Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New Avengers #46 Review

Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Billy Tan

While this doesn't overly impact the main storyline in any way, we are finally treated to a Secret Invasion tie-that delivered something of value to the reader.

Told completely from the point of view of the Hood and his army of villains, we are shown the events following the fight with the New Avengers and witness the Skrull's attempt at infiltrating this new super powered team and how it goes horribly wrong.

As SHIELD began interrogating Madame Masque, the Hood quickly snuck in to bust her out and, in the process, killed all but one of her SHIELD guards. Before killing the final one, Masque tells him to turn around and we see that all the SHIELD guards were, in fact, Skrulls. Hood takes the remaining Skrull guard back to his hideout to show to the other villains and we see a rather predictable, "Bendis speak", set of reactions from most of the villains, as if every one of their canned responses was cribbed from a Bendis interview.

Thankfully, Bendis doesn't dwell on the whole, "who do I trust?", nonsense again and it quickly turns into an entertaining interrogation scene as they take the Skrull apart, piece by piece, before he can take no more and finally tells them what they want to know. It's nothing new to the reader, but it was interesting seeing the villains take on the Skrull invasion plans and their methods of dealing with the threat of infiltration.

Finally, the best part of the issue and what will most likely be a major plot point in the future, is the revelation of just what demon is contained within the Hood's cloak - none other than Dormammu, himself. There's bound to be controversy surrounding this choice, as the Hood has never shown the kind of power that would warrant the demon being the Dreadlord Dormammu nor does it mesh with the demon form we saw Parker Robbins kill to obtain the cloak in the first place. I'm tempted to say Bendis may have chosen the most recognizable demonic entity due to lack of other choices or just to have a big reveal.

However, while I'm not sure I agree with the logistics behind it being Dormammu, it's hard not to be impressed by that final splash page reveal and I don't hate this choice either.

Verdict - Check It. I actually enjoyed reading the issue and, while another 'fill in the blanks' tie-in by Bendis, it actually gave us something new and intersting to chew on, whereas other tie-ins read like an entire issue devoted to being told being what the heroes had for breakfast before Skrulls replaced them. The reveal at the end has lots of storytelling promise and it will be interesting to see what part, if any, it plays in Secret Invasion's conclusion or the post-SI world.

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