Has it really been six years since NEW AVENGERS started? It feels like just yesterday that DISASSEMBLED was running and I was seeing that now-iconic cover of NEW AVENGERS #1 on display for the first time at the Mondo Marvel panel at Wizard World Chicago ’04. You know the one I’m talking about - - it had the new line up all covered in shadows with a lightning bolt striking behind them. I bring that up because Marvel’s run a preview for the conclusion of the series that’ll be rolling out over the next couple weeks. You’ll recall that the third volume AVENGERS finished with issue #404, but the era itself ended with the AVENGERS FINALE special. Bookending things appropriately, this current volume of NEW AVENGERS will finish with its 64th issue, while its storyline will conclude with a NEW AVENGER FINALE special.
I remember it being such a novel pairing to see Bendis working with the great George Perez on AVENGERS FINALE. Who, oh who, could follow Perez? How about Bryan Hitch? This will certainly be an interesting meeting of the minds, as the preview images below can attest to. Surprisingly, Bendis actually says that, even though he tailored his script to Hitch’s talents, the artist actually extended a number of character-based moments, not just the big money action. He did enough extending that FINALE has actually been upgraded from its original double-sized length (man, it’d be so easy to insert double-entendres there. I’ll leave it up to you).
While the new volume of NEW AVENGERS is right around the corner (NEW NEW AVENGERS? BRAND NEW AVENGERS?), this finale will mark the end of the storyline Bendis started with issue #1. Think about that… HOUSE OF M, CIVIL WAR, WORLD WAR HULK, SECRET INVASION, DARK REIGN and, now, SIEGE have all been part of one big storyline that began in summer 2004. Now that we’re at the tail end of it, what is the assessment of the maniacs in the Comic Vine community? Was it epic?
And, lest I forget, NEW AVENGERS #64 (with art by Mike McKone) comes today, and NEW AVENGERS FINALE comes out in two weeks.