Review – Avengers #28 (AVX)

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

The Avengers haven’t had it easy since the Phoenix Force arrived, getting cut off at every corner as they attempt to defy the X-Men. In fact they’ve been on the run each time they appear as they’re being flushed out of each home they have. This issue focuses on a counter-attack plan though, one which dives into the realm of the forbidden and unspeakable, something Red Hulk is all too familiar with from his darker past.

Issue 28 for The Avengers jumps into this solo story with full force, we see a bit of the thinking behind the Red Hulk and the dilemma he faces as part of this war, he has no personal stake in it and the Avengers as a whole aren’t thrilled about his participation but his power and size make him an alluring ally to have. It’s not exactly the selling point anyone wants to hear about themselves though and it drives him to constantly double think during this return to his dark past.

Unfortunately his plan doesn’t exactly go along magically, instead things go south in a hurry once he reaches his point of action. In a sense all the concerns he had about the Avengers and their treatment of him still played out in this scenario though, sure he’s not a giant beast punching through but he’s still just a tool. Normally I’d feel happy to leave it there when talking about Red Hulk but I do feel a bit of pity on him for all of about 3 seconds and then it’s back to distaste for him again.

Avengers 28 delivers a respectable side story that manages to function within the single issue instead of dragging things on for ages, anyone following AVX will appreciate the issue isn’t tied to another 30 issues in some magical side arc. The art and story deliver a solid experience that leaves the reader satisfied by the final pages.


Review – New Avengers #28 (AVX)

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

New Avengers #28 whisks us out of the main AVX timeline to flash back to Hope and the final chapter of the legendary Iron Fist who challenge the Phoenix. Unfortunately we did get a bit confused in all of that, thinking the girl was possibly Hope when it was a girl from legend instead. Apologies there.

The issue is a story of training and Hope’s continued struggle with her destined occupational promotion to Phoenix host, given the attachments of doom and destruction it’s understandable she wouldn’t be excited about the prospect. New Avengers 28 drops us back into the realm of the Iron Fist as the story completes and Hope sits confused hoping to know what she needs to do next. Unfortunately with something this cosmic and powerful there’s no way to just tell someone what they need to accomplish, instead Master Yu Ti sets her down to learn her paths that may follow as she empties her mind.

What happens after that point is a shock as her path deviates from the story told to her, instead of pursuing the Dragon she must pursue the Spider and learn its ways to best assist her challenge in saving the Earth and going head to head with something like the Phoenix. It’s here we get some insight that elaborates the moon struggle from AVX #5 and the growth Hope had been searching for to be able to take on the challenge, fortunately it doesn’t throw readers back into the fray as the story is still to be continued between her and “The Spider”. I have to admit that during the issue it gets a bit abrasive to see Hope constantly fighting around with people she should feel confident in, demanding to know answers and not going along with the rituals even though she just heard about the other host doing these things.

Even with that, I can’t knock this side story as it brings humor, elaboration and some tension into the mix. There is no one stop solution from the Iron Fist to handle the Phoenix which is a deviation from everything we’ve seen so far from the other factions involved.