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Wednesday, June 23, 2010 

Express-Times actually notices Avengers still has an obvious cast

The LeHigh Valley Express-Times writes about the new Avengers volume's debut, and actually notices it's got a forced structure:
Nearly everyone on the New Avengers is already a member of a different team or in the case of Wolverine, on multiple teams.

Luke Cage, the team's leader, is also in charge of the Thunderbolts. You would think Cage would have his hands full running a group of super villains, but I guess not.

Spider-Man has a bunch of his own books and is a member of the primary Avengers, so he has plenty of time to team up with the New Avengers and save the world.

The Thing from the Fantastic Four joined the team because traveling through time and parallel dimensions while battling Doctor Doom wasn't challenging enough.

Wolverine is on every team Marvel has: X-Men, X-Force, Astonishing X-Men, The Avengers and two or three of his own books. So what's one more team to an already over-extended character.

Hawkeye and Mockingbird just got their own book.

The only characters who don't have their own book are Ms. Marvel and Iron Fist.

With nearly every hero in two or three or more comics, the book should really be titled "The Part-Time Avengers."
Wow, they noticed! What took them so long? All these past 6 years, the Earth's Mightiest Heroes became little more than a playground for Brian Bendis, who, instead of maintaining a cast that could stand out on its own with members like Wasp, Ant-Man, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, made it into just another team-up title for already obvious choices like Spider-Man, Wolverine, and at least a few other heroes who work better in street-and-earth based settings, rather than the more sci-fi oriented worlds the Avengers usually work best in.

But here's the part that really annoys me, and makes this article weak:
Because of this, there is no real threat or danger to anyone.

The team is just too safe. Nothing can ever really happen to anyone.

Everyone knows that Marvel's not going to kill Spider-Man, Wolverine or The Thing.
And just what does that mean? That the Wasp's death almost 2 years ago was okay, and perfectly acceptable? Or that Scarlet Witch's villification was fine too? I think that's really low there, to suggest Marvel and Bendis kill off anyone, or even turn them into villains. We've had too much of that from DC already, and even at Marvel, it's getting out of hand.
The best comics from Marvel have been the ones where writers have taken risks and given readers new takes on characters that haven't been in the spotlight for a while.
And what risks and takes would those be, exactly? Like Spider-Man making a deal with Mephisto? Or the Marvel heroes fighting over the Superhero Registration Act in Civil War? Or Norman Osborn becoming a major politician? The Wasp dying? Iron Man being made into a form of baddie? Many mutants losing their powers during House of M? I'm sorry, but those were just pathetic.
Using only Marvel's top characters limits the risks and danger.
Yeah, right, just like it "limited" the risks and dangers to Star Trek's crew on the Enterprise, the Mission: Impossible team, Mannix, Hawaii 5-0, Magnum PI, the Equalizer, Simon & Simon, and other adventure and suspense TV series. What made them exciting in their time was how the heroes would escape the danger little the worse for wear, not whether they'd end up dead. I don't think the mainstream press covering comics have any idea what risks and danger are, or if that's what the audience even wants. Me, I want entertainment and escapism. I certainly am not asking for the kind of shock tactics and publicity stunts that have plagued mainstream comics for a decade now.
I know Marvel wants to make sure that their most- popular heroes are at the forefront of the Avenger teams, but they have plenty of great characters with untapped potential.
They're not even tapping the potential of the most popular heroes, who are only in the Avengers for name and image value, little else. If they wanted to, they could've done it long ago, even introduced new supporting casts with plausibility, but no, they are simply not interested in creativity anymore.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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