I was going to start with my opinion of Bendis and my struggle to drop his titles, but that’s not fair to you. This is a spoiler review because well, it’ll make things interesting. If you’re half as frustrated as I am about all the “mysteries” in Marvel right now (Who is the Black Panther? Who are the New Avengers? Who cares?) then you’re pretty upset. So, let’s get things out of the way.
Iron Patriot=Norman Osborn
Sentry=Blonde Crazy Dude
Ares=Big Jerky God
Wolverine=Daken (Or Dokken as I like to call him)
Is any of that shocking? If you’ve been paying attention, probably not. I was upset about this issue’s price tag of 3.99. I assumed I’d only get the usual 20-22 pages, but you get about ten more. That’s cool. Bendis also packs this issue with a lot of words (Shocking I know) and there are often nine panels on a page. Sadly, this is still mostly set-up. Who the team is, how did they get there, and who’s the villain of this arc are all answered here. Oh right, this is a spoilers review. The villain will be Morgana Le Fay. It’s an odd choice, but Bendis is a fanboy writer. He loves the old Micheline/Layton/Romita Doomquest story (And so do I) so he’ll continue writing about it. That’s the reason for the characters on this team. He loves the way other writers handled them.
Mike Deodato’s art is pretty spectacular. Sure, it’s gritty at times (Because that’s what the book is trying to be), but honestly, it’s the best his work has ever looked. A few years ago I didn’t think Deodato could handle a mainstream flagship spandex title, but I’m glad he proved me wrong. If you enjoyed his art on Ellis’ Thunderbolts, you’ll love it here. It looks similar, but better. Practice makes perfect.
I read somewhere that Bendis was upset about the cost of comics today. That’s the reason for his excessive wordiness. If that’s true, then I’m sure he dislikes the four dollar price as well. It took me quite a while to read this comic and that makes me happy. The art looks fantastic and I enjoy the characters on the team. But again, not much happened here. I know Bendis is great when it comes to details, but he often fails to tell overall good stories. I hope that changes.