Review: Avengers #13

Published on May 23rd, 2011

Brian Michael Bendis has given us a lot of great stories in the Marvel Universe. It is rare that we get a bad story from him; likewise Chris Bachalo’s career has given us some beautiful artwork as he continues to wow us on books like X-Men and The Amazing Spider-Man. How, now, do they fare working together on this issue of The Avengers #13? Read on to find out.

avengers13Well folks, it is officially event time in the Marvel Universe, which means we will start to see more and more of Fear Itself snake into our beloved books. The Avengers is no different but how well is the transition between fighting The Hood and dealing with the Infinity Gauntlet, to now being at the mercy of old Asgardian gods out for vengeance on earth? Let’s take this somewhat painful journey together!

As the book opens we are treated to some truly great, framed versions of individual Avengers being interviewed. These sets of interviews, drawn beautifully by Bachalo, seem to take place in every time period of the Avengers history except the one we are currently in. The story line is pretty basic after that, you pretty much are treated to all the characters you know and love talking vaguely about things that either have happened in the past or that are about to happen with the Fear Itself storyline currently engulfing Marvel right now. This part of the book was ok as far as Bendis is concerned, but it felt a bit out of place as we still don’t know all the events going on in Fear Itself. I know I have mentioned this before and I know I will probably have to do it again, but Marvel and DC and any other company has got to plan out the timing of their books better. If they want to give us something unique and tell us an interesting story then at the very least do it right.

The other half of the book turns into an insipid episode of any teen drama and seems completely out of place. This part of the story is set up by Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel talking about boys. Ok I get that. Grown women talking about men is not out of place and not the thing I have a problem with. The part that bothers me most is the way in which they are doing it. They are acting as though these strong woman are prepubescent girls talking about some teen heart throb. Bendis is far far more capable then this and has proven so with his work on Alias, which baffles me that he would write these two women as though they are hapless little girls who aren’t capable of making strong decisions in their life and giggle at the drop of a dime. This issue proves that if not done properly, no matter who the writers is, a character must stay true to the way they have been written in the past. There is always room for development in any character but they still have to have some form of consistency.

Final Verdict: The Avengers is a great book and should always be handled with care. This issue, while having great art, fell short of the mark due to Bendis’s poor characterizations of Spider-Woman and Ms. Marvel.  Every one has a bad day on the job sometimes,  let’s just hope this is his one and we can all move  forward.

Sheldon Lee