REVIEW: NEW AVENGERS #3
Following suit on the commercial success of DC’s “New 52,” Marvel recently relaunched most of their titles under the banner of “Marvel Now!” Unlike DC, they didn’t jettison their history in the process. Some of the books have been pretty good, some less so.
Mostly because I was getting the previous title of the same name, my local shop has been putting “New Avengers” in my pull list. Newer Avengers? Newest Avengers? The first and second issues intrigued me enough to keep going, but number three has gotten me to drop the book.
One of Marvel’s more interesting creations over the last several years has been the Illuminati. Not the conspiracy theorist dream group, but rather a gathering of some of the heavy hitters from the different areas of Marvel’s heroes: Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Black Bolt, Dr. Strange, Professor Xavier, and Namor the Sub-Mariner. This group has met several times to debate issues of importance to Marvel’s Earth, and was an interesting group lurking in the background. In New Avengers, that group adds Black Panther, who initially refused membership and said it was a terrible idea.
Black Panther learns that Earth is in danger, this time from strange multi-dimensional peril that is causing different versions of Earth to collide with each other, destroying both. The group meets and decides they will reunite the Infinity Gems to recreate the Infinity Gauntlet, an artifact that gives the wearer pretty much ultimate, infinite power. They agree that the best choice to use it is Captain America, one of the most moral and upright of the heroes.
The Beast is brought in as Professor Xavier’s replacement, Xavier having been killed during the A vs X event last year. The heroes unite the Gems, and something goes wrong. Most of the Gems shatter, the Time Gem vanishes, and everyone blames Cap. Cap is worried they are going to create a weapon to start destroying other Earths if more show up, and the others all say he’s being unreasonable. Then, in a scene that should be familiar to DC fans from a few years ago, the other heroes attack Captain America and erase his memory of the entire incident via one of Dr. Strange’s spells.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, during the Identity Crisis series a few years ago, the Justice League was split on how to handle something, and decided to do something a bit on the dark side, messing with a villain’s brain. Batman objected, and they ended up attacking him and erasing his memory, courtesy of Zatanna.
So let’s see… non-powered hero attacked by more powerful teammates, check. Betrayed by friends, check. Non-powered hero was advocating a moral choice that made things harder on the heroes, check. And said hero gets his memory erased by a fellow hero using magic, check. Seems Mr. Hickman may have read Metzler’s Identity Crisis before he wrote that scene in New Avengers.
Anyway, this is it for me on this book. Civil War was a good story, and the heroes splitting made some degree of sense to me. This seems a lot different to me, and a lot less excusable. As Corrina Lawson, of Geekmom fame, commented about this trend in comics, “… I’m tired of people in costumes with powers. I just want my superheroes back.” I’m kind of tired of sometimes having to really think about it before being sure who the bad guy is.
I rate the plot at 3 out of 5 stars, which might be generous. The scene with Cap really does seem to be lifted from Identity Crisis. Then again, points for seemingly destroying five of the six Infinity Gems.
The art is good, and I’ll give it 4 out of 5. The scenes are well drawn.
For more by this author, go to www.watchtowermansion.com