Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hype Machine - Avengers & New Avengers (Next Big Thing)

Let’s be honest, if there’s a title that doesn’t need me hyping it, it’s most definitely Avengers or it’s sister title New Avengers. The Marvel franchise has been coming on strong since it’s recent relaunch, and I have been particularly enjoying New Avengers lately. That being said, when I was offered the chance to take part of the Next Big Thing conference call on the subject, I was glad to take up opportunity. Joining on the call were Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis, and editor (and Formspring-er extraordinaire) Tom Brevoort. Hit the jump to see what I learned during the call.

Much of the call concentrated on the Avengers side of things, particularly with the upcoming new addition of the controversial character Red Hulk. Bendis talked about some of the reasons and choices that were made in bringing character into the team. The character’s military background, and the Avenger’s history of offering redemption to characters played big roles into Bendis’ decision.

As if to purposely continue with another controversial character, the subject of The Hood came up. We’ll be seeing him show in Avengers as well, out from prison and on the hunt for power, in the form of the Infinite Gems. This will also deal with the Illuminati, a group that we haven’t seen in quite a while, and their existence will become public, coming to the attention of Steve Rogers. Before all that, however, The Hood will also show up in upcoming Avengers Academy and will deal with the aftermath of the rivalry between The Hood and Tigra (who is part of the regular cast in that title, in case you haven’t been reading it).

There was also quite a lot of talk regarding the Avengers time-map, which hints at quite a lot of upcoming events. Some of them, we will start seeing as early as next year, with Ultron War being the most closer down the pipeline. The first hints of that will be seen in the Point One issue of Avengers, which coincidentally will be drawn by Bryan Hitch. Another hint at an upcoming event is “Who is worthy?”, which is also written on the map. The phrase makes me think that it is something Thor-related, as in “Who is worthy to wield Mjolnir?” but it’s all speculation on my part.

As for New Avengers? Bendis couldn’t speak much about it, as the most recent issue (which comes out this week) features a huge death, that will affect the role and direction of the New Avengers. What he did talk about though, is about Luke Cage and Jessica Jones going on the hunt for a babysitter. As has been previously mentioned, it will be Squirrel Girl, though we will also see some of the other candidates. The ever-popular Squirrel Girl will become a regular member of the cast (though not necessarily of the team) of New Avengers, and that she will interact on a regular basis with all of the other members of the team. Brevoort joked around saying that with her addition to New Avenger’s roster, the question of which team was more powerful had been settled (igniting what I am sure will be the rage of hundreds of battle-boarders).

In the case of New Avengers, we will also have an issue (#7, if I remember correctly) dealing with, literally, a lot of housekeeping. I’m not seeing it reported in any of the transcripts of the call, but Bendis mentioned that Luke and Jessica will be settling who pays the bills, chores around the house, and other family-like matters. If this doesn’t sound like a terribly exciting Avengers comic to you, you are probably right. Me? I’ve been enjoying a lot these smaller interactions between the team, and it’s really what makes the title a delight to read. If it doesn’t sound like it’s your kind of thing, I understand, but to me it sounds like a fun issue in between every cosmic and/or magic threat coming their way.

If you want to read a whole transcript of the call, you can head over to CBR or Newsarama, who do a much better job of writing down everything said that little ol’ me could ever do. It’s a pretty comprehensive write-up, and in case you want to know, my questions were asking if Bendis was planning on killing Bucky (and other characters, though I forgot to include Iron Fist in that list), and if the Oral History of Avengers back-ups would continue in the future. I knew that some of our readers expressed concern regarding these text back-ups, so I took the chance to ask. In case you aren’t already, you should follow us via Twitter, as I was live-tweeting some of the most interesting bits, and if you have a question that you want to ask, I’ll do my best to ask them.

In any case, New Avengers is the title I’m following and enjoying the most, and the call re-affirmed that it will continue on the path that is going to reinforce the things that I like about it. I’m excited to see the upcoming issues, and I hope they deliver what Bendis has promised. Are you reading any of these two titles? Which one are you enjoying the most? Let us know in the comments section below.

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twobitspecialist said...

I might start picking up Avengers once that Illuminati arc begins. That's what's piquing my interest right now.

Jikorijo said...

Nice to see Squirrel Girl, but I really hope Bendis doesn't use that joke where Squirrel Girl always manages to beat the strongest villains in the Marvel Universe. That joke is SO over-used, plus having her beat up villains like Galactus really take away the menace from those villains.

Ivan said...

I hate to be that guy, but I miss the real Avengers. Bendis just doesn't work for me.

Rocker69 said...

I like the New Avengers way better than their original incarnation. My problem is that I'm missing some internal turmoil...in the past you had things like Hank Pym beating the Wasp, Hawkeye fighting with Cap for control for the team, Miss Marvel's struggles, Iron Man's drinking...now is all "There's a huge threat to the universe, let's go beat it and save the world". That's to me the fun thing about team books and I'm not seeing it happen.

Even the X-Men, the kings of soap opera drama, are not what they used to be.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ivan and Rocker69, what avengers is now is a never ending big blockbuster summer movie with no character development nor fun. It is just crisis after crisis after crisis (no DC pun intended). I just do not like the Bendis avengers.


twobitspecialist said...

@Rocker69 Isn't that the kind of thing we were seeing as late as New Avengers during the Dark Reign era? There was a lot of internal struggle as the Avengers couldn't decided what to do about the whole "Osborn controls the world."

Dennis N said...

I still don't agree with Spider-Man and Wolverine being on an Avengers team, but both?! Are you kidding me? It makes no sense in-universe.

And hey, if the Thing is on the New Avengers, doesn't it make sense that Sue be on the Secret Avengers? She can be and make anything invisible! Kind of help in covert-ops.

Matt Duarte said...

@Dennis: I actually agree. I think they both should stick to New Avengers. Sue on Secret Avengers? Not so much, the powerset fits, but I don't think a mother of two should be up to her neck in black ops style missions.

Dennis N said...

I believe their stint in Avengers is supposed to be temporary, but they seem to still be there. I guess we'll see with a new arc starting.

Maybe a mother of two shouldn't be traveling to unexplored lands where anything could happen either, but I think she can handle herself. Wally has two kids and he risked his life all the time (until DC decided they couldn't downgrade him or have two Flashes running around, so decided to forget he existed. Sidenote: I really wish they had treated Wally the way they're planning to treat Dick with Bruce back)

Anonymous said...

There may not be the inner turmoil like Wasp and Pym but New Avengers definitely has an incredible original Defenders feel. As to housekeeping issues in New Avengers #7 hopefully it's as enjoyable a read as issue #197 of the original Avengers.

- Retcon Joe

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