Sunday, May 16, 2010


drive-by readings

Dark Avengers #16 (Marvel)
Brian Michael Bendis
Mike Deodato
Rain Beredo
Cory Petit

with this, the long-awaited conclusion of the most well-received villain-as-heroes piece since the original Thunderbolts debuted in 1997, i am a little sad to say goodbye to these jerks and not have the monthly dose of their deliciously sleazy and nasty skulduggery. it does make sense with the end of Siege, there's no need for this dirty Avengers team anymore. Bendis and Deodato have created a masterpiece of their time, a reflection of the world in general and America in particular, set in superhero mythos. similar to Busiek and Bagley's Thunderbolts who stepped in with the disappearance of the major heroes, Dark Avengers came in with the ascension of Norman Osborn, the discrediting of the same beloved heroes, filling a void and had terrifying real-life prospects if it were, well ... real life. imagine if the US government was completely taken over by a bunch of ruthless trigger-happy conservatives, hawking their brand of patriotism and bent on remaking the world in their image. oh wait ...

and yet somehow, the end of the Dark Avengers doesn't seem to satisfy the bloodlust that built during their reign. by bloodlust, i mean the rage at these guys to bring them to justice. Frank Castle missed his chance to assassinate Osborn, and eventually got dismembered by Daken. the X-Men battled them to a standstill, but for pragmatic reasons, retreated to their own island. Clint Barton was just useless. i wanted blood.

apart from the one-two punch dealt by Tony and Luke to an escaping Moonstone and Bullseye, i guess we can expect nothing else but jail for these felons. we all know prisons never hold them (what else brought together the New Avengers?), so i'm almost expecting nobody will really get punished, despite Nick Fury's promise to Phobos, despite seeing Norman Osborn trapped in prison in his cell with his mocking Goblin persona.

nitpicking a bit, it would have been great to have consistent panels with all the related titles (see bad guy positions below). overall, the coordination of the sequences were good.

also, we saw the introduction of an increasingly-intriguing and possibly another long-term character in the Marvel Universe. somehow they managed to shove Val Cooper aside and position first Maria Hill, and now Victoria Hand, to be (action-oriented) liaisons to the superhuman community. and they're obviously much more than cookie-cutter characters. take Victoria for instance. most of the time she's hot, especially with her backstory in #11. although, well, look at Victoria here, she looks a little weird and a little bit exaggerated on the chesty side.

my hats off to Brian Bendis and Mike Deodato for a sterling run. see you in Secret Avengers.

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