Friday, January 6, 2012

Avengers Annual #1

See, this is one of those issues that brings out the angry old fogey hiding in my mind.

Marvel's Annuals were once things of wonder. They'd show up in the summer and feature a historic event (Reed and Sue's Wedding), a big story (all the Avengers gather together to fight a big menace), or just a fun tale (Spider-Man and Dr. Strange team up).

These days - not so much.

I can't remember the last annual that felt "special." They now seem to be slightly bigger versions of regular issues with a much bigger price tag.

This issue of Avengers Annual is a great example. It follows up on the events in the New Avengers Annual by giving us... the same exact story. Wonder Man has apparently lost his mind, he's gathered up some powerful misfits and uses them to attack the two Avengers teams.

Much destruction follows.

And that's about it. Oh, in this issue we see Wonder Man using some PR strategies, and the Avengers are apparently too stupid to realize it. You'd think they'd be used to it - Norman Osborn did the same thing during the Dark Reign, and he's doing it again in the ongoing issues of the Avengers comics - none of which, by the way, show any signs of the story in this annual happening.

Look, I'm a fan of writer Brian Bendis - this just isn't his best work at all. Artist Gabriele Dell'otto provides some strong art, but it's also dark and confusing in places.

So the issue basically features lots of destruction and some nonsense dialogue between the two sides - and in the end, no one has learned anything and nothing is different.

Except that you, the reader, are out 5 bucks.

Grade: D+

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