Posted January 8, 2013 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Comics

COMIC BOOK REVIEW, “NEW” EDITION: New Avengers #1 & All-New X-Men #5

New Avengers #1
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Steve Epting

There’s something about Hickman and Epting’s premiere issue of New Avengers that just doesn’t sit right with me. Hickman is a brilliant writer, masterfully weaving plot threads together and imbuing a sense of dignified magnitude in his work, while Epting treads ground similar to the territory that such artists as Bryan Hitch frequent, with much cleaner and prettier results. Yet for some reason, they don’t quite click here. The issue shines the spotlight on Black Panther – while it has been stated that there will be no default “leader” for this iteration of the New Avengers, T’Challa is of particular interest here, being the only member of the team to decline Illuminati membership. I’ll be watching this title with the hope that it’ll get better, which is pretty much par for the course for Hickman. This first issue doesn’t seem to be as promising, though. It’s just…mediocre.


It’s a weak start for a team book starring the secret architects and movers of an entire comics universe. Then again, architecture DOES take a lot of time and planning, right (I guess)? There’s definitely room for improvement.


All-New X-Men #5
: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stuart Immonen

Man, this issue is wordy, even for Bendis.

This issue showcases two major events, and quite frankly, neither of them seems exciting to me. One is the Beast’s third (?) physical mutation; he now resembles a blue gorilla. The other is Jean Gray finding out everything that happened to herself, including her multiple deaths. There are some nice moments in the book that add a little more color to the supporting cast (for example, Angel’s comments about his present self), but ultimately, reading the book feels as if Bendis is just going through the motions to establish a new and potentially messy status quo. It took us five issues to get to where we are right now, and I really believe that if Bendis took less time in showing everyone taking a dump on present Cyclops, maybe we’d have gotten here much faster. Stuart Immonen’s art remains a sight for sore eyes, and I’m really hoping he stays on this book for much longer. I’m not thrilled by the last panel, though.


The Beast’s new look really seems to be “change simply for the sake of change” right now. I’m beginning to grow tired of this book – not even Immonen’s art is doing it for me anymore.


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Mikael Angelo Francisco