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Random Villain Attack!

August 2, 2010

So, the brand new Avengers continue their quest to fix time in Avengers #3.  Unfortunately, they can’t actually work on that right now.  Because they’re kind of fighting a different version of Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen, consisting of the Scarlet Witch, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Iron Man (not Red Hulk, as I previously thought).  In the midst of the fight, the Scarlet Witch zaps normal Iron Man, making his suit crumble off.  Normal Spider-Man manages to save him in time, and normal Wolverine informs everyone that this Apocalypse is definitely not normal Apocalypse.  This is all related to what Kang the Conqueror said, and Wolverine says they need to move on (which is what Maria Hill had just been saying).  Iron Man traps Apocalypse in some sort of field and tries to talk to him, acknowledging that he seems very confused.  Apocalypse refuses, but they suddenly start disappearing, screaming about this happening again.  Seems they’re getting tossed around in the timestream.  Hill decides to send Captain America, Wolverine, Iron Man, and Protector to the future to deal with Kang and the Next Avengers issue while Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Thor, and Hawkeye stay behind to deal with all of the problems popping up around New York City.  As Protector completes the new time machine, the other half of the team heads into the streets, which are deserted.  And suddenly, some alternate versions of Killraven and Devil Dinosaur pop up right behind Spidey and Hawkeye.

You know, Brian Michael Bendis could have been smart about this broken timestream thing.  He could have had dozens of cameos while advancing the main plot.  Instead, we have half or more of the issue devoted to a fight that is rather obviously not what they need to be attending to.  Not the best pacing Bendis has ever had.  But then again, Bendis hasn’t exactly been doing his best work on this book from day one.  Now, rather than being interesting, funny cameos, the appearance of Apocalypse, his horsemen, Killraven, and Devil Dinosaur just seem silly.  Like Bendis is just trying to shove as many characters as he can into this arc (remember Immortus, Kang, future Hulk, future Spider-Girl, and Next Avengers).  Plus, as usual, everyone’s bantering in a way that is just not appropriate for the one, true Avengers title.  It makes perfect sense in New Avengers, but here, it just reminds you that Bendis doesn’t know how to deal with this team properly.  The plot is interesting, but his pacing is off, and he just can’t get that real Avengers feel.  Of course, John Romita Jr.’s art is as great as it has ever been.  His Horsemen designs are rather creepy (they’re coming out of their demonic horses?!), and there’s plenty of absolutely electric action in every fight scene.  But Romita’s pencils aren’t enough to help this ailing book.  As before, nothing indicates Bendis’ problems with these characters more than the Avengers history backup.  Does that sound like most of those characters to you?  Nope.  Wasp and Wasp (Janet van Dyne and Hank Pym) sound so much more… superficial than they are.  I mean, Janet was that superficial back then, but she wouldn’t have been at the time that this book could have been written.  They all just sound so… genericized, like how Bendis tends to do with his dialogue.  And, like most writers recently (since this is a recent revelation), he’s ignored the fact that the Enchantress is Idunn.  Whoops.  The fact that the Red Hulk will actually be joining this team in the near future doesn’t make me very pleased.  Bendis needs to stick to writing New Avengers and leave the main team to someone who knows how to write it the way it’s supposed to be written.

Plot: 6.2      Art: 9.3      Dialogue: 7.4      Overall: 7.2

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