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New Avengers #7

Posted: Thursday, July 21, 2005
By: Shawn Hill



ďThe Sentry: Part 1Ē

Writer: Brian Bendis
Artist: Steve McNiven (p), Mark Morales (i), Morry Hollowell (c)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot: Disjointed, as usual. Iron Man talks to some dudes. The Wrecker comes calling for his crowbar, and hands the Avengers their asses. The Sentry isnít who he says he is.

Comments: Great cover. Seems very familiar to me. Hmmm, letís see, yes: Legion #1 by Coipel, a young artist now firmly in the Marvel camp. Okay, so here is where we introduce this new team in full fighting force. Too bad they lose that battle so badly. Down and dirty isnít good enough for Avengers-level threats after all. So of course theyíll reverse it all with a hidden deus ex machina next issue, watch and see.

Sexism watch: Whereís Medusa, the requisite Royal Interpreter when Blackagar Boltagon comes to the table to talk? Whoís entertained by watching the Wrecker leer at and threaten a bikini-clad teenage girl? Thanks for the butt-shot when we cliff-hang on Spider-Woman knock-kneed in the presence of a leering potential rapist.

Interesting: The mix of meta-human leaders is an interesting choice, and one of the few things I like about Bendisís mixed-bag run thus far; heís not afraid to shake up the traditional divides between rival parts of the Marvel U. However, itís all male and they donít accomplish much. Namorís active role in the recent Thunderbolts issue was more entertaining. Humor is down to a minimum this issue, and thatís a detriment, as it has been the titleís strongest suit.

Director Hill continues to play an active role as a thorn in these un-sanctioned Avengers hides, and the decision to totally revamp the Sentry is the right one. After all, his originating concept renders him completely unusable in an ongoing series; heís a walking apocalypse, not a bruiser. Heís less of a fit on the team than Thor was.

The challenge will be to see if Bendis can convert him into something workable while not losing sight of the Superman meta-critique/parody. Weíve already got Hyperion for one version, but thereís room for another done right.

Cinematography: McNiven sets up battle scenes with clarity, but heís no better or more suited to the material than Finch, and I really canít see the need for the switch. Good cliffhanger, though, so things might pick up.



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