Review: Avengers #3

Published on July 26th, 2010

And finally, here comes the good stuff! At its third issue, Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr have at long last won me over. I loved this issue. It was everything a good Avengers comic should, in my opinion be. The first two issues were hit and miss in their various ways, but this issue used the ups and downs of what was the ‘build-up stuff’ in the previous issues to really propel itself to infinity and beyond. This series can’t come down from the high level it’s put itself in with the contents of this issue, and I find it very hard to imagine the opposite to happen within the following chapters of this arc.

As I’ve said, it has everything a good Avengers comic needs. Firstly, it has the Avengers. It always helps to have them around, as otherwise… well you know, it just sort of helps. Secondly, it’s got the beautiful combination of hearty action and good plot development, which by that I mean the sort of good ‘plot development’ which doesn’t concern itself with the knuckles of a God smashing someone else’s face to pieces. It’s written well, and drawn well too. I know I’ve knocked Romita Jr’s art lately on this title, but in this issue something was different, something was ‘off’ but in a good way. It could have been anything from the way he drew the strong armored body of Apocalypse through to the outstanding colours, but whatever it was I was very pleased with it!

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We left the Avengers last time about to face Apocalypse and his four horsemen. The first half of this issue is a battle, whilst the second half is Tony and ‘Alien Boy’ (Noh-Varr) building a new time machine and Maria Hill splitting the Avengers into two teams who will deal with this corrupt timestream. The fight with Apocalypse and his horsemen is bloody entertaining, and it is introduced through the eyes of two teenagers who are watching the Avengers Tower from their apartment or house, when Thor suddenly comes flying through their wall after Apocalypse threw him into it during the fight. The coverage of the fight was leveled and we got a great deal of panels featuring all the members having a shot at their enemies hear, so no character was neglected in the writing of this fight. There was a really remarkable scene with Tony and Spidey, where Tony’s suit failed and he was falling down from high in the air to the streets below and Spidey was freefalling after him, trying to save him. Just at the last minute he was saved by Spidey and both the dialouge and the art for this scene really took me away, it was touching in a ‘bro’ way and highly intense. I want to also mention that once again, Bendis nailed Spidey’s humour as he always does (it’s almost not worth mentioning now).

The deal now is that Maria Hill has split the Avengers into two teams. Tony, Noh-Varr, Bucky Cap and Wolverine are going into the time machine to deal with the future, whilst Hawkeye, Spidey, Spiderwoman and herself stay in New York to deal with the problems the open time stream caused. I cannot wait to see some future butt-kicking action from the main Avengers, and the problems in New York seem to be getting pretty heavy with characters from all across time popping up in the streets. The last page proves that this situation is dangerous too.

Bendis did a great job of writing all the characters, and for the most part made them all distinctly recognisable in personality. It’s worth mentioning that in the previous two issues I was dissapointed that Bendis was not writing most of the characters here in the Avengers, as they are meant to be written. Especially Iron Man. But this issue really changed that and I was reading the characters I know and love.

I will say, I was skeptic about this story involving a broken time stream, and I still am to an extent, as it is happening right now as well in the Marvel cosmic stories with the universe on the brink of invasion. I am glad though to see Bendis handling it well and dealing with it in the good Marvel way. I am now a fan of the way he threw the Avengers straight into a deep story and didn’t fanny around with the aftermath of Siege or Dark Reign.

This story is great, and I love the Avengers stories when they deal with problems and enemies who are not from this Earth, or of our human understanding. Those are generally my favourite stories, so to have a story unfold like this from the start is really quite pleasing. This is definetly a must read, though it did take 3 issues to convert me onto it, I would say give it a try.

Rob Andrews
Rob@ComicImpact.com