Review: Dark Avengers #4

(***)

I have good news and bad news. I’ve always been one to take the bad news first. That way, you leave things on a positive note.

The Bad: There are so many, but a lot of them are little things. I’ll do my best to keep it brief. The characters are handled poorly, particularly the ones Bendis doesn’t know how to handle, like Noh-Varr. I don’t think he’d ever say, “I’ve got my hands full!” There’s also a “joke” where Noh doesn’t know what eBay is. This is the guy who learned everything about Earth, why wouldn’t he know what eBay is? Or why couldn’t he tell that Ms. Marvel (Moonstone) was hitting on him? He’s already had two loves. Also, Morgana Le Fay continues to be written horribly. She’s a lovesick bitch who dies again in this issue! What is that, four times now? That of course brings up the whole time nonsense, something a writer should never use unless it’s very clear and very necessary. This was neither. There’s even a moment in this issue where Doom talks about not screwing time up, and then by the end, Doom himself seemed to have done quite a bit of time-screwing.

The Good: My god, the art is beautiful. I mean, Deodato has always been good, but this is ridiculous, even his page layouts are getting more dynamic. As I’m sure you all know, Bendis loves his splash-pages. There’s about six or so, in here. Even though we’re wasting six of the 22 pages in a four-dollar comic, you probably won’t complain much because Deodato’s renderings are so gorgeous. You can get wallpaper from this issue here. It should also be mentioned that Rain Beredo’s coloring adds tremendously, as well.

Final Word: There are some good moments. The last page is pretty cool. Then again, it’s mostly Mike Deodato that makes it cool. The writing isn’t terrible, but there were certainly a lot of mistakes. The first arc concludes, an arc that probably should have been an issue or two less. This issue should probably be about two stars, but I’m a sucker for the art. I do like the characters, despite Bendis’ occasional mishandling, and I am interested in where things are going. I’ll probably stick around until the end of Fraction’s upcoming arc, and then we’ll see. For the rest of you, proceed with caution.

5 thoughts on “Review: Dark Avengers #4

  1. Pingback: Dark Avengers #4 Review!

  2. You shouldn’t have a problem with how Le Fey “died” in this issue.

    She wasn’t defeated by Earths Mightiest Heroes. She was bested by Doctor Doom, her own pupil, and they only reason Doom won was because her cauldron was present.

    I will admit that the whole “time travel” thing and how she was able to come back in issue 3 was confusing.

    As for Doom taking Le Fay’s castle? Yeah there should be some consequences for taking her castle but again, he Doctor Doom man. I’m sure he’s messed with the time stream plenty of times.

  3. Sometimes I think I should always post spoiler reviews so I wouldn’t have to tiptoe around everything.

    Le Fey died again when Ms. Marvel blasted her off that dragon.

    The time travel was used horribly. You can’t really explain it, other than by saying, “It did whatever Bendis wanted it to do.”

    Not only did Doom screw with time by stealing Morgana’s castle, he also sent Morgana herself back in time.

    Oh, and something that really bugged me, that I forgot to put in the review, was Bendis drawing attention to his own magical jibber jabber. I already have to tolerate it, I don’t want a wink about it, too.

  4. Here’s my take on the problems with time travel in DA #4, originally posted as a comment elsewhere:

    As it turned out, the handling of time travel in the issue was disastrously bad, bad enough to sink the entire storyline.

    Events in the past produce the present. That should be simple enough for anyone, even Bendis & co., to understand. That fact, though, means that events in the past are fixed, absent changes wreaked by time travel to the past.

    Morgana could not reach forward into her own future as Bendis had her do. That’s an absolute impossibility. To suppose otherwise would force one to think that the past is in a constant state of flux, with an unknown number of time travelers reaching forward into the future and an equally unknown number altering the past. That doesn’t happen, though — each trip into the past is treated as a singularity — which means that Morgana’s trips can’t happen.

    In a logical system, Doom’s trips into the past would have taken him to alternate timelines, and Morgana’s trips would have taken her to potential futures. There would have been no effect on the “prime” timeline.

    Bendis’s solution, having Doom send Morgana into the deep past, didn’t work even in the context of the story, because displacing her from her “proper” spot in the timeline would have the same effect as killing her (assuming that she was actually trapped in the deep past and couldn’t use magic to return).

    The end result is that no aspect of time travel worked properly, and the poor reader would be forced to write off the arc as a non-story, a case of terrible editing — except that Bendis had Osborn say, “Time travel gives me a headache,” and Brevoort approved the dialogue. Either Bendis and Brevoort were joking about the failure of the plot, or they were demonstrating their incompetence.

    Irresponsibility versus incompetence. What a choice.

    SRS

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