The Avengers Free Comic Book Day
Brian Bendis Jim Cheung
This past Saturday , coinciding with the release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was Free Comic Book Day 2009. One of Marvel's offerings was Avengers. This year it is a completely original comic, without any of the usual re-printed or re-purposed materials we have seen in previous years. The comic is simply titled "The Avengers" without specifying which adjective-designated team will actually star in the story.
What worked: The opening shot of Spidey leaping through a blizzard-swept New York street is just plain exciting. Jimmy Cheung caught something great with it. In some way that artists know, the composition of that pael tells me something awesome is going to happen. Or, maybe I am just retro-excited about it when I look back because i know that something awesome DID happen. The story hook lands hard onb the very next page and it charges straight through to the end, only pausing briefly for impressive group shots if the two featured Avengers teams. The story was a quick, plausible, actions story which brough fan-favorite Thor back to the Avengers for a few pages. The conflict between the New Avengers and the Dark Avengers was not foced, and more importantly neither was the resolution. This was an exciting little story that bolsters current continuity without making itself indispensable. The art is beautifully expressive and he story is just a lot of fun. The shot of the silent face off between Cap and Osborn, and the Luke Cage/Wolverine "fastball special" were worth the Saturday morning walk to the comics store all by themselves. What did not work. For the scale of the struggle we are seeing in this comic book, the action leading up to the final resolution could have been a bit more problematic. But, considering the size constraints of this comic, I am glad it was the slug-fest which was pared down rather than the character and mood building elements,