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The New Avengers #16

Marvel Comics (April, 2006)

WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis

PENCILER: Steve McNiven

INKER: Dexter Vines

strangely no colorist listed

LETTERER: Richard Starkings

PRODUCTION: Deborah Weinstein

ASSISTANT EDITORS: Molly Lazer & Aubrey Sitterson


EDITOR: Tom Brevoort

Kickers Inc.: “Kickin’ It In Hell”

WRITER: Jeff Parker

PENCILER: Juan Santacruz

INKER: Scott Koblish

COLORIST: Val Staples

LETTERER: Randy Gentile


EDITOR: Mark Paniccia

Something falls from the sky just as Maria Hill is trying to find out from Tony what “house of m” means. It lands in Alaska and moves into Canada, where it easily defeats Alpha Flight. As it moves further towards the continental US states the President forces Maria to call in the new Avengers.

Even for Bendis this level of decompressed storytelling is the pits. Four splash pages, two of which feature the exact same shot of the Earth, just with the threat from space popping into the next page, a two page splash, and a section that’s three panels over two pages. And there are more splash pages later plus pages with the panel layout of a mini-comic. If you want to make an art book, make an art book. This is too many splash pages for a comic book and information that could have been squeezed easily into two pages max. Plus outside of Tony’s cameo the New Avengers again don’t show up in their own book.

The “Kickers Inc.” backstory is part of a series of “untold tales of the New Universe”. The Kickers are called into rescue a woman from a portal of her own magical creation and get trapped in a world of their own fears and desires. Team leader Jack Magniconte is visited by the spirit of his late coach, who opens his eyes to the illusions and he breaks everyone else out. They escape the demon world and for some reason the girl and some dude I don’t remember get sucked in and left behind.

This is not one of Parker’s better stories. The plot has been done before, right down to one person breaking the illusion and saving everyone else. Beau’s illusion is rather disturbing when the hot girl he starts to kiss transforms into his wrinkly old mother. About the only one that works is Jack’s wife, where she imagines her husband and their lives are back to normal, which is a nice character moment, while the other two get a nightmare where they’re merged together. I’m only guessing at the ending because it felt like Parker ran out of space (the Avengers story is regular comic length while the back-up is maybe 6 or 7 pages, but no unnecessary splash pages) and had to wrap up quickly.

Overall, this was not a good comic. The main story is decompressed even for Bendis with all these splash pages, and the back-up is not up to Parker’s usual quality of crazy fun. I cannot recommend this comic at all.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

One response »

  1. […] done with cops in New York. They’re called away to deal with the dangerous glowing man from the previous issue. When they arrive Iron Man tries talking to him, and he reveals his name is Michael and that […]


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