Favorite Ongoing Marvel Comic: New Avengers

One of the perks of reading any Marvel comic by Brian Michael Bendis is that he’s been with the company so long and produced such good work for them that he has established a considerable amount of clout. When he writes a comic, it seems he gets his pick of the company’s artists to bring his work to the page, and he only chooses the best. Grant Morrison has a similar position of eminence at DC (to see examples of the talented artists he gets to colloborate with, check out his run of Batman Inc. or Seven Soldiers of Victory).

With his series New Avengers, not only does Bendis get his pick of Marvel’s best artists, he gets his pick of the Marvel Universe’s best characters–or at least many of my favorites. At different times, the New Avengers roster has included: Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Daredevil, The Thing, Doctor Strange, Hawkeye, and Luke Cage. Of course, as it’s a team book, the roster changes every time there’s a big event. An earlier version of the team also featured Iron-Man and Captain America (until Civil War of course).

So far, the series New Avengers has been written entirely by Brian Michael Bendis, making it almost a creator owned comic, but within a mainstream company. I sincerely hope Brian Michael Bendis doesn’t stop writing New Avengers any time soon.

Here’s just some of the phenomenal artists New Avengers has featured over the past couple of years: Frank Cho, Lenil Francis Francis Yu, Mike Deodata, and David Finch.

Since the start of Marvel Month, I’ve read the first 30 issues of New Avengers. Hardly a dull moment or a lackluster comic in the bunch. It begins in the wake of Avengers Disassembled and features a pretty intense battle right off the bat when Luke Cage, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman and more find themselves trapped on an island prison where all of the inmates have been instantaneously freed. After several twists and turns, the team ends up in Japan fighting ninjas led by an evil Elektra whom it turns out (spoiler) is a Skrull in disguise. This is the event that capitulates Secret Invasion. If you think the fighting can’t get any more intense than our heroes surrounded by dozens of ninjas, read the issues where they’re trapped in the Savage Land, fighting Skrulls and evading dinosaurs, teaming up with Ka-Zar and Shanna the She-Devil in the process (one of the most ridiculous characters in the company’s history).

Here's my signed copy of Secret Invasion #2

I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. New Avengers isn’t all fighting. In fact, it features more dialogue than most superhero comics I’ve read. Nearly all superhero books feature, at the most, seven panels per page, but refreshingly, every once in a while New Avengers will feature nine to twelve. His use of big blocks of dialogue here is a technique I think he perfected in his other series Powers. In this fashion, the issues have a good deal of story elements, plus feature the big battles superhero fans go for.

The runners-up for my favorite Marvel series are Thor (especially Straczynski’s run) and Uncanny X-Men (when Matt Fraction wrote about 34 consecutive issues of it).

—-I have written 2 books of fiction, both of which are available on Amazon. One is titled The Madness of Art: Short Stories and the other is A Rapturous Occasion. To see both, please visit my Amazon author’s page.

If you like New Avengers, check out my short review of the graphic novel New Avengers: Powerloss.

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