THE AVENGERS #4 Review -

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Mania Grade: C+

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  • Title: The Avengers #4
  • Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
  • Pencils: John Romita, Jr
  • Inks: Klaus Janson
  • Colors by: Dean White
  • Letters by: Cory Petit
  • Cover by: John Romita, Jr
  • Publisher: Marvel
  • Publication Date: August 25, 2010
  • Cover Price: $3.99
  • Series:


Shows major improvement since its launch

By Ben Johnson     August 30, 2010
Source: Mania

© Mania

Several months ago I reviewed the first issue of the newest volume (5? 7? 10056?) of The Avengers, written by Brian Michael Bendis with pictures by John Romita, Jr. The results of that book were unsatisfying to say the least. The story was weak and JR, Jr. was mailing it in like Karl Malone. Here we are, a few installments in, and it’s time to see how the book is currently fairing.

We open on the team shortly after they’ve been forced to split into two groups, one to fight a massive amount of time stream flotsam suddenly dropped into the middle of New York and the second to head off into the future and fix the problem. The team on the ground runs into steadily cascading badness. Pterodactyls share the sky with futuristic flying machines and blimps. The ground level is invaded by old time gangs straight out of a Scorsese movie, future heroes, a pink T-rex and invading martians. The insanity continues until our heroes have little else to do than throw up their hands and shrug their shoulders.

It’s the future where the real meat is taking place. Iron Man, Wolverine and the Bucky Captain America along with Noh-Varr warp into the middle of the end of the world. It’s a major throw down and everyone, absolutely everyone is in attendance, including the kids for the animated movie Next Avengers, who make short work of our heroes before dumping them in front of the Maestro and his shadowy partner.

That’s a lot of story, something I respect. Even better, this feels like a real story. Sure the overall arc doesn’t get wrapped up, but things move forward and a person reading just this single issue gets a lot of bang for their buck. Yes, there is a pretty brutal cliffhanger, but I’m actually excited to pick this up next month and that shows major improvement since its launch.

Cover art to THE AVENGERS #4 by John Romita Jr.

This isn’t to say everything is sweet in Candy Land. Brain Michael Bendis will not shut up with his inane chatter. There’s times where I felt I should check the cover to make sure I wasn’t reading an Ultimate book. The guy writes good -- sometimes great -- stories, but enough is enough. Witty-ish dialogue does not hide the fact that an author is spewing pure expositional drivel. Let the pretty pictures do the work every once in awhile, or maybe even... give the reader a smidge of credit and let them fill in the holes.

On the other side of things, Mr. Romita has really picked up his game. I’m not sure if he was being worked a bit too hard, or if he really shines when the action is flying, but damn this is some good stuff. Emotive, bright, fun, JR, Jr. is at the top of his game, and damn it’s good times.

If you’ve been waiting for things to get interesting, or you were scared off by the first issue, give this book another shot. It’s pretty solid and worth checking out.


Showing items 1 - 7 of 7
dbrock06 8/30/2010 6:43:40 AM

The book has definitely been better since the first issue and it definitely is tough to just judge this as a single issue.  My one problem with the series...and it is a HUGE problem is that in a few issues we get the addition of a new character that I can say very few people, well very few readers are excited about it.  I know Jeff Loeb is excited about it and cannot stop talking about it.  However everyone I talk to cringes at the thought of the Hulk,  no not the original Hulk, the RED HULK joining the Avengers.  This is almost sacrilage.  This book could also be on my cut list.  I have that much hate for the Red Hulk.  It may be one storyline and done for me.  At least I have the New Avengers an Secret Avengers to keep me going.  Avengers Academy was already slashed.

jedibanner 8/30/2010 6:53:40 AM

I'd say the book is good but a bit too slow. I always love Bendis' chatter with his characters but the overall story itself is going a bnit too slow.

In any case, I will drop this book soon anyway, Red Hulk is coming to this book so, I'm out.

Butchman 8/30/2010 8:54:56 AM

I am not long for Avengers. I will sit through the rest of this arc though.  I am not a fan of Bendis' chatter especially when he has no feel for the actual character talking. You could substitute most any character  into the chatter and it wouldn't matter.

Right now Secret Avengers is the only half decent Avengers book.

FerretJohn 8/30/2010 12:20:30 PM

They really do need to define the team rosters, too many of the heroes dividing their time between multiple teams isn't good.  And I'm really hoping it won't be long before Rogers takes back the shield.  Bucky as Captain America just doesn't sit well, not only does he carry a gun but he's a little too willing to use it.  Barnes would make a great SHIELD agent but he's just not Captain America.

Inferno 8/30/2010 4:57:33 PM

Doesn't matter if the book is terrible or not. Oko will buy anyways.

lister 8/31/2010 3:54:18 PM

I like the art and the story, more than Ben. Two more issues until I drop this book!

Die die die Red Hulk.

okonomiyaki4000 9/3/2010 8:51:14 PM

 The year is 2010. Why would would I ever buy anything? Besides, I live in Japan where they don't even sell this stuff. 



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