Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blogathon 22: Mighty Avengers: The Return of Ultron

[Discussed in this post: Mighty Avengers #1-6.]

The formation of a new Avengers team happens here and Bendis tries to bring thought balloons back god bless him.

The attempt to use thought balloons in a new way by Bendis, as quick interjections and one-liners, is a good attempt. I don't think it works, because they disrupt the flow of his dialogue. Say what you will, but Bendis's dialogue has a very specific rhythm and flow, and suddenly introducing this new element really screws with that. It's a little jarring and makes the comic more difficult to read in a very bad way. If you've read Bendis books for a long time, you'll recognise immediately that it's a failure right from the get-go. I didn't see that right away because I'd been reading Bendis books for all of three or four months and hadn't read many. At first, I loved that he'd brought thought balloons back, but, this time, I found it very difficult to get through.

I love good dialogue, particularly a writer who can make it work like Bendis. Yes, he's heavily influenced by Mamet and Sorkin, but he's got his own spin on it, and to see an experiment butcher it like this does... I hate to see that.

I really enjoyed this story, though, despite the thought balloon experiment. It's big and loud and dumb and Bendis and Cho just have a lot of fun. It's the other side of the coin to New Avengers and a very distinct-looking book. The actual team selection cut in with the team's first mission, fighting the Mole Man and his monsters is very effective. The power struggle between Tony and Carol is interesting since it's Carol's team except when Tony says so. Heh.

The actual threat here is appropraitely big. I love how, on the first day of the Initiative basically, Tony is taken over by the villain and turned into Ultron. A female Ultron at that.

The team's interactions in the field are interesting. You'll notice that, in New Avengers, the team gets along great in the field, while has endless conflicts at home, but, here, the team has endless conflicts in the field. That's a good way to differentiate the teams.

I didn't get right away that this Ultron is meant to look like Jan. Some of the thoughts/comments direct at Pym are also horribly harsh, which is both good and bad. The guy created Ultron, so he's always responsible, but at what point do you begin to stop blaming the guy in a harsh, angry fashion?

You'll notice that this team lacks a 'Captain America.' It never really works out because there's no unifying voice. The leader is in conflict with her boss...

Frank Cho does big, stupid, fun superhero comics very well. These are some absolutely gorgeous issues. It's a shame he's so slow and he delayed these issues quite a bit.

But, again, aside from the thought balloons, I have no real complaints here.

In 30 minutes, Thunderbolts: Faith in Monsters.

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