cast. It would have been great to see some new characters, or maybe some more classic Avengers. I’m always wary about retcon characters, but the Unspoken seemed like a good idea. I just felt that his story didn’t fit in with already established Inhuman history, and that his powers were a bit too deus ex machina, yet oddly generic. He could do almost anything, yet what that normally meant was energy blasts, super strength, and that one instance of growing. With the history, I suppose you could have meant for it to be that established Inhuman history, the way that Agon died and his reign ended and Black Bolt’s began, to entirely be a lie, but it might have been nice to see that referenced. Just be aware that I can be really nitpicky and continuity-nuts, so most people will not feel the same as me. But I do like what you’ve done particularly with Quicksilver, what with the crossover with the Inhumans and his “redemption.” However, my favorite work of yours, thus far, would probably Avengers: The Initiative. I’ve got all three trade paperbacks from your run on the title on the bookshelf behind me.

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