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New Avengers: The Reunion #4

Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009
By: David Wallace

Jim McCann
David Lopez (p), Alvaro Lopez (i), Daniele Rudoni, Marco Patrucco (colours)
Marvel Comics
Editor's Note: New Avengers: The Reunion #4 arrives in stores tomorrow, June 3.

"The Avenger Who Came In From The Cold"

This final issue of New Avengers: The Reunion sees Clint Barton and Bobbi Morse -- Hawkeye and Mockingbird -- come together to see off the A.I.M. plot that Bobbi has been trying to prevent from coming to fruition since the first issue.

It's a fairly straightforward conclusion that doesn't see the series' terrorist plot go out with quite as much of a bang as I expected from the extensive build-up. However, even if the villain's plot fizzles a little in this closing issue, it still gives McCann the change to stage several compelling action sequences. Mockingbird has a surprisingly dirty fight with her opposite number, we get to see Clint being Hawkeye as opposed to Ronin (which should delight longtime fans of the character), and there's a heavily-populated against-the-odds free-for all at the end of the issue that reminded me of Kill Bill's "House of Blue Leaves" setpiece.

These sequences are enhanced by the artwork of David Lopez, which has certainly improved since the series began. His characters are more consistent, there's a higher level of detail to be found in his pages, and there's a more confident edge to his linework, too. The storytelling is always clear, and that's important in an issue that relies on the artwork to convey many of its action beats -- such as the cool moment in which Bobbi anticipates her enemy's moves and tricks her into teleporting directly into the path of her attack, or the novel way in which Bobbi and Clint defuse the bomb towards the end of the issue.

Most of all, though, I have to commend the book for not giving in to the temptation to provide an easy, pat ending. The two leads don't suddenly abandon the character development of the last few issues in order to give the book a nice, convenient resolution: it would have been easy to end the series' soap-opera storyline conclusively one way or the other, but McCann instead opts to have their relationship reach a certain level of compromise that pays off some of the character-building of previous issues, but also leaves a certain amount of potential open for future stories to take the characters in several possible directions.

If the goal of this book was to reintroduce Mockingbird to readers and give some meaning to her relationship with Hawkeye in the present-day Marvel Universe, then it's achieved what it set out to do. I'll be interested to see whether the characters' new status quo at the end of the series will be reprised for further adventures, either in the pages of New Avengers or in another dedicated miniseries or one-shot. There's certainly a lot of potential here either way.







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