Review: New Avengers #1

Published on June 17th, 2010

In the aftermath of Dark Reign and the Siege of Asgard, things are finally getting back to normal in the Marvel Universe. The heroes are no longer on the run and Steve Rogers is in charge. With a gaggle of heroes to manage, he has coordinated a number teams with members specially suited for the type of work that team will be doing. To put it mildly, I’m sooooo into this!

The newest team book, and the one I’ve been most looking forward to, is New Avengers #1 written by current Marvel overseer (seriously, what isn’t he writing?) Brian Michael Bendis with some rather nice art from Stuart Immonen.


The book starts out, aside from a brief intro that I’ll get to, at the big super hero party that Steve Rogers threw at the end of Siege. I love the way Bendis makes characters interact, how certain personalities clash and how others don’t. At Steve’s super hero kegger, Steve and Tony Stark are trying to convince Luke Cage to join up with the new direction that the Avengers is taking. Cage doesn’t want to have anything to do with it because he feels that by joining up he’d just be under the thumb of Rogers, Stark and the government sanctioned Avengers which is against all that he had fought for through Civil War and Dark Reign. Stark decides to sell Cage the newly remodled Avengers Mansion for $1 and Rogers assures Cage that his team of Avengers is meant to be autonomous from the main Avengers team and that he won’t be answering to anyone. Cage not only becomes the new owner of Avengers Mansion, not only gets to choose his team roster but it looks like he’s the leader of the New Avengers.

The real curveball that Steve Rogers throws Luke Cage comes later in the book. Rogers sends Victoria Hand, former Deputy Director of H.A.M.M.E.R. under Norman Osborn, to Cage to give him a note from Rogers saying that he wants to make Hand sort of a team handler because she deserves a second chance. After Wolverine confirms that Hand isn’t lying about wanting another chance at helping out, Cage welcomes her aboard.

The rest of the book is split up between Cage getting the New Avengers going and a mystical plotline that looks to be the new team’s first challenge. It involves Dr. Strange and Daimon Hellstrom, the Son Of Satan (yes, literally) being possessed by some unknown demonic force (in the aforementioned intro). The possesed Strange and Hellstrom try to get their hands on the Eye Of Agamotto from Dr. Voodoo, the current Sorcerer Supreme (every time I say that title I get a Taco Bell craving). Voodoo defends the Eye by teleporting it to Cage and the fully gathered New Avengers, who are quickly attacked by the possessed Strange and Hellstrom.

I’ve really been looking forward to this book, if for no other reason than the roster. Not only is it led by Luke Cage, there’s Wolverine, one of my favorite lady heroes – Ms. Marvel, my all time favorite hero – Spider-Man, and the big new edition…Benjamin J. Grimm, a.k.a. The Thing! The rest of the team consists of Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Iron Fist and I believe Jewel will actually be in costume and part of this team at some point. All in all New Avengers feels like it’s intended to be a bit grittier than the main Avengers team (I mean, they’ve got Cage, Wolverine and Thing).

After the main story they continue the “Oral History of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” that started in Avengers #1. This includes some fantastic art by Arthur Adams and Laura Martin.

Overall I was really happy with this book. Immonen’s art is so dynamic and Bendis’ writing is just fantastic. He knows the tone of each character so well. I can’t wait to see where they’re going to go with this team. Plus, I keep hoping that Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel are going to hook up. They’ve been hinting at this forever! Come on already!

P.S. I promise I won’t review another Bendis book next week. Ok, I’m off to get a Sorcerer Supreme – I mean burrito supreme!

Ian Candish