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Everything’s Broken

July 12, 2010

The story of the revived true Avengers continues with Avengers #2.  The team watches Protector take down Titanium Man from afar.  Then, after confirming his intentions, they ask for his help building a time machine to travel into the future and talk to their kids.  Protector agrees, and Iron Man takes him to the lab.  Maria Hill warns Captain America that this could be a trap while Tony, Protector, Spider-Man, and Thor work on the machine.  When it’s done, they view multiple futures, like MC2, Days of Future Past, Marvel 2099, and Guardians of the Galaxy (as well as a brief look at Age of Apocalypse, which is a tad confusing).  They find the right timeline, and they see the death of Immortus.  But then, something goes wrong, and everything gets smashed together.  All they see is what looks like blood-red smashed glass, with the face of an old Hulk at the center of it.  Seems the timestream is just… broken.  The team wonders how it got broken and by whom when Wonder Man comes flying in and attacks, saying that he warned them about remaking the team.  However, the fight ends rather quickly when he, in ionic form, flies right into the building and disappears, leaving an energy residue.  As the team reconnoiters and worries about rebuilding their now broken time machine, some strange version of Apocalypse arrives with his Four Horsemen, Wolverine, Spider-Man, the Scarlet Witch, and possibly Red Hulk, ready for a fight.

Okay, now this is juts getting ridiculous.  Is Brian Michael Bendis just going to use this storyline to make random references to everything and have random cameos from everyone?  I mean, why does the team have to fight the Horsemen of Apocalypse just after Wonder Man disappears for no apparent reason?  It’s strange.  Maybe it has to do with people popping in and out of different parts of the timestream, but it’s strange.  Also confused with the little mistake with Age of Apocalypse counting as a future timeline.  And Kang and Immortus have been separate people for years, ever since Avengers Forever.  In fact, we haven’t even seen Immortus since then.  So I’m disappointed that supposed continuity buff Bendis doesn’t get that right.  And Wonder Man’s face heel turn is a bit unbelievable thus far.  I’m waiting for better explanation than that he doesn’t agree with the decision to remake the Avengers.  Still not that big a fan of the team, since Spider-Man and Wolverine really should just stick to their own titles and X-Men for Wolverine, and Protector is a lame placeholder for Ms. Marvel.  Oh yes, and Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Hawkeye are all somehow on both these Avengers and the New Avengers.  Overlapping team memberships never work.  I’ll admit that Bendis has an interesting plot here.  But he’s still struggling to get that old-school Avengers feel, which is what most fans really want out of this title.  It really should have been written by someone else.  John Romita Jr.’s art is still beautiful.  I mean, no bad script can make what he does look anything short of stellar.  His design for the time machine display is also really cool, with all the red lightning and that shattered glass effect.  But it’s frustrating when one half of the main creative team just isn’t living up to the work of the other half.  Oh yes, and that history of the Avengers thing just proves what Bendis doesn’t get, because Thor doesn’t speak in contractions, and Janet van Dyne (the original Wasp) is more than just a silly girly girl (though she was back in the day).  Bendis can sometimes just so genericize (made up a new word) the dialogue of some of his characters, often making them sound like a bunch of children.  So of course I’m still on this book for the long haul, but I’m not as impressed as I should be.

Plot: 7.5      Art: 9.3      Dialogue: 8.6      Overall: 7.6

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