Avengers Assemb—, I’m sorry, I just don’t have the drive to finish that rallying cry these days. The Avengers should be on the top of the world right now. They’re starring in this summer’s most anticipated movie, have a popular cartoon show, but I can’t support their fight with Cyclops and the X-Men in the pages of the comics. In case you couldn’t tell from the AvX reviews so far, I’m firmly in the X-Camp. But this little quarrel between the two teams isn’t enough to keep me from playing the greatest Facebook game ever created: Avengers Alliance! I’ve been consumed by that game so Shaun and I recently explored this obsession during the latest MMA Podcast (episode available soon). Like our page on Facebook and friend us so we can Gift All the S.H.I.E.L.D. Points! 

The New Avengers, vol. 2 #24

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

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

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

Plot: The New Avengers are being briefed by Victoria Hand while gathered around their dining room table. Spider-Man and Wolverine exchange barbs about the logistics of the feral mutant running a school, and Wolverine takes a jab at Spider-Man’s attire. Ms. Marvel, Jessica Jones, Dr. Strange discuss the whereabouts of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Iron Fist leaves to speak with the protestors, but finds Cage outside, already speaking in front of the cameras.

Luke Cage looks into the closest camera and pleads for his wife to come back home. When asked about Norman Osborn, Cage dismisses the reporter and tells the gathered public, and viewers on the other side of the cameras, that Osborn played them. The Avengers aren’t going to hurt anyone, and Cage tells everyone to take care of their own homes. Jessica Jones arrives with their daughter Danielle, and her nanny, Squirrel Girl. Relieved, Luke takes his family back inside the mansion, and the remaining protestors are left speechless outside the gates.

Jessica begins their conversation by apologizing to her husband for leaving with the baby. Jessica tells Luke that Avengers Mansion is not a safe place to raise a child. Luke is offended and taken aback when Jessica claims that being an Avenger is all he cares about. The private conversation is broken up when Iron Fist arrives to report that Captain America is gathering all the Avengers downstairs.

Several members of the various Avengers teams are gathered around the very same dining room table. Captain America asks for the heroes’ discretion before asking if anybody knows about the Phoenix Force. Storm utters “Goddess” and immediately leaves. Captain America accepts her decision and allows her to go. Iron Man and Captain America go on to explain the cosmic force to the remaining Avengers using intelligence they’ve acquired from the New Avengers’ own mutant, Wolverine.

The Thing expresses some reservation regarding Captain America’s plan to transport Hope, the mutant messiah, off planet, and Ms. Marvel warns the captain that Cyclops won’t willingly hand the girl over. Captain America acknowledges the danger and potential conflict between friends and teammates, but he asks for any Avengers willing to help save the world. Luke Cage and Jessica Jones exchange looks. Jessica holds baby Danielle up for Luke to kiss goodbye before leaving.

In the skies above the mutant island home of Utopia, the Avengers are gathered aboard the Helicarrier. Spider-Man and Mockingbird talk about the events of Spider-Island, and Black Widow, Iron Man, and Thor observe the interaction between Captain America and Cyclops. Wolverine expresses doubt that the two will come to an agreement before Cyclops unleashes an optic blast at Captain America, proving Wolverine right. Red Hulk shouts out orders when Captain America calls for the Avengers. The team jumps out of the Helicarrier led by Luke Cage, who drops down on the leader of the X-Men.

*

The Heroic: I’m not sure if Deodato and Conrad sharing art duties is a permanent thing now, but it’s certainly not a detriment. I like Deodato’s (or Conrad’s?) version of Cyclops and Captain America when their interaction was broadcast as a hologram near the beginning. They had the same exaggerated muscularity Deodato employs, but after seeing Frank Cho’s rail-thin Cyclops in AvX #0, this more buff version was appreciated.

The picture of the Avengers jumping from the Helicarrier was another example of one of Deodato’s strengths, his ability to draw a dynamic team scene. This would have been even cooler in my opinion, if it wasn’t a precursor to them fighting the X-Men. It was also nice to see Spider-Man sporting his traditional red and blue costume again in the pages of New Avengers, after recently favoring the black and white FF threads. Likewise, it was interesting to see Dr. Strange in the new outfit he’s been wearing in the pages of the Defenders. 

This may be the best writing by Bendis since I began reviewing the New Avengers. He still has his hiccups with the number of characters he fits into a scene, but he makes up for it this time by offering some enjoyable light-hearted humor. Bendis also helps place this story along the Marvel timeline by having Spider-Man and Mockingbird humorously discuss the events which unfolded recently on Spider-Island. 

Bendis must love writing the main Avengers titles during the summer events because he uses it as an excuse to include every Avenger in any Avenger book. The New Avengers, more specifically Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, are still the main focus of the issue, but the rest of the Avengers don’t seem confined to their respective titles. This helps this issue by showing Storm, a longtime X-Men and recently-admitted Avenger, make her decision on which side of the fray she will side.

I liked that Captain America acknowledged that Storm knew where she belonged, but Wolverine remained sitting at the table, continuing to deny his true allegiances. It was also nice that not all of the Avengers, for example Ms. Marvel and the Thing, were immediately on board with Captain America’s plan to extract Hope from the planet. 

Most Valuable Avenger: Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. The New Avengers is the story about the life of these two characters, and how they handle being super-powered parents. Bendis gives both of these characters powerful dialogue-driven scenes. Luke puts the protestors and reporters in their place by stating it’s up to the public to take care of their own affairs, and the Avengers are just here to preserve the peace, not to mention the heartfelt plea for his wife to come back home.

Jessica also handles her conversation with Luke maturely. She refrains from using any profanity when discussing the future of their baby and family. Jessica even manages to throw in a jab at the “homicidal mutant with the indestructible, retractable claws” who frequents their home, citing him as an example of the danger that comes with being an Avenger. 

*

The Not-So-Heroic: There’s not much I don’t like about this issue. It’s a good filler issue that effectively continues the story of Luke Cage, but also gives you some insight into the Avengers versus X-Men event. I like seeing the evolution of Luke and his family, but I’d like to see more action involving the big event this comic is tying into. I’ll be severely disappointed if the next issue begins with Cage’s punch, on the last page of this issue, actually connecting with Cyclops. Everybody else in the Marvel Universe has been able to toss Cage the length of a football field recently. It would be upsetting to see Cyclops be the exception to that rule.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I would like to know who is responsible for always having the New Avengers gathered around the dining room table, either eating, drinking, or playing poker. I was a little confused by the speech bubble placement during the early scenes when the team was around the table. It effectively showed the different number of conversations the team members could have, but I had a hard time following Iron Fist and Dr. Strange’s conversation about the protestors, mingled with the speech bubbles about the absent Cage family.

Least Valuable Avenger: Wolverine. Technically, this might make Wolverine the MVA, but he’s still turning his back on his own people. He seems angrier then he normally does and eager to send the Avengers after the X-Men. If Wolverine was so concerned about Hope, why didn’t he bring this to Captain America’s attention sooner, or try to take Hope with him when he left Utopia? I guess he just wanted to wait for his Avenger buddies to back him up.

*

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Moment: Spider-Man and Wolverine at the Avengers dining room table.

Spider-Man: Did I hear right, does Wolverine run a school now?

Wolverine: Yup. 

Spider-Man: You run a school… with children.

Wolverine: Yes.

Spider-Man: What rational person on this or any other planet would let children anywhere near you?

The two stare at each other. 

Wolverine: I liked your other costume better.

Spider-Man: That actually hurt. 

*

Rating: Good, art, story and writing. Meh, characterization. Bad, action. 3.5/5

“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

15 Responses to “The New Avengers, vol. 2 #24 – Review”

  1. #1 Phantom Roxas says:

    Love that bit between Spider-Man and Wolverine.

    I don’t know the details, but I think for now it’s best to have Wolverine on the Avengers’ side. If he sided with Cyclops right off the bat, then what would have been the point of Schism?

  2. #2 Sarcasmic says:

    There is no in character way that Logan would turn his back on his people, especially after opening a school to protect the children and let them be kids again. No effing way and that’s the biggest fault with anything that AvX touches…

    That being said, the Wolverine/Spider-Man banter was amusing and the scene between Luke and Jessica was some of the strongest writing I’ve seen from Bendis in the 616 universe.

  3. #3 Fred says:

    “There is no in character way that Logan would turn his back on his people”

    Considering the way Cyclops have been acting in the x books, you can’t blame Logan for siding with the avengers at this point. Judging by the next issue of AvX, he will not be for long. Judging by how things are happing, i have a feeling that Logan will be on his own side while The Avengers fight the Xmen and i have a feeling that while the mutant population will grow at the end of this series, Cyclops’s actions will lead the mutant population to be even more feared and hunted.

    My gut also tells me that Hope will die before the series is over and that it will be an Xman who kills her and it will not be Logan. That and Cyclops or Emma Frost will be the next phoenix.

  4. #4 Enigma_2099 says:

    @#2

    Isn’t the whole reason that Logan’s running a school because of a conflict of interests between him and Cyclops in the first place?

  5. #5 Brian Bradley says:

    @1 Phantom Roxas… I agree, it makes sense for Wolverine to side with the Avenger this soon after their split. If he had immediately signed up with Cyclops that would also have been out of character. But I don’t understand why Captain America wouldn’t use Wolverine more at first to approach and feel out the situation. Maybe Wolverine refused or Captain America thought he had enough of a report with Cyclops to handle this but it just seems like Wolverine isn’t doing anything to prevent this fight. And like Fred says in #3, I doubt Logan will be firmly on one side during the majority of the series but by the end of this I think he’ll be back to help rebuild the X-Men (so he can look like the savior, lame).

    @3 Fred… I think AvX 2 (review coming soon) does a better job of sympathizing with the mutants. Captain America is pretty much invading Utopia like Norman Osborn did, how are the mutants supposed to react? Sadly I can’t disagree that the writers aren’t leading up to Cyclops’ evil turn here. Seeing the Phoenix coming for Cyclops could be interesting. Maybe it’s always been trying to come for him but always gets blocked by the more powerful telepaths he surrounds himself with. What if he was this mutant messiah that was destined to destory millions of people and not Hope? I wouldn’t be happy about it, but it’d be an interesting twist.

    @4 Enigma… The whole schism between Wolvine and Cyclops had been building for years and writers/Wolverine just use whatever the current hot topic is to stoke the flames between the two. In this issue, Wolverine makes it out to seem that Cyclops having Hope is the whole problem, before that it was the children fighting, before that it was X-Men like Nightcrawler sacrificing themselves for Cyclops’ visions and beliefs. But Wolverine had no problem leading Cyclops’ mutant hit squad task force for some reason. It’s all because Wolverine has a little man complex and still holds a grudge over the whole Jean Grey thing and he just wants to blame Cyclops for everything.

  6. #6 Phantom Roxas says:

    @2: Wolverine points that out in issue 1. He’s willing to participate on his own, but he’s not going to involve the school. I think the question of whether or not he’d involve the school would be better off dealt with in Wolverine and the X-Men.

  7. #7 Fred says:

    “I think AvX 2 (review coming soon) does a better job of sympathizing with the mutants.”

    Well yes and no in my opinion. Yes, the avengers do invade Utopia and come across as bullies in the process with out the forethought that they would be endangering children in the process but Cyclops comes across as a fanatical nut case willing to get his people into danger to prove a point, not to mention the fact that he started the fight to begin with, knowing full well the repercussions. Both sides here are wrong but Cyclops is coming across as worse and the fact that he’s not willing to listen to reason even after Captain America tried once again to talk to him was building up in the X Books for quite sometime. If you read the last x event called “Schism” the signs were there of Cyclops’s fanaticism and Logan saw that, that’s why Logan told Cap those things in the first issue. Cap was wrong as well in terms of just not using common sense. If you have an authority of the mutant problem ( Logan) telling you about Hope and the Phoenix, not to mention the fact of Cyclops’s volatile behavior, you don’t go in issuing demands, you go in with Logan himself with Storm and talk about the problem on common ground, especially if the problem is world threatening. Cap’s gun ho attitude added more to Cyclops’s militant reasoning and in the process added more fuel to the fire, creating an even more dangerous problem.

    “Sadly I can’t disagree that the writers aren’t leading up to Cyclops’ evil turn here.”

    That was building for quite sometime in the X books.

    “Seeing the Phoenix coming for Cyclops could be interesting. Maybe it’s always been trying to come for him but always gets blocked by the more powerful telepaths he surrounds himself with. What if he was this mutant messiah that was destined to destory millions of people and not Hope? I wouldn’t be happy about it, but it’d be an interesting twist.”

    That would be one hell of a twist and i think i know how it happens. i could be wrong but i think Hope does not live past issue 4 and i have a feeling that her death will be the catalyst of Cyclops going way over the edge, having him do the evil things that was witness by bishop when he was a child. it would be one hell of a twist and it will be a tragedy of epic proportion for the mutant population. But we are dealing with new Marvel here and i could be wrong but i doubt they will have the guts to go through with it. Look at Fear itself to prove my point.

  8. #8 Fred says:

    “I doubt Logan will be firmly on one side during the majority of the series but by the end of this I think he’ll be back to help rebuild the X-Men (so he can look like the savior, lame)”

    My gut tells me that Professor X will be the one who rebuilds the team with Logan’s and the school’s help.

  9. #9 Brian Bradley says:

    @7 Fred… Agreed that this is handled poorly on both sides, but I think it could be because the writers are now forcing the altercation on us. Sure Cyclops’ character development has been growing for some time, but I have just been turning a blind eye to it, saying its all for the good of the mutant race and Cyclops knows best. Now the writers are going full steam ahead with this Cyclops as a fanatic angle and making it harder to support him. I personally don’t think he was over this close to going over the edge until Bendis got involved. Attacking Captain America right away was a really bad decision as I pointed out in my review of #1. Having Storm (who sided with Cyclops) join with Captain America to talk to Cyclops could have helped smooth things over.

    The Cyclops as evil I can deal with because that’s been building for a while. I think the Avengers getting concerned with the Phoenix force, and Captain America’s urgent fear of this entity is a little too convenient device to further Cyclops’ decent into madness. Having Professor X come back and side with Wolverine would just be another long time ally of Cyclops to spit in his face and tell him they disapprove of him… good friends he had there.

    I don’t blame any of this on Cyclops or Captain America, and mainly on the writers just trying to further their antiCyclops agenda.

  10. #10 Fred says:

    “I don’t blame any of this on Cyclops or Captain America, and mainly on the writers just trying to further their antiCyclops agenda.”

    Well i don’t think its an antiCyclops agenda considering that its been building for quite a while in the X books but i wholeheartedly agree with you that the event is forced with the writers ham fisting this into an outcome that needed more build up and common sense. Especially with the whole Phoenix force problem.

    Let’s just hope they don’t cop out with the ending of this:)

    P.S. Great review:)

  11. #11 Phantom Roxas says:

    I maintain the belief that this is just the biggest tie-in to the Avengers movie.

    Beast, Angel, and Iceman have all joined Wolverine, and out of the remaining characters from the first issue, Jean Grey is dead, Cyclops and Magneto are now on the same side, and I don’t know what’s happened to Professor X. With half of the founding team on Wolverine’s side, it’s shows that Marvel is trying to make push to officially make Wolverine the main character of the X-Men, as if he wasn’t already.

    So yes, this is an anti-Cyclops agenda. It makes me wonder what the rosters for Uncanny X-Men and Adjectiveless X-Men will be like by the end of this event, since it sounds like Cyclops is the Iron Man of this event. How does Captain America’s characterization here compare to how he was in Civil War?

  12. #12 Brian Bradley says:

    @10 Thanks, Fred! I’m excited for the AvX events so the tie-in comics have been fun to analyze.

    @11 Phantom… I think the Avengers being involved with this story gives them the tie-in to the movie, but overall this feels like a very X-Men driven event, with Avengers just supporting and causing the turmoil. I think with Uncanny and Adjectiveless you’ll see some mix-up with the teams, especially if Cyclops dies (still hoping he doesn’t and theres some other way to write him out of this mess)… but I think the schism will still be in effect because theres no way they’re going to solve Colossus/Juggernaut’s problem, the issue of Utopia, the Hope/Phoenix story, and repair the hard feelings between the two sides of the X-Men, among other things. If Cyclops does die, I wouldn’t be surprised if Storm or someone stepped in to lead those teams.

    This could be because I’m bias, but I think Captain America is now more in line with Iron Man during Civil War. Extracting a girl from a little island nation is a pretty drastic move with no respect to the mutant’s own beliefs or privacy. Again, probably since I’m just on the X-Men’s side and technically they really haven’t done anything yet to warrant this invasion.

  13. #13 Sarcasmic says:

    @3: It isn’t just Cyclops he’s putting a fight up against. He’s going up against the mutants of Utopia and I’m pretty sure in AvX2 we even see Wolverine subduing kids, which makes no sense considering he’s the big “Children aren’t soldiers” bit. Wolverine is a figurehead for Mutant kind (Magneto and Xavier have given way to the Cyclops and Wolverine figureheads now) and for him to even be seen with the Avengers is definitely going to send the message I’ve turned my back on my people. The other figureheads, Cyclops, Magneto, and Xavier would never do that, because it’s illogical and a contrived out of character moment for the sake of this event. He can hate Cyclops all he wants, from Logan’s perspective Cyclops should be in the right defending his people.

    @6: Never said he should involve the school, I’m just saying the school is one of the big reasons Logan shouldn’t be helping the Avengers. People have been oppressing mutants from the get-go and now he’s one of them.

  14. #14 Brian Bradley says:

    @13 Sarcasmic… While I do appreciate your anti-Wolverine sentiments, I don’t recall the scene where he subdues kids in AvX #2… I remember Hope knocked her team out before Wolverine showed up and then she messed Wolverine up which I’m fine with, but thats all i remember. I’ll be reading it again tonight for my review though so maybe I missed something.

  15. #15 Regless says:

    I’m kinda expecting wolverine to turn on the avengers. He’s been oddly insightful before. He’s seen the phoenix. He knows there’s no stopping it. He also knows Scotts agenda is going to throw him off and that imprisoning or killing Hope is complete garbage. Well… at least he should know. And of course, I’m hoping Peter will do the right thing. He’s not a mutant, he’s never dealt with the pheonix. He is a gun ho Avenger, but he’s also been rather morally upstanding. So I’m hoping that comes out a bit at some point.

Leave a Reply