Scorta of the Marvel Universe: Introduction: What are “scorta?” Well, any Latin student will tell you that “scortum” in the singular is a term for a prostitute (male or female). In short, someone who gets around. In this series I will be examining the love-lives of several Marvel characters and will rate them on a scortum-scale of 0-100% where 100% is a full-fledged scortum and 0% is a nun. Stay tuned next week when I will examine the love-life of everyone’s favorite wall-crawler, Spider-Man!
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NEW AVENGERS #1
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILER: Stuart Immonen.
INKER: Wade von Grawbadger
COLORIST: Laura Martin
The issue begins with Dr. Strange visiting Daimon Hellstrom and discussing the disturbances in the astral plane. Unfortunately, Hellstrom is possessed and soon Dr. Strange is possessed as well. Both travel to Doctor Voodoo, the new Sorcerer Supreme, in an attempt to gain possession of the Eye of Agamotto. During the ensuing mystical scuffle, Voodoo and his spirit-form brother Daniel are possessed and seemingly destroyed, respectably. While all this is going on, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers convince Luke Cage to get the band…err, team back together. After buying the recently renovated Avengers Mansion with a dollar borrowed from Danny Rand, Cage agrees. Upon moving in, Luke, Jessica, and Danny are confronted by Victoria Hand, the new…HANDler…of the team. Luke gives her the proverbial b****-slap, later re-invites her, and has a nice luncheon with his team. At the conclusion, the Eye of Agamotto magically appears in Cage’s hand, followed closely by Hellstrom and Strange, and it’s on!
After the disappointment of “Avengers,” I was completely resigned to reading yet another below-par issue. Boy was I wrong! This was a great issue and I found it composed and laid-out in the way from which “Avengers” would have benefitted. The action starts on page one and continues to run parallel to the introduction of the “new team.” In this way, rookies are able to easily jump on and veterans do not find themselves bored or bogged-down with backstory.
Bendis, once again using a threat that could do harm on a large scale, departs from the standard Avengers-baddy and goes with a mystical one…dare I say it is Dormammu? Sure, the Avengers have faced things like this before, but it seems fresh to me and more interesting than Kang.
Bendis proves that he DOES know how to write smart dialog and interesting character interactions. Only the initial scene between Stark, Rogers, and Cage felt forced, making it clear what was about to transpire from the outset. Beyond that, the dialog between Luke, Jessica, and Danny felt exactly like it should, the side conversations that the Avengers have at the table do not seem like an attempt to give focus to one character as if it were a solo book, and the Victoria Hand parts, however much I disagree with having her as a liaison, are perhaps the most smartly written. Hand’s appearance brings emotion and strength to the book and adds a distinct flavor to the New Avengers which sets it apart from the other two teams.
The art, not surprising, is rather good. Immonen captures the emotion and, at times, intensity within a scene. The only nitpick I would make is that Clint Barton is Ronin in the beginning and then Hawkeye. Whoops!
This issue is not perfect, however. The greatest problem that I have with this issue is the makeup of the team. Wolverine jokingly replies to Mockingbird that he is able to be on the X-Men and two Avengers teams because multi-tasking is his superpower. Is THAT it? Because here I was thinking that Marvel just likes to double-dip. I’m against over-using characters unless it is absolutely necessary. Here we have Hawkeye, Wolverine, and Spider-Man all being on two Avengers teams…why? The fact that I love “Secret Avengers” is because it is such a random assortment and the characters are not overused. I like Ben Grimm on the New Avengers team, and I suppose I will allow Luke Cage (even though he is the leader of the Thunderbolts) because his interactions with Jewel aka Jessica Jones and Iron Fist will be great. Why not throw in Misty Knight? Daredevil? Could we get the female Hawkeye? What is with this back to formula business? Willem Defoe would not be pleased!
4.0 Webheads out of 5.0. See?! I’m not such a hard-a$$ after all! I recommend at least trying this issue and go from there. I believe that you will not be disappointed!
Your Friendly Neighborhood, Spider-Girl!