Number 5 is alive. And Norman Osborn is free. In Osborn’s quest to regain an Iron Patriot suit, he sends an iron giant up against the New Avengers. Do the heroes have what it takes to survive this deadly game of rock ‘em sock ‘em robots? Can they short circuit this latest Ultimo machine or will Norman Osborn and his bad robot succeed in the villain’s first major coup since his jail break? Read on to find out, and domo arigato in advance for any comments.   

The New Avengers, vol. 2 #17

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: Mike Deodato & Will Conrad
Color Art: Rain Beredo
Letters & Production: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: Mike Deodato & Rain Beredo
Variant Cover Art: John Tyler Christopher 

The New Avengers: Luke Cage, Ms. Marvel, Thing, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Dr. Strange, Mockingbird, Jessica Jones, Victoria Hand, Squirrel Girl.

Plot: A giant Ultimo robot is rampaging through the Stark Resilient Satellite Laboratories in Paramus, New Jersey. Iron Man is bobbing and weaving through the robot’s laser attacks when the New Avengers arrive on the scene to assist him. Despite Iron Man’s order to stand down, the Avengers engage the target and attack the robot in each of their own unique way. Ultimo is unfazed and releases an attack of his own, sending the heroes sprawling.

Iron Man informs the team that Ultimo has the ability to absorb the kinetic energy of their attacks and redirect it back at them. Dr. Strange casts the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak spell to bind the robot. Spider-Man and Iron Man talk about the origin and purpose of the attack while Wolverine jumps onto Ultimo’s chest. Iron Fist helps Wolverine topple the robot and Spider-Man gets a chance to evaluate the machine’s technology.

A mechanical, spider-like creature emerges from Ultimo and attacks Wolverine from behind. It slices the mutant’s neck and acquires a sample of his blood. The device containing the blood flies off and rockets away from the pursuing Ms. Marvel’s reach. Back at the laboratory, Wolverine breaks free from the machine and continues to slash Ultimo’s chest.

At an undisclosed facility, Norman Osborn and his lieutenants watch the events unfold on several screens. Madame Hydra expresses concern that the Avengers are involved this early in their plans and Norman tells her that she is free to leave if she likes. Osborn reminds the A.I.M. and HYDRA agents that they made a pact with H.A.M.M.E.R. and only together can they defeat the Avengers. The agent controlling the Ultimo robot informs Osborn that he has Wolverine. Osborn gives the order to extract the mutant’s genetic material. When the container flies off with the blood sample, the H.A.M.M.E.R.-controlled robot explodes in the Avengers’ faces.

*

Attractive! Nice Software: Norman hasn’t wasted any time since breaking out of jail to put his plans in motion. I like this storyline and I enjoy seeing Norman and H.A.M.M.E.R. as the main antagonists for the New Avengers. There is a lot of story potential between these two warring factions, and the Dark Avengers will add another layer to that. I prefer Norman as the Green Goblin, so I hope he eventually goes back to that role, but it’s nice to see him obsessed with obtaining a suit of Iron Man’s armor again for his Iron Patriot persona. Showing Norman’s personal grudge against Spider-Man when he saw him on the television screen was also a nice touch.

It was nice to see Deodato’s art again after seeing Neal Adams’ work on the 16.1 issue. The characters look realistic again and greatly detailed, as do the explosive action scenes. Deodato is not alone this time though, as he gets help from Will Conrad. The dual artist approach isn’t a detriment to the art since Conrad and Deodato work well together, unlike Deodato and Edgar Delgado in the previous 1959 Avengers storyline. One of my favorite artistic scenes in this issue was when the New Avengers attacked Ultimo at the same time and how each character was spotlighted in his or her own individual red box.

It’s good to see the New Avengers get the chance to unleash some powerful attacks again. After several issues in which the heroes get smacked around by the Revengers and H.A.M.M.E.R. agents, the New Avengers look like heroes once again, and get some licks in against Ultimo. Spider-Man’s attacks seemed a little out of place, though, I’m not sure how effective his webbing was against the metallic adversary. Wolverine was the one hero who looked the most comfortable in this scenario, since slashing through giant robots is a specialty of the X-Men.

*

Malfunction. Need Input: Wolverine’s stubborn behavior and rage proved to be his downfall yet again. By not listening to Iron Man’s order to fall back, he gave Norman the chance to acquire a sample of his valuable mutant DNA. I didn’t dislike that scene, or anything else about this issue for that matter. There were just one or two parts that kept the issue from being a great start to the Norman Osborn storyline. For example, the small apparatus that contained Wolverine’s blood that was able to fly fast enough to outpace Ms. Marvel, and Spider-Man’s use of the word “nerdgasm.”

The main problem I had with this issue was with the cover and the introduction page. Daredevil is shown on the cover but he is excluded from the team recap. Bendis made it a point to add him to the team recently so I’d like to think he’d be important enough to actually be mentioned as a team member, especially over characters such as Victoria Hand and Squirrel Girl, both of whom are rarely seen. I hope we start seeing more of Daredevil in this comic.

*

Most Valuable Avenger: Dr. Strange. The Magic Avenger proved his worth to the team once again by being able to take down Ultimo with the Crimson Bands of Cytorrak. His ability to use magic is a great addition to the team, and Deodato excels at making the magic look powerful and mystical.

*

Least Valuable Avenger: Mockingbird. What was the point of giving Mockingbird all those extra powers if her only role was going to be as the team’s pilot? She hasn’t contributed anything to the team yet besides flying them around and relaying orders that Iron Man has already issued to the team. She still seems like a waste of character, even after her power up.

*

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Moment: To Wolverine after Dr. Strange just took down Ultimo:

Spider-Man: “Hey, Wolvie! How many well-placed stabs does it take to get to the center of a giant robot?”

 *

Rating: Good, art and story. Meh, action, characterization and writing. 4/5 Avengers Assembled

“Remember that one time during the fight when it looked like you might actually win? No? Me neither.” – Marvel vs. Capcom 3
“Did I mention I beat up Firelord once? No, seriously. Firelord.” – Ultimate Alliance 2

20 Responses to “The New Avengers, vol. 2 #17 – Review”

  1. #1 butters911 says:

    Good review

    I agree with it as well

    good issue and disappointed that DD wasn’t in the actual story at all

  2. #2 Sarcasmic says:

    New Avengers is very much the cotton candy of comics to me, it’s not that good, but once you start, you enjoy it.
    Which is funny, because the Avengers is very much the same thing, but I can’t stand that title.

  3. #3 Iron Patriot says:

    What’s better than an Iron Patriot suit? An Iron Giant! Smart man, that Norman!

    Spidey and DD in the same book… I keep thinking I should be picking up this book, but I don’t really care about the others, and I don’t have enough money to add another book.

    Not digging that cover, but the inside looks better. I’m not a fan of Deodato when his figures are overly muscular.

  4. #4 Sthenurus says:

    @Sarcasmic: Coton Candy is the S**t!
    I’m a bit disappointed to see norman almost beg for an iron man armor. The guy already got superpowers on his own. His healing factor is as strong as wolverine for god sake! He is as strong (if not stronger) than Spidey! And he is a genius. Sure, not as smart as Stark, but you would think that after spending so much time around his armours, he would have been able to reverse engineer them.

  5. #5 spideytothemax says:

    This was probably the best issue of NA since the relaunch.

  6. #6 Brian Bradley says:

    @2 Sarcasmic… good analogy. New Avengers does feel very fluffy and sweet. Something to target the majority of the fans out there whether it be X-Men, Spider-Man Fantastic Four or the mystic side of the Marvel U. Not complaining because I’m a sucker for that, makes it very convenient to get a Dr. Strange or Daredevil fix.

    @3 Iron Patriot… his characters can get really muscley, Spider-Man especially looks kind of overly buff in some instances. And Spidey and DD have yet to appear in an issue together yet but hopefully that will change.

    @4 Sthenurus… that’s a really good point about Norman being able to make his own suit, you’d think thered be enough research and development out there that a man as smart and wealthy as he is could figure it out, especially since he owned all of the suits for a bit of time. That’s not good hindsight on Norman’s part.

    @5 spideytothemax… agreed, I really enjoyed this issue and am looking forward to the upcoming stories which is a welcome chance after months of 1959, Fear Itself tie ins, the .1 issue and the Annual.

    @1 butters911.. not ignoring you, I just have nothing to add to your comment and agree with your sentiment :)

  7. #7 Hobo-Goblin says:

    Breaks my heart that Mockingbird is being wasted under the pen of someone like Bendis and not being written by someone who has genuine enthusiasm and savvy with the character, like Jim McCann.

  8. #8 Two-Bit Specialist says:

    Why can’t the regular Avengers title be any fun? :(

    But having read #18 (review forthcoming), I think Bendis is tying the two storylines together, which is a good thing.

    Also, Norman did try his hand at reverse engineering the Iron Man suits in the Dark Avengers title but was unable to, wondering how Stark managed to built them.

  9. #9 Enigma_2099 says:

    What was Wong like before Brian Michael Bendis f****** him up?

  10. #10 Brian Bradley says:

    @7 Hobo-Goblin… I am not familiar with Mockingbird beyond her appearances in Bendis stories, but it does seem like people do like her. What is it about the character that made her so enjoyable if I may ask? Was it the relationship she had with Hawkeye?

    @8 Two-Bit… Seriously, that Avengers title has been dragging. This last issue was intriguing because of the way its tying everything together like you said, but I couldn’t stand the art whatsoever.

    @9 Enigma… I assume you’re referring to his appearance in the Avengers #18 issue and yeah, that seemed to come out of left field. No clue if Wong is always supposed to be this bitchy but Bendis sure loves painting him in that light.

  11. #11 Doc Folsome says:

    I know he was leading an attack on Stark’s facility, which would appear as though Norman was going after the suit, but i don’t buy it. The IP suit is one of the main reasons why he was defeated at Asgard (remember Tony ‘pushed a button’ to dismantle the suit). It would make no sense for him to get back into that mess again. In Iron Man #19 Norman tells Stark that he made the alterations in the IM armor just to piss off Tony. I could see Norman attacking the facility for the same reason…

    And what Norman would want with a mutant healing factor, when the Goblin Formula does the same thing, is beyond me…

    Loved Norman eyeballing Spidey and Spidey being cerebral for once and trying to figure out how to stop Ultimo…that’s a move toward the right direction from Bendis imo…

    Nice review Brian!

  12. #12 Brian Bradley says:

    @11 Doc… Thanks. Good point about Norman being able to dismantle the Iron Patriot suit which makes me leary about that plan as well, but maybe Norman has something up his sleave. I don’t think he wants Wolverine’s DNA for his own purposes. I figured he took it just cause he was there and to have in case he ever needed it. I wouldn’t be surprised if that DNA along with all the other data collected by that SHIELD agent in Avengers #18 will be used to create his new team of Dark Avengers.

  13. #13 Doc Folsome says:

    I agree with ya Brian, and as long as Daken isn’t back as a Dark Wolverine, I’m good with a new Dark Avengers…

    I know Norman says (rather screams) specifically that he wants that armor, but then why blow the joint up at the end? Or if you want to steal something, why come blasting through the front door with a Ultimo robot and draw all that attention, why not find a more covert way of breaking and entering? And he had a whole slew of Iron Patriots suits in his war chest during Dark Avengers, I can’t believe he doesn’t have a few iron patriot suits secretly stashed away somewhere…ya know, like those Goblin Hideouts. Its a weird thing within that story b/c Tony speculates that the attack was being done just to ‘piss him off’…I’d bet that was a pretty significant part of Norman’s mo.

    Either way, I’m excited to see this story get fleshed out.

  14. #14 Sthenurus says:

    @13 My guess is that he specifficaly want tony new “bleeding edge” armor, not the outdated Iron Patriot one ;) Ultimo was just a mean to annalyse the armor in action, in a bid to reverse engineer this one.

  15. #15 Iron Patriot says:

    @14 Sthenurus

    Hey! What are you saying “outdated” Iron Patriot armor? I’m still better than anything that drunken daddy’s boy Stark can create!

  16. #16 Brian Bradley says:

    @14 Sthenurus… that’d be really cool if he got that technology. If he could make a sick Green Goblin outfit like that I’d be really impressed and interested to see the story potential.

    Hah, Iron Patriot :)

  17. #17 Sthenurus says:

    @Iron Patriot: You know the hardware rule: Update or be melted :p
    @Brian: And imagine repulsor equiped pumpking grenades. We wouldnt see any gliders on our goblins anywhere tho :,(

  18. #18 Brian Bradley says:

    That would kind of be a bummer not having the gliders. I like the idea of Hobgoblin having the wings because it makes him a bit more different than Green Goblin, but Norman belongs on the glider.

  19. #19 Enigma_2099 says:

    Brian, I was referring to his portrayal in New Avengers, PERIOD. I seriously doubt he spent his entire life being a b***** housemaid to Dr. Strange all this time.

    Once again, I bet it’s Bendis writing him out of character…

  20. #20 Brian Bradley says:

    @20 Enigma… You are probably right. Wasn’t he sitting on the john during the New Avengers Annual when Atlas crashed into the mansion… that was pretty classy…