Why Simon Why..Aka..Curse you Bendis!!
So it is no secret I am a old school comic book fan. I make no apologies for this as I am almost 40 yrs old, and have been blessed enough to see some of the greatest story lines and comic book events first hand.
And this is why I may come across as the "Old Man" in regards to what I want to see and wish happens to my favorite comic characters. So please do not get my stance twisted when I say "get back to the roots" of a character. But this does not mean I am against change, in fact if their is no evolution of character then you become stale and extinct ( think Popeye and Dick Tracy).
At the end of the day, I GET IT. Superman cannot leap tall buildings forever, Power Pack will have to grow up one day, and yes, I fully concede that the shoulder pads, pony tails and cybernetic body parts of the 90's no longer make for good character designs.
So that being said, I fully place a gigantic cross hair on Brian Michael Bendis's head in regards to his Avengers work. He has been a driving force for The earth's Mightiest Heroes since 2003-2004 I believe. Since that time the team has seen incredible chaos, heartbreaking defeats and the body count of fallen Avengers has been numerous.
We have seen ICONS have been decimated, destroyed and reduced to second rate villains. Bendis's run has been full of "Oh My Gawd!!" moments.
In the pages of The Mighty Avengers the story line of Simon Williams warning the Avengers to change their ways was presented to us, and I have been on a warpath ever since.
How many of my Heroes will feel the wrath of Bendis's pen? Jack of hearts, Hawkeye, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Ant Man and now Wonder Man?!
Despite what I felt personally about the current state of the book, I am a Avengers fan and I have to see this through regardless, so I picked up the 2 part Revenger tale and see what happens.
I grew up as a Whacko fan as a kid and I always had a soft spot for the Man of Wonder, so while I am glad to see Simon taking the lead, i was a bit sad to see him depicted in such a out of character way.
After Simon warned The Avengers to changed their way a few times in the past, first by pleading with them, then by taking force against them, he returned to stop the Avengers.
Simon believes that the Avengers as they are currently constructed does not work and are doing more harm then they are doing good.
Sloppy heroics and disregard to address the dangers around them siting the creation of Ultron, the fall of The Scarlet Witch, allowing The Hulk to run unchecked for years and blaming them for the events that lead to THE CIVIL WAR event. He went on to state that The Avengers were such a failure that a villain such as Norman Osborn was able to recruit killers and murderers to become a new team of Avengers with clear public support
And with Simon this time is a team whose rosters is filled with characters that have personal grudges against the Avengers in various forms known as The Revengers! The 2 part story line focuses on the battle against the Avengers and the Questions Simon raises to his longtime friends.
Often when you read Annuals the art suffers from the main books. Here you see up and coming talent or folks looking to do fill in work. But here you get interiors and cover work from Gabriele Dell'Otto whose work is just as powerful as ever. I am a huge fan of his cover work ever since his SECRET WARS work. But I do find his interior work a bit confusing in regards to picking out the details of some of the characters uniforms, for if not for their names being said throughout the book I would not be able to pick out one or two characters in the book. Perhaps it is the artwork, or the fact I have no seen the characters in some time.
In any case the two books were very nice to look at, with some impressive moments and double page layouts that looked awesome!
Once I got past the initial idea of what was going on, the really lazy name of the "Revengers" and their roster, and the end result of some of the fight scenes in The New Avengers Annual…(Really Luke?!….Really??) I have to say the final 10 or so pages of The Avengers Annual. I finally get to see The Avengers kick some ones ass that they are SUPPOSED to beat! But more importantly it is the questions that Simon brought to the surface, and the intense and interesting cliffhanger at the end.
True Bendis fans will enjoy the read, as I believe fans of the current Avenger books will enjoy this as well. Hardcore Avengers fanatics like myself will scream bloody murder but I will say this to them.
Yes their is plenty to bitch about here, but the one nugget of interest is VERY interesting and you owe it to yourself to see where it leads.
Keeping this in mind, Bendis is due to end his run some time this year, this is one sub plot that may play a key role in future events of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
This is not a must buy book, as I am sure the plot line will be revisited in the main books in the next few months. But for the fans of Bendis, Dell'Otto and of course Simon Williams you could do worse things with your 10 bucks.