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Review of New Avengers Annual 2008 (4 stars) January 31, 2008

Posted by lotrking in Comic Book Reviews, L O S T.
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Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Yes! New Avengers art that I can enjoy! The females actually had different faces! Fight scenes were weren’t confusing! My eyes didn’t want to bleed with every new page! I’m insanely glad to see someone who isn’t Yu doing art. (Too bad he’s doing Secret Invasion. 😦 I hope the females are in costume all the time, or I won’t know who is who). Not to mention the fact that Pagulayan had some pretty awesome art. This one issue makes me want to rank him with McNiven, Coipel, and Epting; I seriously hope we see more of his work in the future. If I could pick anything, I think he should draw a Dr. Strange series. (Of course we would need one first, but that’s the point. 😉 ) I think the big red magic-y splash page is good justification for that.

Bendis continues to spin a pretty good yarn. Tigra reappears, so we know that The Hood actually follows through on threats (in case any of us actually doubted that). And Night Nurse is back (almost thought Bendis forgot about her). Nice to see he actually has plans for the characters he uses, and doesn’t just throw them in randomly.

Then of course we see that The Hood’s magic seeing trumps Dr. Strange’s magic hiding spell. I’m beginning to wonder if there is anything the Hood can’t do. (Not complaining though, an uber-powerful villain often leads to a more interesting story). Following this, Spidey blows their cover, and we get a classic Spidey moment where his first impression is to save the baby, at least he still remembers how to make a responsible choice. (And here I thought I’d get through this without mentioning OMD). Next we get the showdown. Cap 34 delivered a great (almost) solo fight, and this gives us a double dose with an awesome team fight (way better than last issue’s, maybe because it was easier to see). My surprise: Wong can kick butt! Who saw that coming? I’ve gained some new respect for this background character! (Well, maybe anyway, see below). And of course, Dr. Strange kicks some serious butt with his magic (as is always the case, villains seriously believe they have a chance against a team with Strange? What are they smoking?), which was, of course, awesome, but also prompts the question of why this magic made him look like a Red Hulk wannabe? (Or maybe he is the Red Hulk! Joking, of course.) This leads to the sad moment where Dr. Strange leaves the team (and leaves the door wide open for a solo series! Hint, hint, Marvel!). While I still plan on reading this series, this really saddens me because Spider-Man and Strange were the main reasons I started reading this series, and now Strange is gone, and Spider-Man is dead to me after One More Day (Dang! Mentioned it again!). We also (maybe) gained Tigra as a team member. Mehh, whatever, not a big fan of her, but I don’t hate her either.

And finally the dramatic end: The Hood hatches (yet another) master plan with help from his as yet unnamed demon friend (you’d think villains would learn by now that master plans never work) and Jessica decides to sign the SHRA. Bet that’ll make Luke just a tad peeved. So not much closure to this storyarc, but a great lead into the next one.

Bonus: LOST Easter Egg: page 20, panels one and four: The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are using an incognito Oceanic Airlines truck. Along the lines of my Cap review, does Oceanic really exist in the 616 universe? Perhaps LOST is just a show there as well, and someone at S.H.E.I.L.D. was a fan and had a sense of humor? I seriously hope there is some resolution to this, so LOST nerds like me don’t have to keep trying to fit this all together.

Finally, part two of my Skrull theories, the New Avengers edition!

Luke – really don’t see him being a Skrull, he has been way too suspicious, and perhaps has had the most anti-Skrull sentiments out of anyone on this team. The only way I could see him being a Skrull is if he is being very anti-Skrull just to throw everyone off.

Dr. Strange – I highly doubt it, for three reasons. One, he’s Sorcerer Supreme! I realize Skrull mimicking technology has gotten pretty darn good since their last encounter with humanity, but I really don’t think it is to the point where they can impersonate the powers of the Sorcerer Supreme. Two, it looks like he just left the team, so he probably won’t be around for Secret Invasion (I can see him coming back at the very end to help though). Three, the Illuminati already had one Skrull, I really don’t see the purpose of the Skrulls planting two there.

Wolverine – also unlikely. One, he’s got his own book and is a part of the X-Men, and neither look like they will tie in to Secret Invasion. Two, if the Skrulls could recreate his healing powers, why not apply those powers to every Skrull that is a part of the upcoming invasion and have an unstoppable army? So unless Bendis plans to have the Skrulls win (boy, wouldn’t that be unexpected?), I really don’t see this as an option.

Iron Fist – possible. Someone pointed out that his was the only symbiote to turn green during the Venom Virus, but this could also be explained by the fact that his costume is mostly green (and has been since long before Secret Invasion). Also, he has his own book, and it doesn’t look like it will tie into Secret Invasion either. Then again, he referred to someone else trying to tap into the Iron Fist powers. Perhaps that was really the Skrull trying to find out how to block the real Rand from doing so?

Echo – also possible. Pretty secretive past, and she was connected to the Avengers previously, so she would have been a good target for a Skrull spy. Her powers also seem like they would be one of the easiest to mimic. However, she could just as easily not be a Skrull, since her killing Elektra was what started the whole Skrull revelation anyway.

Ronin – I doubt it. One, I think that I remember Marvel officially announcing that he is NOT a Skrull, and even if I remember incorrectly, I think the fact that so many suspect him of being a Skrull would be a good reason for him not to be.

Spider-Man – I really wish he was. But I sincerely doubt it. ‘Nuff said.

Tigra – maybe, but she doesn’t seem important enough to be replaced by a Skrull, and she seemed to care too much for the safety of her family when the Hood threatened her. A real Skrull wouldn’t care.

Jessica Jones – Possible. I think it would be interesting if she was a Skrull in hiding that didn’t want to be a Skrull. This would be why she could have genuinely fallen in love with Luke, and also be so protective of the baby, because if anyone found out it was half Skrull, people wouldn’t want it around. I think we’ll have to take the wait and see approach with her.

Baby Danielle – unless she is half Skrull as mentioned above, I really don’t see a way the Skrulls could have placed her as a spy. Jessica has been guarding her too closely. What about the green eye thing, you say. Maybe Marvel just wanted to throw us off? It’s called unpredictable story telling…

Wong – gets my vote. Several reasons. One, he was the only one in this list of people (with the exception of Tigra) who wasn’t subjected to either of Dr. Strange’s spells. Two, why was he so desperate to keep people out of the kitchen? His Skrully secret hide-out maybe? Three, it would be the perfect position to spy on one of Earth’s most powerful men (literally) who also happens to be in the Illuminati. And four, since when can he kick butt? While that scene was cool, it just seemed a bit out of character to me. (Also, it would give a reason for Dr. Strange to re-enter the game, something we already know is going to happen at some point).

More reviews later!

-LOTRKing

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Comments»

1. Brian - February 7, 2008

I doubt Wong is a skrull. He has always been tough and could kick but..he just like to stay in the back. And he does after all use magic to ‘de red hulkify’ everyone. As far as we have ever seen..skrull’s don’t use magic(but they could).

The sad part is that if anyone is a skrull we loose a bunch of good stories and character buliding. Take for example the Wasp and Ant-mans ‘hook-up’ page(where he gives her the growing potion)….it’s not a bad page and all. But if one of them is just a skrull pretending to say that stuff…it makes it pointless.

The same way Avengers is full of all thoes little ‘thought bubble’ jokes. They are funny enough…but not so funny if it’s just a skrull pretending to be funny.

B

2. lotrking - February 8, 2008

Even if Wong is perfectly capable of kicking butt, remember that he was the only one who was not subjected to Strange’s spell in NA 34, which seems pretty Skrullish to me.

Also, if the Skrulls can find a way to trick Xavier’s mind reads, they could probably find a way to use magic.

But hey, I could be completely wrong! Which, of course, is part of what makes the looming Secret Invasion so suspenseful.

-LOTRKing

3. Brian - February 9, 2008

You got to keep in mind that Strange’s truth spell is a classic misleading bit. Sure the ‘spell’ said everyone was clean..but Strange could have cast it wrong or the Skrull might of had a magic truth blocking spell or such.

Just watch and everyone will turn out to be a Skrull…..

4. lotrking - February 10, 2008

Everyone is a Skrull? The entire Marvel Universe? That would certainly be unexpected, and a very brave move on Marvel’s part. Nonetheless, an interesting idea (even if it was sarcasm 😉 ).

-LOTRKing


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