Friday, December 31, 2010

The Avengers #8

I find it impressive that I'm enjoying this comic even though I don't care much for the storyline (for reasons mentioned in last month's review).

This issue focuses on a reunion (of sorts) of The Illuminati. That group is made up of five of the Earth's most powerful defenders, gathered together before (and during) Marvel's Civil War to covertly tackle some of the biggest menaces facing the Earth.

One of their adventures involved the Infinity Gems. When combined, the owner controlled all reality - as Thanos demonstrated some years back.

To safeguard the gems, they were divided among the members of the Illuminiati - but now The Hood has somehow gained the knowledge and the ability to track them down.

This issue also involves the Red Hulk, who goes to the Avengers for help in dealing with The Hood.

While the storyline doesn't do much for me, as always, writer Brian Bendis works his usual magic with crisp dialogue and great characterization.

The real star of the issue, though, is artist John Romita, Jr. and inker Klaus Janson. They're doing amazing work here and have picked up the torch carried for so many years by Junior's dad and John Buscema. Lots of powerful craftsmanship on display here.

Bendis might yet win me over with this story, but there are lots of things to dislike. Bringing back the Illuminati brings back the ghost of the evil Tony Stark who brought about the vile Civil War. The Hood is a poor substitute for Thanos (or any number of cosmic menaces). And the all-powerful weapon bit has been done to pieces.

But even with that, this is a comic that pops to the top of my reading stack and stays there. Go figure.

Grade: B+


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