Volume Two, Issue Eleven!
“Too Much Avenging!”
There are too many Avengers books.
With the recent release of Avengers Assemble, the total count is now eleven titles. ELEVEN. That’s more than Batman, Spider-man, or Superman (although probably still not close enough to the number of X-titles). At the risk of sounding like a fan boy, there are too many Avengers titles! Do we really need New Avengers or Secret Avengers? Isn’t it possible to just make the Avengers one massive team like Grant Morrison’s JLA towards the end of its run?
Although, if there was going to be one Avengers book with that big of a cast, how would one possibly be able to keep track of all of the characters? Perhaps that’s the reason for all of the ancillary titles. Do you want to see the classic line-up that includes the big three? Regular Avengers. Prefer a more street-level team? New Avengers. Or perhaps you want some espionage mixed in with your avenging. For that, one can turn to Secret Avengers. While this is possibly Marvel’s first excuse for having so many Avengers books, the other reason is simple economics: if it has Avengers on it, people will buy it.
I’m guilty of this. I bought Avengers Assemble this past Wednesday, like I’m sure a lot of you did. However, as someone who recently dropped and picked Bendis’ Avengers back up again (mainly because Walt Simonson will be doing the art) I have to say, I found it pretty lacking. To me, if you’re going to add another Avengers title to your already full stable of Avengers-related stuff, you need to knock my socks off with the first issue. In my opinion, it actually went against what most Bendis issues do, in the way that many of his issues are very, very slow moving. Instead, I found the issue to be pretty fast moving. However, as quickly paced as the issue was, it felt really disjointed, and a little hard to follow. Not to mention that the dialogue felt really strange to me. Would Hawkeye really ask Black Widow to tell people how good in the sack he is at his funeral?
I’m not someone who hates on Bendis just to hate on him. In fact, up until recently I’ve really enjoyed his work. Unfortunately ever since the “heroic age” mandate I’m starting to believe he’s being stretched way too thin. The guy is just too overworked, and while he may have been able to handle the workload for a while now, it’s starting to show. Why can’t we just have New and Secret Avengers published together as one big digest? Oh that’s right, cause then they wouldn’t make as much money.
Look, I completely understand why Marvel has so many Avengers books out right now, and I especially understand why they would choose now as the time to launch Avengers Assemble. But at the same time, I don’t think the average guy (or gal) coming in from their local movie theater will be able to jump into the book with this issue. They’ll see Spider-man, Wolverine, The Protector (or whoever he’s called) and immediately think “why weren’t they in the movie?” (This question probably won’t apply to The Protector). But then again, maybe their hope is that the issue will fuel a desire to find out how these characters joined the Avengers, which will lead them to the first volume of New Avengers, titled “Breakout”, arguably one of the coolest Marvel stories of the 00’s. If that happens, then I’m all for there being so many Avengers books.