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Mystical Melee

August 3, 2010

The New Avengers continue their return in New Avengers #2 with Luke Cage having been possessed by whatever/whoever is also possessing Dr. Strange and Daimon Hellstrom.  Cage grows, and everything goes crazy.  Jessica Jones gets Spider-Man to take Danielle Cage someplace safe, and the Thing gets smacked out of the building when he tries to take the Eye of Agamotto.  Thanks to a last-minute save by Jessica, Wolverine manages to grab the Eye and toss it out a window.  He then stabs both Strange and Hellstrom.  Possessed Cage as well as about half of the New Avengers run outside to grab the Eye, and Ms. Marvel ends up being the one to grab it.  The things possessing Strange and Hellstrom leave their bodies, and Strange wakes up as Spidey comes back downstairs with the baby monitor.  Jessica tries to get Cage to fight the possession, and Wolverine informs Strange that Cage has also been possessed.  Ms. Marvel tries to get the thing possessing Cage to leave his body, or she’ll crush the Eye.  But it manages to knock the Eye out of her hands and right into Iron Fist’s.  Strange heals himself and Hellstrom, and the thing possessing Cage hops bodies into Iron Fist.  Dr. Voodoo shows up, alive and well (just minus the Eye), but when confronted by three powerful sorcerers, the now-possessed Iron Fist chooses to just leave.  Hellstrom starts screaming at voodoo, and Strange informs them that, by losing the Eye, they forfeit everything.  And the skies start burning, and demonic creatures start coming out.

Well, as I have said, this series plays a lot more to Brian Michael Bendis’ strengths.  For one, the team is a bunch of characters he obviously gets better than the main Avengers.  He’s great with Spider-Man and Wolverine, as we already know, he created Jessica Jones, so he’s great with her, and he’s proving to do a pretty dang good Thing.  Plus, he’s doing a great job with each of the three sorcerers, even if his Dr. Strange could be a tad more… regal.  Yes, characters like Ms. Marvel and Mockingbird especially tend to get genericized by his banter.  But because of the style of the team, it’s not as big a deal.  It fits better.  Yes, I still wish that some of theses characters, Ms. Marvel most of all, were on the real Avengers team.  But considering that Bendis still doesn’t get how that team works, I’d say it’s a good thing they’re here.  This arc feels just like a natural continuation of what was going on in the book beforehand.  In fact, the only reason for the reboot was the chance to sell another issue #1.  Really.  Especially since, thus far, only one member of the team (Thing) is even a new member.  But one benefit from that is that it’s a continuation of the higher level of quality Bendis produced in the last year and a half.  This magic plot is quite interesting, and it’s a logical plot development from where he was going before.  Plus, this fight is a lot more fun than the Apocalypse one in Avengers because the style fits better.  Oh yes, and the fight isn’t tangential to the main plot.  Stuart Immonen’s pencils are also great, so the whole fight and the mystic mojo getting tossed around looks superb.  He’s the perfect artist for this book.  So anyway, I’m enjoying New Avengers more than normal Avengers.  It’s really strange to say that, but it’s true.  Besides, what’s not funny about that whole thing with Dr. Strange waking up after Wolverine stabbed him?  That is just good Bendis right there.

Plot: 8.4      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 9.0      Overall: 8.7

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