New Avengers #17
Marvel (May, 2006)
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILER: Mike Deodata, Jr.
INKER: Joe Pimentel
COLORIST: Dave Stewart
LETTERER: Albert Deschesne
PRODUCTION: Kate Levin
ASSISTANT EDITORS: Molly Lazer & Aubrey Sitterson
ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Andy Schmidt
EDITOR: Tom Brevoort
The Avengers are in Detroit hoping that their presence in a rather bad neighborhood will worry the local thugs, something Luke Cage saw 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 he’s human. Unaware of Tony’s progress, Carol (is she Warbird still that this point?) arrives and attacks Michael, absorbing some of his energy and apparently it’s not a good thing.
What they got right: I actually don’t hate this issue. Iron Man tries to talk to him instead of fighting it out, and I’m assuming we’ll learn why he stopped for Iron Man after not giving Alpha Flight a chance to say hello. I even like the plan of the Avengers taking time out to worry the local gangs into going elsewhere then showing up somewhere else, thus making the local thugs worried they might come back, though I don’t know how effective that plan would be in the long run. It still shows the heroes doing something proactive on their down time and Luke gets a moment to shine in front of the cameras. Even Warbird’s attack happens because she doesn’t know Iron Man is having a successful conversation and it doesn’t look like they’re going to hold a grudge on her for it. This is when her standing with the Avengers had just gotten off shaky ground and I wouldn’t want to see it return.
What they got wrong: The Sentry is coming off as a deus ex machina since his mental issues due to The Void persona will keep him out of the action until the writer needs a crutch. Why does Spider-Man (now with his “Iron Spider” suit) swing so close to the reporter when she’s talking to Captain America? Spidey’s not a jerk and she doesn’t do anything jerkish either. There’s still a few hints of Bendis’s debatable comedy skills, though thankfully not as bad. Here’s a question for you: what in this issue required the poor pacing of the previous issue? None at all. Drop the “Kickers, Inc” story because it wasn’t one of Parker’s best work, don’t abuse the splash page so darn much, and last issue could have ended with the Avengers leaving Detroit and give a better cliffhanger to Warbird’s absorption of Michael’s energy going wrong.
Recommendation: Depending on how the storyline ends this might end up being worth checking out since the issue itself isn’t that bad. I wish I could say that more often about Bendis’ Avengers run.