Review – The Avengers #26 (AvX)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Walter Simonson
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Published by: Marvel Comics

Time for a flashback and flash forward through the AvX universe, Avengers 26 attempts to elaborate on what has been going on in the series so far and it attempts to make some sense of the slaughter from Secret Avengers that we saw a few weeks ago. For those who followed that story, this might not make a lot of sense but it’s something that happens when you attempt to retell what’s already long inscribed into the story.

Captain America needs some heroes that can put it all on the line in a suicide mission, the Earth is in danger and they need to contain or stop the Phoenix if at all possible. He picks a select group of heroes for that task and sends them into the great beyond hoping for the best even though the worst seems inevitable no matter who goes up there. Everyone has a moment to say goodbye and we see some personal struggles to highlight the moment itself, it’s a hard reality that none of them could come back to the planet after this battle.

The story jumps forward to their conflict and dances through the struggle and drama of the battle, in this we see some slight story alterations a massive spoiler skip and a continuation of the battle into a new area that was lost from Secret Avengers, new hope is found from the team and things look incredibly positive until some of the deeper seeded prequel stories start coming into play. As a galactic superpower, everyone wants control of the Phoenix and even the tightest friendships or alliances can’t stop those desires from coming full circle. Betrayal strikes and the team is torn over the moves that come next. Hopefully this extended arc gets more elaboration though, it still fails to connect to AvX #4 directly and it leaves out a huge twist from Secret Avengers #26.

As a retelling, it’s okay and it’s a bit awkward in how it jumps around the existing story that was written, it’s hard to write over what was already said and established in a story. The new twist doesn’t even connect to the existing AvX arc which makes matters worse as we’re left to guess where all these pieces are coming into play and if we’re going to start moving to future stories ahead of the main arc in the same week. In the art area the treatment of many characters is a bit… poor, I look at Thor and Ms. Marvel and even Captain America and wonder what on Earth happened to their faces as the book takes off. The consistency changes somewhat through the rest of the issue but it’s just a hard hit to see characters morphed out as they are.

Story:★★★☆☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – The New Avengers #26 (AvX)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Art: Mike Deodato & Rain Beredo
Published by: Marvel Comics

In the last issue we took an adventure through K’un Lun as prophecy unveiled a new Iron Fist to take on the great battle against the Phoenix, while there wasn’t much to say on it the new soul would in fact be Hope, the one who prophecy showed could shape and control the force with the right power. The story resumes with Hope training vigorously to master the techniques and skills needed to battle and harness the Phoenix Force, of course some new guests join to watch and help guide this process which has the entire nation on end. If the Earth falls so does everyone in K’un Lun, this bid with the Iron Fist is the only thing they feel can protect the realm and the mortal world.

For those hoping to see some higher activity over the last issue, there is a large boost that comes along in this story, outside of the mystery guests that come up we also see Hope engage in training to be a proper candidate for the title and power of Iron Fist. The story shows her endless determination and fury within, even though the force is closing in she makes no break in devoting all of her power into this intense regimen. The story is pretty concentrated here and having a renaissance man suddenly appear to make next generation constructs is about the only thing that really throws a wrench into any of this for a double take moment.

The story is evolving and we’ll have to see where it all goes, we have heroes from all areas uniting to help The Avengers and the X-Men in all of this madness and many of them just trying to aid Hope in whatever her pursuit is. The tension and arms race is growing rapidly and we’ll find out where it all goes in the upcoming story lines.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Secret Avengers #26 (AvX)

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Renato Guedes
Colors: Bettie Breitweiser and Matthew Wilson
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Art: Alan Davis, Mark Farmer and Laura Martin
Published by: Marvel Comics

The hunt is on, with the Phoenix Force on the way to Earth there’s only one shot to shut even a part of the power down. The special force sent into space keeps this in mind as the potential first defense to the Phoenix as it rips through planets on its way into the path of Earth. Beast of course is the man with the plan and is willing to take his knowledge on this high risk attempt to learn and contain the force once and for all.

There’s the whole issue though of this being high risk and in the Marvel Universe this generally means impossible even for their greatest heroes. Beast has created a tool to suck in the force but the cost and use and proximity rely on variables out of their control, they push on with brute force as their only option for control of this wild energy. As one might expect, AvX would be incredibly short if it just ended here, it’s a hell of a battle they go through and even the gods can’t measure up to the destructive power being channeled in pure rage mode.

In their most desperate moment one of the team rises to the task but fails to realize the severe issues of their situation, it’s a hard lesson learned that only adds even more damage to an already battered group of heroes. The Phoenix Force is just too much raw energy for any single group to attempt to tame and the Avengers may have just put critical allies out of the fight with this first assault in space. Marvel doesn’t plan to rob the Earth of backup forces, instead they have something else in store of the Kree super variety, yes a hero is genuinely reborn this time. We’ll have to wait until Avengers vs X-Men #3 arrives to know how this all impacts the Earth and even longer to know what happens to our wounded force after their showdown and how their new friend pans out.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆