I don’t want to spoil anything because I want to warn you. The New Avengers do not fight the Dark Avengers in this issue. So if that was the reason why you were going to buy this issue, you can save your fin. If you’re still willing to throw down your cash, at least you won’t be as disappointed when the big promised fight doesn’t come.
I’d like to say that something even better than the predictable Avengers vs. Avengers battle occurs in this issue, but that would be lying, and lies make baby Jesus cry. The fact is, you still get something you’ve seen before and it’s still very much in the spirit of Dark Reign, so you shouldn’t be too disappointed. What makes the “big fight” unique, is the guest artists, Bryan Hitch, Steve McNiven, David Aja, and more. These artists pencil a page featuring a character that they’ve drawn before or will draw soon. It’s a nice technique that makes a forgettable fight memorable.
This of course brings me to the main artist, Billy Tan. I’ve never thought that Tan, despite his recent improvement, was good enough to handle such an important Marvel title, and his art looks even uglier here. It’s possible that he was rushed, but whatever the reason, the art looks bad, especially when it’s next to the renderings of some of the most talented artists working today. What’s worse than its actual appearance, are the several repeated panels throughout the book. Not only does Billy Tan’s art look poor, but this book makes Tan seem lazy as well.
Overall, for the five dollars you spend to purchase this book, you’ll get a mixed bag. The art ranges from bad to great and so does the writing. A lot of Bendis’ jokes fall flat. And even though Bendis tried to throw us a curve ball, the end result proved much more annoying than what was actually promised. However, even though the comic has its flaws, I couldn’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy at the end. I’m not the biggest Hawkeye fan, but I couldn’t help but jump with glee when it came to this book’s last couple of pages. It’s a pleasing finale that promises good things to come.