Red Skull Herring
The different art styles between Deodato and Chaykin really do a nice job of making a pointed difference between the two time periods this book takes place in, especially since this is the fourth issue in a row where they’ve been going back and forth with these flashbacks to Fury’s 1959 Avengers.
It was also great to see Hawkeye get mad again. When Hawkeye gets mad and he rushes headlong into a conflict, you tend to get some great action sequences and that has me looking forward to some issues down the road.
The worst part about this issue is that we are now four issues in and we still haven’t the slightest idea what the point of these Nick Fury flashbacks are, especially since he doesn’t have anything to do right now with the current New Avengers.
On top of this, the flashbacks comprise most of the book, with only seven pages taking place in current times, two of those have Mockingbird on an emergency surgery table and Hawkeye vowing vengeance. At this point, if the Nick Fury flashbacks do not have some earth shattering reveal that saves Mockingbird when all is said and done, this could be the most drawn out waste of time way to kill a character and could be the most pointless story arc I’ve read in quite some time.
Then combine all this with the fact that we’ve seen this flashback story happen before a million times, just not with these characters. How many times has Captain America, Nick Fury, or some other patriot gone after the Red Skull for it simply to be a clone, a body double, or a robot? It’s not special now that Sabretooth has joined that crowd of not finding the real Skull.
I was really excited at first bouncing back and forth between flashbacks of Fury’s 1959 Avengers and the current New Avengers, especially when Mockingbird got shot. Lots of action coupled with a plot that was clearly laying the groundwork for something big for these characters. Four issues into this though and things have come to a grinding, mind-numbing halt and whatever originality we were hoping for seems to be getting thrown out the window.
At this point we’ve seen all the double crosses and triple crosses and the Red Skull Herrings and for it to drag on over four issues is becoming borderline tortuous and definitely tedious. If things don’t come to a head in the next issue with something unexpected, there is a good chance I’m kicking this from my pull box. Only pick up this issue of New Avengers if you have been reading it to this point, otherwise steer clear.