Wednesday, March 11, 2009

REVIEW :: Dark Avengers

by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr.

Fans of the Avengers should be pleased these days — and that’s due to the fact that there are at least four ongoing Avengers-centric titles currently on sale at comic book shops.

Now, I say should be happy because, although there are multiple Avengers-related comics in the marketplace, not all of them are good.

I’m sort of bored with The New Avengers. It seems like these guys have been fighting the same villains and dealing with the same conflicts for 50 issues straight. I used to love The Mighty Avengers because it was most like what I used to love about the comic back in the day: big-time heroes and big-time villains; with Dan Slott at the helm, however, I’m not so excited. Hank Pym as the new Wasp? I’m not feeling it.

But while I’m not head over heels about the New or Mighty titles, I am enjoying Dark Avengers — and that’s a surprise.

When Dark Avengers was announced, I groaned. To me, it just seemed like a re-hash of the Thunderbolts. (Of course, I really liked Warren EllisThunderbolts.) But after reading the first two issues, I found myself hooked. Why? I think the team’s line-up is what makes interesting.

Look at it like this: the other Avengers have to live by their “heroic” code of conduct, and that sometimes results in some “blah” characterizations. The Dark Avengers on the other hand, are villains and psychopaths, so their personalities are over just naturally the top — and that’s fun. You never really know what the team’s members are going to do and you can always count on some great dialogue coming out of their mouths. Series writer Brian Bendis is clearly having a ball with this group of bad-guys-gone-good, and it shows on the page.

In addition, Dark Avengers is drawn by Mike Deodato, so it’s pretty to look at, too.

Buy the book. It’s good. Trust me.

Carlton Hargro is the Editor-in-Chief of Creative Loafing. Read more by Carlton at the Creative Loafing website.


Matthew Knapik said...

Carlton, you never said a thing about Avengers: The Initiative (mentioned in passing as "one of four" Avengers titles). I'll admit I haven't been keeping up with with this title post-Civil War, but when I heard Humberto Ramos was going to be penciling the latest arc, I started to pick it up - I'm glad I did. The Initiative has a history of being a good-bit more edgier and violent than most Marvel super hero books. Not edgy and violent with a twist of humor like Dead-Pool, but something weirder, darker, maybe? No character stays static for very long - there is a lot of death and deception. You shouldn't get too attached to any one character or you run the risk of being heart-broken or disappointed. Baron Von Blitzschlag's devious cloning experiments and creepy Eastern Bloc accent helps in the weirder/darker department. Just my two-cents.

Rusty Baily said...

Thanks for both of your cents fellas!