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New Avengers #48 Review

New Avengers #48 review by Donna Jackson

Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Billy Tan

The best thing that can be said about this issue is that itís extremely new-reader friendly. Itís a good place to start for anyone curious about Marvel comics, and there will be a good amount of such readers, seeing as the Secret Invasion got a decent amount of mainstream coverage outside of the comic book realms. My previous complaints about stories such as World War Hulk that it did not truly change the landscape of the Marvel Universe will definitely not hold up post-SI.

With a new supervillain Illuminati born out of an unexpected rise to power, itís now the perfect time for the Avengers to once again assemble. Taking place as soon as Secret Invasion ends, Bucky Barnes, now as the new Captain America, gathers Wolverine, Ronin, the recently returned Mockingbird, and Spider-Man to form the New Avengers in Steve Rogersí old Bronx apartment. Wolverine also asks Spider-Woman, (the real one, not the Skrull one) to join the team, to which the rest of the team reluctantly agrees. Luke Cage has been invited to join the new team as well, but membership is the last thing on his mind. As the Invasion came to a close, his wife Jessica Jones left their baby Danielle with Tony Starkís trusted butler Jarvis. When the real Jarvis appears in the spaceship at the conclusion of Secret Invasion, Jessica realizes her horrible mistake; the Jarvis who has her baby is a Skrull, and one of the last remaining ones on Earth. With the help of the Fantastic Four and Iron Fist, the New Avengers turn the city upside down looking for baby Danielle. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and with no real leads to the Skrull Jarvis, Luke Cage makes a deal with one of Marvelís most powerful figures. Itís not a total surprise, but seeing a hero like Cage ask for help in such unlikely places makes me glad that I will be following the series more and more closely.

Brian Bendisí New Avengers are very direction-driven, in the way that for the first time in a long time, the heroes have a mission instead of being consumed by paranoia and mistrust amongst themselves. The whole book focuses on the impossible task of finding the Skrull impersonating Jarvis, and the Avengers leave no stone unturned in what may ultimately prove to be a hopeless plan. Bendisís style is in full effect here. This is indeed a talky book, but no dialogue feels wasted or unnecessary as Ronin reunites with his wife Mockingbird or Mr. Fantastic explains how difficult it will be to find any Skrull in the city. The new Captain America is a bit more comfortable in the role of leader than Brubaker writes him in his own book, but it feels good to see a Cap taking charge of his soldiers again, even if itís not Steve Rogers. Billy Tanís pencils look great, with almost every character getting at least one cool pose in, and Jessica and Luke showing an abundant amount of tears and emotion.

The Avengers team has been inconsistent ever since the Civil War. Now (mostly) Skrull-free, Marvelís definitive superhero group has what appears to be a real line-up, and the first post- Secret Invasion story arc is ripe with possibilities for the future of the Universe. These are truly the New Avengers, and now is the perfect time to follow them right into Dark Reign.


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