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Avengers #3

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010
By: Shawn Hill

Brian Michael Bendis
John Romita, Jr, Klaus Janson (i)
Marvel Comics
Plot: This team of Avengers doesn't know quite what to do against Apokolips and his Four Horsemen, but they figure it out pretty quickly due to all those nifty powers and, what is that I see, teamwork?

Comments: Despite Kang, Aged Hulk, and some sort of Spider-Girl on the cover, inside it's a different set of quasi-familiar foes. Apokolips, from some alternate future, abetted by a Wolverine-Thing, a Witch-Thing, a Red Hulk-Thing, and (a fact Spider-Man is humorously blind to) a Spider-Thing. He had six arms, Pete! All of these creatures seem to be centaurs, wedded to their mounts. JR, Jr. makes it work, as usual.

Could it be that the Heroic Age is actually calling on Bendis to be more creative? Over in New Avengers he's actually naming the spells he's having his magicians use without demeaning the very idea of magic to do it. And here his Alterna-Lips is actually a pretty decent version of the long term mutant threat, and since he's done the whole Horsemen thing a few times before, so this worst case scenario makes a kind of sense.

It's a nifty effect when the Witch-Thing dissolves Iron Man's armor into so much shrapnel, as is Spider-Man's quick-thinking save as Tony falls from the sky. Thor seems rejuvenated and vibrant, Tony is making sense again, Wolverine keeps things real by clarifying where the "real fight" is, and the Spiders-Man and –Woman share some insectoid humor with Noh-Varr (who's silly new costume looks better under JR, Jr's attentions) as they all show-off their wall-crawling abilities.

It's a fun, action-packed issue, a decent installment in the ongoing arc about future doomsday scenarios. Tension and drama is even upped in a traditional way when Tony tries to reason with old Pocky Lips and finds himself faced with a traumatized, stammering, paranoid android indeed. Time travel in this book, and demonic possession in the other? Am I reading Avengers again?



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