Mighty Avengers #13

Mighty_Avengers_Vol_1_13

Summary:

http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Mighty_Avengers_Vol_1_13

The Good:

In this issue we take a bit of an interlude to see how the Secret Warriors, a team who’s first issue I had reviewed previously (https://jousmafiles.wordpress.com/2015/09/08/secret-warriors-1/) but who I didn’t know too much about. Seems that the team was brought together by Nick Fury initially to fight against the Skrull invasion because he needed a team of people he knew he could trust, a team that was not on anyone’s books. A team led by everyone’s favorite Inhuman, Daisy Johnson. (She’s known as Skye on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD television show.)

I have a soft spot for any comic that begins just a few blocks from where I am reading it. It opens in Mount Tabor Park in Portland, Oregon where Daisy meets up with Nick Fury who is in disguise. The disguise is actually pretty funny. In the main Marvel story line, Nick Fury is white. He was only established as black in the Ultimate universe created by Brian Bendis. In this issue, he meets up with Daisy in disguise as the black version of himself in the Ultimate universe.

I liked the interaction Daisy had with each new team member that Nick Fury suggested she speak with. Even a jarring intro she had with a young lady who could read the future seemed natural. While I don’t have a clue where Daisy fits into the grand scheme of things in the Secret Invasion, the team that’s been put together is an interesting group.

The artwork did a good job in showing the individuality of the characters. The scene I enjoyed most was the intro to Doctor Druid’s son. He’d arrived at Doctor Strange’s old home for help where Daisy meets up him. He knows something is up due to having some powers but he doesn’t know where they come from or how to handle them. When Daisy tells him she can help him get a grasp on everything, the smile he gives when hugging her is priceless.

The Bad:

Based on the cover of the issue you’d think that you’d have an issue dealing with the Skrull versions of the heroes we all know and love. You’d be wrong. While the story told in these pages wasn’t bad by any means, it is a kind of bait and switch. Nick Fury has already been introduced into the story so having him on the cover would not have been too far fetched to have. Yet we think we’re going to see Captain America and encounter nothing of the sort.

The story itself, if you can even call it that, felt too short. While it could be said that this could be due to enjoyment of the story, that the story was so good that it felt like it was over before it had a chance to start, I counter that it felt fast because not much of anything really happened. We meet a group of people who on the last frame are lectured by Nick Fury about the pending invasion as they glance of pictures of people Fury believes to be potential Skrulls.

While you don’t doubt that Nick Fury has his heart in the right place, similar to The Punisher you have to ask why he takes some of the actions that he does. He seems to feel that the ends justify the means and that in the name of world peace it is ok to deceive, lie to , hurt, and even have killed people you may love and respect. We get that the Skrull invasion is a pretty serious threat and that big decisions will have to be made but at this point, Nick Fury is in charge of jack shit. His getting involved without SHIELD being involved just makes no sense and makes me not really care for the character that much.

They’re touching on this albeit briefly in the Marvel Movie universe as well. While Nick Fury is supposed to be in charge of the Earth defense force, he keeps a lot to himself and doesn’t trust too many people. There’s a plan B for everything. Again, you sense that he has the right intentions for his actions but in the movies you can’t tell me he didn’t know Hydra had infiltrated SHIELD. There is no way he is that dumb. And if he knew Hydra had infiltrated SHIELD, why didn’t he do anything about it? What is his end game?

The art for this issue, while much better than the last issue of Mighty Avengers, still has that sloppy feel that I didn’t really care for. I like my art a lot cleaner than what is presented in this issue. Locations don’t really appear real. Characters have this non-realistic look that is quite jarring. The disguise I had mentioned Nick Fury was wearing earlier looked nothing like his Ultimate universe self looks like which pretty much ruins the point of having that joke. If you didn’t know about the Ultimate Nick Fury, you have to ask yourself why Nick Fury is walking around in public in black face and how anybody could fall for it?

Bottom Line:

I was harsh on this comic. In some ways it deserves it because there is not much going on. What it does though is introduce you to a new set of characters that I am intrigued to know a little more about. Who are these people and what are their links to characters we may already know? How will they work as a team? Will Daisy Johnson be a good leader? All questions I want to know the answer to. For that, I have to give the story a 7.

The art I am conflicted on. I think it looks horrible. It does however have a couple of good touches such as how Doctor Druid’s son was depicted which was nice to see. I really wish it was much cleaner because the mess really detracts from what was done well. For sloppy drawing, I have to give the art a 4.

This is not a bad issue. I am not looking to see people purposely skip this issue because there is a lot to enjoy. Just know that you are not getting a comic classic. This will just get you to the next issue of the Secret Invasion.

New Avengers #34

New Avengers 34

Summary:

http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/New_Avengers_Vol_1_34

The Good:

The Secret Invasion continues. This issue is concerned with the group dynamic of the renegade Avengers that we met when they faced off against The Hand. Trust is nowhere to be found what with the possibility one of them could be a Skrull infiltrator. I really dug how Bendis went about sowing the mistrust among the team while still keeping them clinging to the hope that the people they’d treated like family were just that, family.

The best part of this issue was Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. It reminded me of my wife and I when she blurts out something that I may be thinking but am not talking openly about. Luke Cage suspects his wife and daughter are Skrulls. He has nothing to base this on but pure paranoia. She calls him out on his shit in front of everyone and with the assistance of Doctor Strange, proves that she and their daughter are who they say they are.

Bendis did a wonderful job with the ending, kind of tying it up with the previous issue in the Secret Invasion that I reviewed where Tony Stark’s version of The Avengers went off to fight a city full of Venom clones. In what could be the unifying factor of the two teams since the superhero Civil War, they both arrive to begin battle. Just as they arrive, a cliff hanger occurs when Echo is attacked with some of the Venom formula.

The art was reminiscent at least to me of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. On face value it appears to be hastily put together but in doing so at times it brings out characterization that may not have happened with a more cleaner approach.

I also liked that there felt like there was more scope to the drawing in this issue. Things felt bigger even when we were in an interior location. My previous complaints of scope we more than resolved in this issue.

The Bad:

The opening scenes did not make much sense in regards to the story line at hand. Yes, if I had looked back an issue I could have found out what The Hood was doing fighting Wolverine but being that this particular issue was third in line in the suggested reading order for the Secret Invasion story line, I expected a little more follow up but that particular part of the story was not followed up on. Maybe it’s because I am coming to this with a more traditional sense of story in terms of stories having a definitive beginning, middle, and end. Comics are traditionally more snapshots into the life of particular characters and like life, you don’t always have the definitive starting point to follow. Being that this is the suggested reading order however, I do wish more consideration was taken into account for readers like myself who don’t subscribe to every single issue of every comic they put out. If you are going to have a story that is told over multiple issues and multiple titles of comics, it has to be a little more cohesive than this story is. And we’re only on issue three.

While the art was good in a lot of respects, it was a little too sloppy for my tastes. This is just personal preference here but the art was a bit of an annoyance more than it helped the story. As I stated, I liked that it added more scope as well as adding more to certain moments when it came to characterization but I found myself more than anything just wanting to get through the issue. It just looked ugly.

Bottom Line:

As an individual issue, this really didn’t do much for me. It had some really good moments no doubt, especially between Luke Cage and Jessica Jones but that was the wheat among a LOT of chaff. In a long form story, not every chapter will be a winner. You can’t have moments that contain tons of action of tons of reveals, just meat to the story that people crave. Sometimes you need exposition to set you up for greater things down the road. I do believe this issue did that in terms of hinting at a possible reconciliation among the two Avengers teams but as a stand alone work, I have to give this a 4.

The art I’m conflicted on. What was done well was done really well. But the overall darkness and sloppiness is just something that I couldn’t overcome the further I got into the story. I’m not saying that Leinil Yu is a bad artist. I just didn’t care for the material as presented in this work. It felt like an amateur trying their best to copy Frank Miller. There can only be one Frank Miller and it’s not this person. I give the art a 5.