Monday, April 25, 2011

Fanholes Side Story #4 The Big Three

So I read Avengers Prime. Its by Bendis. I know, I know. You’re thinking, why on Midgard would I read such comics? I have been very vocal about how much I loathe Bendis run on Avengers. Having said that…these were good comics. I know, I’m just as surprised as you are.

Avengers Prime is a five issue mini series that takes place moments after Siege#4. Asgard has fallen and the Avengers are there to help pick up the pieces. We get a real sense of how the fall of Asgard has affected Thor, as he simply can not believe his home is in ruins. At the beginning of issue #1 we have an intense argument between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. Its as heated as one would expect, given that they lead opposing sides during Civil War.

Later, Thor, Iron Man and Rogers are transported to a nightmare world and separated. Thor must face the wrath of the Enchantress and later Hela. Thor is separated from Mjolnir and Stark’s Iron Man armor is simply that…a suit of armor. The 'big three' must reunite, put their differences behind them and restore the twisted realms that have fallen under the control of Hela.

This mini felt more in tune with the Avengers than anything Bendis has ever written. I hesitate to even say this because ’epic’ is such an overused word, but it had an epic feel to it. This simply felt like the Avengers to me. Also, the art by Alan Davis helps out quite a bit.

There are, however, a few problems. Iron Man has no clue who Hela is and for some reason thinks that only Thor can wield Mjolnir. I don’t know if its just me, but Stark seems to be written as a jerk these days. This does seem to be the general way he is portrayed since Civil War, at least outside his own title. But I have to say while I understand why he may be characterized in this manner I don’t agree with it.

In addition to the Rogers/Stark argument there are several nice character moments of note. As the big three sit around a fire Stark asks Rogers if anything ever happened between him and Hellcat. Later Thor gets involved with some humorous results. Bendis is widely known for throwing in random dialogue like this and usually it falls pretty flat. In this situation, however, it works. I can easily see ‘jerk’ Stark randomly ask Rogers a personal question like this, if only to see the startled look on his face.

So, does this mean i'm going to start reading Bendis Avengers comics? No. These comics were fun and though they did do a lot to repair some of the damage i feel Bendis has done, I won't be following Avengers on a monthly basis. Having read some of his recent stuff on the adjective-less Avengers book I simply don’t like the direction that title is going.

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