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Catching Up on Reviews, Part 13 — New & Secret Avengers

New Avengers #9 (Marvel) – I’m a big fan of Brian Michael Bendis’s writing and it’s good in this issue although the historical “Avengers” tale going on here throws me a bit. I don’t fully get it. I’m not a huge fan of either Mike Deodata or HOward Chaykin’s art here, although none of it is bad. The shocking ending to the issue is well-done.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8

New Avengers #10 (Marvel) – I’m still not sure the Avengers 1959 story works very well and the main story is weaker than usual. This is the worst issue of the series to date, although that isn’t to say it’s a bad comic, just not as good as the rest.

Story: 7.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

New Avengers #11 (Marvel) – More of the same here keeps the series in a holding pattern. The image of a superhero riding a whale is a bit jarring, in a bad way.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

New Avengers #12 (Marvel) – The writing gets a bit better in this issue, but the art, if anything, is worse.

Story: 8.5 Art: 7 Overall: 7.75

New Avengers #13 (Marvel) – This issue gets the series back to its higher quality level, with a focus on revenge for the attack on Mockingbird and some interesting foreshadowing about what might be coming down the road.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

New Avengers #14 (Marvel) – This Fear Itself tie-in is one of the best of the entire event. The focus is on the return of Mockingbird and it’s very well done, to the point of being one of her best appearances ever. It’s very much a Bendis comic book, in the best sense of that concept.

Story: 9.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.25

New Avengers #15 (Marvel) – Bendis does his best to write a good Fear Itself story featuring Squirrel Girl, but, in the end, it’s still a story featuring Squirrel Girl.

Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25

New Avengers #16 (Marvel) – Bringing Daredevil fully into the Avengers fold through a well-told Fear Itself story is a good idea.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

New Avengers Annual #1 (Marvel) – This may be the most interesting thing ever done with the character of Wonder Man. Bendis takes a character that had long been a one-note thing and makes him one of the most interesting adversaries the Avengers have seen in a while. On top of that, he surrounds him with a cast of b-level characters that are all brought into the story in a great way. This is action-packed and looks great thanks to Gabriele Dell’otto

Story: 9.75 Art: 9.75 Overall: 9.75

Secret Avengers #10 (Marvel) – Ed Brubaker tells a very action-oriented tale that gives a lot of time to Shang-Chi and shows that Steve Rogers is a master tactician.

Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75

Secret Avengers #11 (Marvel) – I’m not sure I like the revival of the John Steele character in modern times, but if it’s going to be done, this is about as good as it’s going to get.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Secret Avengers #12 (Marvel) – This series is consistently high quality and even when the premise is one that doesn’t grab me, it’s very well-executed. The art is starting to decline a bit, but I’m sure that’s temporary.

Story: 9 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.25

Secret Avengers #12.1 (Marvel) – This point one issue offers a lot of philosophical ideas related to the Avengers, the Secret Avengers, government informants, how to react to dangerous situations and more. It may be a bit heavy for a jump-on point, but it is a good issue for those who already have some knowledge of the Avengers.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Secret Avengers #13 (Marvel) – There are a few cheesy moments here, but this is really a tale of right and wrong, civil rights and the multiple approaches that can be taken to change the world.

Story: 9.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.25

Secret Avengers #14 (Marvel) – Nick Spencer uses this Fear Itself tie-in to explore what it means to be a soldier and a warrior and writes one of the more compelling elements of the entire crossover.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9 Overall: 9.25

Secret Avengers #15 (Marvel) – Secret Avengers seems to be the designated place in the Fear Itself event to discuss philosophical issues — this time it is with the responsibility of the media when it comes to dealing with big issues and people’s lives.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Secret Avengers #16 (Marvel) – Finally breaking free from Fear Itself, Warren Ellis comes on board to write a fun, action-packed tale that fits into the Heroic Age concept very well.

Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5

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