Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Avengers: The Reunion #2 Advance Review

Written by Jim McCann
Art by David Lopez

In the desire to be open and honest with you guys, I'd like to preface my review by saying that I was sent a review copy of New Avengers: The Reunion #2. I'd like to believe that I will still be impartial and avoid any kind of bias when reviewing this issue, but you deserve to know that I did, in fact, get this from Marvel for free.

However, based on the strength of last issue, I had committed myself to picking this series up regardless of whether or not I received a free copy and I will still be picking up my own physical copy of this book with the rest of tomorrow's comics.

Hit the jump for the rest of the review, but be warned, since this is an advance review, there may be some mild spoilers, but no where near as spoilerific as my regular reviews.

For those out of the loop, New Avengers: The Reunion follows the adventures of Mockingbird, who recently returned in Secret Invasion after a decade long Skrull abduction, and her husband, Hawkeye, who's still using his Ronan alias here. The first issue was dedicated to introducing us to the characters and setting up the basic premise of the book. While a solid first issue, it left me with some concerns moving forward.

However, this second offering from McCann and Lopez blew the first issue out of the water. McCann nails the Mr & Mrs Smith-like bickering between the couple, who, in light of the Skrull abduction, may or may not be as close as we previously thought. This tension between Mockingbird and Hawkeye is my favourite part of the issue. The history between these two characters, where one recently died and came back while the other was abducted and replaced by aliens before being presumed dead for the past decade, is played to full effect and it's easy to trace each character's reactions and thought process in regards to how they act around each other given those facts.

Speaking of history, a nice little touch I liked about this issue was the use of the old school dot colouring for the flashback sequences, which were intersperced throughout the issue. These flashbacks showed us the exact time and place Mockingbird was abducted by the Skrulls, answering one of the lingering questions I had concerning her time with the Skrulls. The timing of this event leads to a great cliffhanger that had a lot of emotional impact. As it's an advance review, you'll have to check back for it in the Moments of the Week on Friday if you want a full breakdown of it or, better yet, pick a copy of the book up tomorrow.

Verdict - Must Read. McCann really hit his stride with this issue. The interplay between Hawkeye and Mockingbird is spot on and many of the questions regarding Mockingbird's abduction, such as when and how she was taken, are answered here and the consequences of the timing for the abduction is played up for maximum effect.

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Andrenn said...

I've been considering this mini...I'm tempted to pick it up now as it does sound great and this review gave me more confidence in that, but I'm pretty sure I'll wait for the collection.

Flash77 said...

I have to politely disagree. I thought the first issue was not very good and as a result will not buy any of the remaining issues - which disappoints me as I like the Hawkeye character.

1) Artwork: Specifically...they look nothing like previous incarnations. In fact, they look like they are teenagers - younger looking than Peter Parker. It just doesn't fit.

2) Dialogue: I'm not a fan of purposely dated dialogue. First issue reference to Grey's anatomy were painful. Interaction between the two characters feels forced.

3) Cover Price: $3.99 for the first issue. For that price...it needs to be better.

Final verdict is to pass on this and if you are remotely interested, pick it up in the $.50 bins or when you'll inevitably find the trade for 50% off. But truthfully paying more than $2 for the entire series will probably seem too much.

Steven R. Stahl said...

Kirk, you didn‘t come to grips with the lack of substance in the story. McCann’s A.I.M. are terrorists for the sake of terrorism; his Morse is a counterterrorist for the sake of counterterrorism; Morse and Barton bicker for the sake of bickering. Megalomaniacal plots may be tired and hokey, but at least one of them provides something specific for the heroine to oppose. There’s no sensible basis for Morse doing what she’s doing, which doesn’t leave much of a basis for a storyline.

Some of the problems, such as Barton’s false description, again, of events in AWC #100, were carried over from last issue, but the dating -- the dialogue between Morse and Barton about her being hurt and letting someone die refers, I’d guess, to Englehart’s “Phantom Rider” plotline, which is supported by the panel showing a document from Englehart and Milgrom. Barton’s dialogue, though, about Ultron returning places the sequence at the start of the WEST COAST AVENGERS series, which would, I’d think, be unacceptable to anyone except Bendis groupies. The dating doesn’t work any better than the rest of the plot.

At best, Morse and Barton are featured in the type of generic plot that Brevoort would label unprofessional. If there’s nothing at stake, why should the reader invest his time in the story?


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