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No, Nay, Never, No More!

August 6, 2010

Marvel’s new Heroic Age anthology miniseries continues with Age of Heroes #3, which starts off with a look at the liaisons of the three Avengers teams, Maria Hill, Victoria Hand, and Sharon Carter, who are having a meeting.  A drunken Absorbing Man decides to attack Stark Tower to retrieve his ball and chain.  And somehow, he’s gotten his powers back.  Maria and Sharon are quick to point their fingers at Hand, who has a terrible cold.  Sharon takes Absorbing Man on alone, shooting a glass chandelier to force him to turn into glass, then shooting him.  However, when he starts to reconstitute, Hand comes up with a brilliant idea.  She switches clothes and pretends to be a new, powerful member of the Avengers, which Maria corroborates with some false security announcements.  Creel, wanting to absorb this powerful Avenger’s powers, accidentally absorbs her cold.  Shortly later, Spider-Man comes in, asking for some food.  And the girls are, needless to say, not interested.  Then, we have a Blue Marvel story.  While he refuses to go out and be a superhero again, despite the Watcher’s urgings,  fearing that he might simply contribute to the fear of superheroes, some alternate version of Hyperion attacks the Winter Guard.  Marvel is forced to go out to help, but he seems unable to stop Hyperion.  In the end, he gets serious when Hyperion is about to kill a child, and he wins.  The locals thank him for his help, and he becomes an active hero again.  In a brief Taskmaster story, we see that some mysterious group called the Org, which Taskmaster supplies trainees to, believes that Taskmaster is a traitor, having been let escape from Siege by Steve Rogers to damage the Org.  Taskmaster takes out the yakuza sent to kill him, and now, he has to clear his name before the Org kills him.  In the final story, a short Squirrel Girl tale, after defeating Fin Fang Foom, Squirrel Girl decides to leave the Great Lakes Avengers so she’ll stop “holding them back” with her amazing supervillain-defeating skills.

Well, despite the fact that Kelly Sue DeConnick decided to make Sharon Carter a tad trigger-happy, I greatly enjoyed that liaison story.  For one, it jokes about how supervillains and superheroes seem to suddenly get their powers back or whatever with no explanation.  In fact, it never even explains how Creel got his powers back in this instance.  Second, it treats all of the three girls pretty well.  Again, minus the trigger-happy Sharon.  And the way that they defeat Creel is pretty funny too.  I’m still not a huge fan of Brad Walker’s art.  It’s pretty solid, but his faces can tend to look a tad… elongated.  And that’s even more so in this story with the three liaisons.  The Blue Marvel story is just boring.  For one, Blue Marvel is just another retcon character, like the Sentry (who he even mentions).  I’m not a fan of retcon characters, at least not on the scale that Marvel and Sentry were introduced.  As if Marvel needs someone else that tough just after we got rid of Sentry anyway.  The story itself is okay, but since the character about whom the story is written is fundamentally flawed (in a bad way), I just can’t really enjoy it.  MC Wyman’s pencils are actually pretty good.  I almost thought I was looking at Alan Davis’ work on the first page.  So at least there’s that.  As for the Taskmaster story, we have yet ANOTHER powerful, underground villain organization.  I’m interested to see Taskmaster’s origins, but not enough to buy the miniseries.  Sorry Fred van Lente.  Oh yes, and Jefte Palo’s art is just… weird.  Sketchy and harsh.  Not a fan.  Lastly, the Squirrel Girl story at the very end by Dan Slott and Ty Templeton was mildly amusing.  I’ve never actually read any GLA stories, but her amazing victories over all those supervillains are pretty funny.  It actually manages to be good enough that it doesn’t have to be more than one page, and Templeton mirrors Paul Pelletier’s work on the GLA.  So this was a decent issue, if for no other reason that the largest story was pretty good.  Too bad there aren’t more important characters getting spotlights.

Plot: 7.2      Art: 8.0      Dialogue: 7.8      Overall: 7.1


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