For a long time now, Bendis’s New Avengers has been on the cutting block for me but I’ve never gone through with it. Since the launch of the title, something’s never felt right but I always thought that the promise was there for something great. I enjoy the first story, gloss over the whole Sentry arc, think the Japan story isn’t too bad but can’t read The Collective. The post Civil War stories were nice since I like the Luke Cage Avengers and thought that up-in-the-air status quo really worked for those characters and their situations.
And then Secret Invasion happened.
The main Secret Invasion story isn’t that bad and I have a feeling it will read better in a collected form like House of M does. But the way Bendis is using the two main Avengers’ titles to fill in all the minutia backstory is driving me bonkers. Maybe if it was just in New Avengers or just in Mighty Avengers, I wouldn’t mind but it’s in both. These titles have barely featured the Avengers in the past 4-5 months, instead showing every little detail about the Skrulls and their plans. With the latest issue of New Avengers, it feels like Bendis is just retreading ground he’s already gone over.
Secret Invasion is a case where the crossover is driving me off of the books it crosses over with (I never subscribed to Mighty so saying bye to that isn’t too bad.) The way Secret Invasion has hijacked the Avengers titles has just bored me to death. It’s not that this story isn’t needed but the way Bendis is doing it, this fractioned storytelling, doesn’t create a whole cohesive story. It produces a lot of fragments that the reader has to put together. But the reader has to care to put them together and I don’t think Bendis is putting enough into the Avengers titles currently to make the reader care.
Bendis did this type of storytelling during Civil War, producing single issues highlighting a single character but those worked since the focus there were the Avengers. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t too hard to get invested in the characters. I also didn’t care for this type of storytelling when Brubaker did it in Captain America during Civil War as well. But again, those were characters we already cared about.
So bye, bye New Avengers. I’ll probably see you whenever you release a new collection but I’m done with the monthlies. It’s been fun.