Catching Up on Reviews, Part 2 — Avengers & Avengers Children’s Crusade (quinnelk)

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Avengers: The Children’s Crusade – Young Avengers (Marvel) – This is a very well-drawn comic book. I’m always a fan of Alan Davis’s work and this is some of the best stuff he’s done. The story is good as well, and ends with a good cliffhanger that draws you into the too-long delayed Children’s Crusade story.

Story: 8.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.25

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #5 (Marvel) – Jim Cheung’s art is pretty amazing in this issue and the series is one of the most important things Marvel is doing right now in terms of their continuity and history. A bit of this story is deus ex machina-like and the delays on this series are mind-numbing, but they are delivering quality material when they get around to it.

Story: 9 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.25

Avengers: The Children’s Crusade #6 (Marvel) – Cheung’s art continues to be amongst the best that Marvel is putting out these days and Allan Heinberg deftly delivers a story that is years in the making and, with the character of Richter, gives us one of the best payoffs in recent Marvel history. I would love it if this series were delivered more frequently, but if the quality continues to be this good, they can deliver it whenever they want.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.75 Overall: 9.75

The Avengers #10 (Marvel) – John Romita Jr. and Brian Michael Bendis are amongst the best ever at what they do and issues like this are the proof. Every panel is beautiful and the story is even better. The Avengers series seems to be the only comic that really lived up to the concept of “The Heroic Age,” offering great heroes vs. villains storylines wherein the action is epic, the stories are straightforward and it’s easy to figure out who to root for. This issue is particularly amazing because Bendis changes storytelling styles multiple times throughout the issue without losing coherence and while still having room for cool pop culture references, a deft handling of a massive cast and a knowledge of and reverence to comics history while still adding something to the conversation. This is why I read comics.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

The Avengers #11 (Marvel) – This is a battle-heavy issue and that means the story and the art suffer a little, but it’s still among the best comics being published these days.

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.75 Overall: 9.75

The Avengers #12 (Marvel) – Massive Marvel action with cosmic implications and good twists and references to the last half-decade of Marvel chronology and a clear growth of the characters involved. Also, the panel of Red Hulk punching the Hood is one of my favorite panels in recent years and I’d definitely buy that poster.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

The Avengers #12.1 (Marvel) – Brian Hitch is a pretty good artist, but he’s no John Romita Jr. That being said, he does have a few great panels here to go along with continuing great writing by Bendis that pulls more nuggets out of continuity and adds good stuff for the long-time fans.

Story: 9.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9

The Avengers #13 (Marvel) – Chris Bachalo brings a completely different style to the art for this issue and it works very, very well with Bendis’s different style of storytelling here, that is much more based on a collective narrative of the various Avengers. Both approaches work and the compliment each other well.

Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.75

The Avengers #14 (Marvel) – This is almost certainly the best Fear Itself tie-in issue from any series. Romita Jr. is back and he seems to have a particular knack, these days, of drawing Red Hulk hitting people and getting hit and making it look amazing. Bendis does his alternating style here, where some sequences are completely devoid of dialog and others are incredibly dialog-heavy and based on a collective narrative. It’s a great sign of his talent that both are equally effective at achieving different aspects of storytelling.

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10