Because the Avengers are a group of people with amazing powers, it’s easy to forget these characters are, at their core, people (I’d say human, but not all Avengers are). New Avengers, volume 2 does a fantastic job at reminding us of this fact. We see a husband and wife trying to balance their relationship with their superheroics (while battling a Doombot), trying to find a super-powered baby sitter to protect their newborn child while they’re out being heroes, and squabbling over money. We see super heroes gossiping about other super heroes like 9th grade girls. And we get to see what happens when one of the less powerful heroes takes an entirely mundane bullet wound and how said injury affects those closest to her.
There’s also a side story with Nick Fury and a bunch of other heroes running around in the 1950’s trying to stop the Red Skull from cloning the (at that time deceased) Captain America. That story reads like a James Bond movie in comic book form and provides an interesting contrast to the main story, despite not being related to it in any way, shape or form.
This run of issues had four different illustrators working on it, so the art is not consistent throughout the book. However, the styles are similar enough in tone for this not to be jarring. All the art is perfectly competently done and fits the tone of the story well. I really liked this book. Despite all of the complaints people might have with Brian Michael Bendis’s writing, he really knows his characters. Their conversations and banter feel natural and organic. There’s no moment where I have to wonder why a character is saying what he is saying. The sequence where Luke and Jessica Cage try to find a super powered babysitter for their child is beyond hilarious. This is the book to get if you ever want to read about heroes, not merely as heroes, but as people to whom you can relate. It’s a good addition to any comics’ collection.
The book is appropriate for ages 13 and up, due to excessive amounts of comic book violence.
New Avengers, volume 2
by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Stuart Immonen, Daniel Acuna, Mike Deodato, Howard Chaykin
Marvel Comics, 2012