Friday, March 2, 2012

The New Avengers #22

I've made no secret in past reviews of The New Avengers and the "regular" Avengers title that I'm not crazy about the return of Norman Osborn.

But I have to admit that the story resonates with Roger Stern's Masters of Evil story, wherein the Avengers are attacked by an overwhelming force of villains.

In much the same way, writer Brian Bendis has both Avengers teams being overwhelmed by the combined forces of Osborn (who is mysteriously much more powerful), Hydra, H.A.M.M.E.R., AIM and the Hand, all fueling his new Dark Avengers team.

But the issue struggles under story elements that seem to pop up out of nowhere. Why does a law enforcement group of some kind show up to arrest the New Avengers? Why is the "Occupy" crowd in front of the mansion protesting against the team? Why are buildings exploding in one shot beneath a flying Osborn?

The art holds up its end of the deal, as Mike Deodato and Will Conrad create a lush world that's amazing and intricate.

The last page goes a long way toward convincing me to forgive these questions, but the final judgment will have to wait for next month's issues of Avengers and New Avengers. We'll see.

Grade: B+


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