Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Avengers #7

Brian Bendis has to be one of Marvel's most dependable writers.

He's produced years worth of (mostly) terrific stories and pushed the Marvel Universe into new and unexpected directions. As prolific as he is, I guess it shouldn't be a surprise if an occasional story seems to stumble a bit - but that's the feeling I got with this issue of The Avengers.

The majority of the issue is given over to the efforts by The Hood (Parker Robbins) to track down the Infinity Gems - a group of powerful items that make the owner virtually invincible.

And that's what leaves me cold. The gems were originally tracked down many years ago by Thanos, and it took every bit of his intelligence, cunning and power to manage that feat.

Now we have The Hood - who's not much more than a street-level punk - working on duplicating that feat. I like Robbins as a villain, but he was terribly overexposed during the Dark Reign, and should be spending some time in prison to atone for his murderous ways.

But the character is obviously one of Bendis' favorites, so he's back and tackling a quest that should be way over his head.

There are other things about the book to dislike: the inclusion of the Red Hulk (a character I find boring); some out-of-character behavior by Wonder Man; and Reed Richards being easily overcome.

But there are good points, too. The art by John Romita, Jr. (with Klaus Janson and Tom Palmer) is terrific as always and there are some good character bits in there, along with a surprise announcement by Noh-Varr.

We're still early in the story, so we'll see where it goes from here - and I often think Bendis occasionally tackles stories that most writers would stay away from just to test his skills.

But it's going to take a lot to bring me around on this one.

Grade: B-


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