Written by Brian Bendis
Art by Mike Deodato
This is probably the best work Bendis has put out since this whole Skrull nonsense began. I, honestly, can't believe this issue was written by Bendis. Aside from a few, brief moments of Bendis-speak, I could have sworn this was just an extention of Ellis' Thunderbolts. It even had Deodato on art to complete the illusion.
That said, the plot is actually fairly simple in that Norman Osborn takes over Iron Man's job as head of the world's defense. SHIELD is dismantled and Norman heads the new HAMMER organization taking its place. He quickly goes to work putting together a new Avengers team and this one is made up of Sentry, Ares, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Moonstone as Ms Marvel, Venom as black costume Spider-Man, Daken (Wolverine's son) as Wolverine, Noh-Varr as Captain Marvel and Norman Osborn, wearing one of Tony Stark's left over armours, as Iron Patriot.
The issue consists of Norman going from person to person recruiting them for the new team and I was surprised at how entertaining it was. Bendis was in top form with his dialogue and it felt far more natural than his work has been in months.
Verdict - Must Read. With no love for Secret Invasion, I was hesitant coming into this, but Bendis and Deodato blew me away with this opening issue. Will definitely be around for more of this series.