Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blogathon 26: New Avengers: The Trust

[Discussed in this post: New Avengers #32-37 and annual #2.]

The Trust is the fall-out of the discovery of Elektra as a Skrull. The team doesn't know who to trust anymore. Now, I think introducing the Skrulls this quickly was a bit of a misstep since we weren't really given enough time for "The Initiative" to play out. I'll get into this in my next post on Mighty Avengers, but we get two stories in each book of this status quo before everything changes again? That's a little rushed, don't you think? And this book spends most of its second story worrying about the upcoming story that changes everything again.

In this story, Bendis makes his second big 'lost character resurrection' when he brings back the Hood, a character from a Brian K. Vaughan MAX series. He's reintroduced here as a player trying to be the new kingpin of New York, basically. He begins organising the bad guys -- gives them seed money, beats up on Tigra, puts them in a position where they'll feel important and effective. It's a good idea and I'll admit that since I'm not as familiar with the Hood, it doesn't bother me as much as what he does with the Sentry (which I have mixed feelings on) or Noh-Varr (which really annoys me). But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Before that, the team has to deal with the trust issue. An issue that isn't helped when Spider-Woman runs away with the Skrull's body after the EMP from The Return of Ultron knocks their plane out of the air. She takes the body to Tony Stark, figuring he's the guy who'll know what to do. Understandably, this only adds to the friction in the team.

Luke Cage has the most problems with the Skrull -- at first he's happy, because it could explain everything away and gives them an enemy for everyone to unite against -- but he even loses trust in his wife being who she says she is. Bendis here has a lot of fun with himself and the readers as all of those changes the characters have undergone that some people hate? He raises them all as cause to believe people are Skrulls. Of course, none of these characters (aside from Spider-Woman) turns out to be Skrulls, so that makes it even funnier.

The way by which the trust problem is solved is via a spell by Dr. Strange, which reveals the inner truth of everyone. The cover to issue 34 depicts who everyone sees themself as and it's interesting stuff.

During this time, Wolverine comes across the Hood, who has Deathlok and is deciding what to do with it. Logan overhears the idea of sending it up against Stark's Avengers, so the New Avengers do the right thing and go to warn them -- but that's when the Venom Symbiote Virus breaks out (see Mighty Avengers: The Infiltration) and everyone except Luke Cage and Wolverine (kinda) are taken over by symbiotes. Once the problem is solved the two teams stick around for clean-up and go their separate ways.

This concludes in a couple of confrontation with the Hood's group. The first ends with the Hood's team defeated and some of them in jail. The second takes place in Strange's house where he uses dark magic to save the day, resulting him giving up the title of Sorcerer Supreme, Jessica Jones runs to Avengers Tower, and everyone is kind of fucked with no place to live.

Yu continues to do some great art. I like his rough style here. His character don't always look how they do elsewhere, but that doesn't bother me.

The turn around of the Hood is interesting. I understand people's concern with the Tigra stuff as that is unsettling. No idea why Bendis picked her. The trust issues are handled well and eliminated easily. Like I said, I don't like that the Skrull threat was raised so quickly into "The Initiative." As well, we get two instances in this story where the Mighty Avengers let the New Avengers go without arrest. So maybe it was time for a change, because that got old quickly.

Not as strong as "Revolution," but still really interesting. The dynamic between Luke and Jessica continues to be some of Bendis's best writing. The way he has Luke act like a total jackass is great, because that's not you expect him to act. He's supposed to be The Man, but the Skrull really shakes him up. It shows off just how much it shakes him up in a smart way.

Also, who wasn't hoping so damn much at this point that Tony Stark was a Skrull? We all wanted that so much. Damn, they let us down there, didn't they?

In 30 minutes, Mighty Avengers: The Infiltration.

[Don't forget to donate what you can to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund! After you do, let me know via comment or e-mail (found at the righthand side) so I can keep track of donations -- and who to thank.]