In addition to Dark Avengers, I started picking up New Avengers as a result of my recent
Dark Reignexperience. I had read New Avengers from time to time prior to Dark Reign, but invariably I would lose interest. Dark Reign brought me back in spite of the fact that the current story in New Avengers is only tangentially related to the reign of Norman Osborn.
Truthfully, this isn’t really even an Avengers story. It’s a Dr. Strange story in disguise. I’ve always liked Dr. Strange more in principle than in practice. While he has a cool costume and powers, he is generally used either for exposition or as a plot device. So, I didn’t really have a great deal of interest in who would be chosen to replace him as the Sorcerer Supreme.
The fact that the eventual replacement turned out to be Brother Voodoo didn’t really heighten my interest at all. While I’ve seen a few Brother Voodoo guest spots in my day, I don’t really know anything at all about the character. However, Bendis did a pretty good job of introducing me to the character and making me like him (and his deceased brother I never knew existed).
The issue turned out to be a fairly by-the-numbers “passing the torch” story with Strange agreeing to serve as Voodoo’s mentor. But the execution was strong enough to make up for the fact that the predictibility of the story. Plus, there were cool mystical explosions like this:
That is exactly the sort of thing I want to see in a Dr. Strange story.
After the battle concludes, Hellstrom gives the Avengers a dire warning which teases at yet another big Marvel event following Dark Reign (uh duh). Then we get a rather intriguing scene with Loki visiting the defeated Hood. And finally, we get back to Norman Osborn… which is perhaps the weakest part of the story.