Review: Avengers #11
A common complaint for Avengers is that the team is all punch, no think. While they area team that responds to threats, it’s good to see them slow down every once and a while. That’s what #11 is all about. The team decides to copy James Bond and get gain information by playing poker. It’s an interesting set up, and Hickman makes use of every team member nicely. One thing that stuck out like a sore thump was the characterization of Black Widow. Yes, she’s always been a killer, but killing people instead of trying to get information out of bad guys seems a little out of place. The reactions of everyone were funny, but her dialogue leaves the reader confused. The rest of the issue plays out very well. Sunfire and Cannonball get the best moments of the issue, working some stupid A.I.M. agents.
Has anyone else noticed that A.I.M. has been in every book this month? I’m guessing Marvel wanted them in more books since they are the main villains in Iron Man 3. At least they have been used well and not forced into every book. Hickman builds off their development in FF and Fantastic Four. Hickman does buck the trend of the last few issues, and inserts some great character moments for the rather large team. Of course it helps that half the team is somewhere else. Carol Danvers gets the biggest panel space, and her ability as a team leader is put on display. Shang-Chi gets the majority of the issue, which gives Deodato plenty of of room to let his pencils breathe. But the Shang-Chi part feels completely separate from the rest of the issue. It’s not until the end that we realize what happens, as there is little to no dialogue in those scenes.
Mike Deodato’s pencils have improved since he started penciling Avengers. His characters aren’t as stiff, and much more expressive. I chuckled looking at Black Widow and Spider-Woman’s expression when they are deciding what they should do with the bad guys. Carol’s hair looks good depending on the artist. Over in Captain Marvel, the artists seems to have forgotten about the new haircut. Deodato makes it look good though Deodato has always used actors for likenesses when penciling characters. Shang-Chi is a spitting image of Bruce Lee, but the rest of the characters have their own look. As with most Deodato issues, every character is packed with muscles, and every girl is rather “well endowed”. Frank Martin’s colors keep Deodato’s characters from looking stiff. Too often, a colorist will give them a shine that makes them look like action figures. See the first volume of Secret Avengers for this.
Avengers still has a few problems, but is still a great book. The rotating artists wasn’t as big of a problem as I anticipated. I thought they might clash.
Avengers #11 gets 3.5/5.
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