Avengers Prime #1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Alan Davis, Mark Farmer and Javier Rodriguez
Lettering by Chris Eliopoulos
Published by Marvel Comics
Review by David Pepose
It's been a long, long road since the Civil War, which along with Avengers Disassembled really set the tone for the Marvel Universe for years to come. And while some were disappointed that Siege didn't tie up all those disparate threads, Avengers Prime #1 makes a good case for Marvel's heaviest hitters -- Captain America, Thor and Iron Man -- to finally put aside their differences and fight for the common good.
The abbreviated cast in this book, in a lot of ways, allows Brian Michael Bendis (or at least his readers) to have his cake and eat it, too. There's time for dialogue and time for action, and the character moments -- seeing Steve, Tony and Thor go back and forth over the bad blood that's come between them since the Civil War -- provide at least an inkling of the resolution we've been waiting for. Just at first blush, Iron Man gets the worst of it, coming off as a little bit cold in the wake of Asgard's destruction, while Thor actually has an understated serenity to him that I wasn't expecting from the dialogue-heavy Bendis.
And I think where a lot of that fluidity comes from is Alan Davis. Davis is a pro, through and through, churning out epic destruction, face-to-face spats and rollicking combat with equal aplomb. In particular, his Steve Rogers is the best of the bunch, as he takes on a room filled with otherworldly creatures. "Well, I misread the room entirely," Steve says, as he somersaults through a horde of swords and shields. It's a nice character beat that comes not through just one creator, but through Bendis and Davis acting in sync. It's some good stuff.
While the premise hasn't sold me yet -- and admittedly, the beginning of the issue feels a little bit shrill and dialogue-heavy -- there are a lot of little moments in this book that show Bendis doing what he does best: getting to the root of the character by their internal conflict. With Skrulls and Dark Avengers and the Sentry lighting up the sky, it's easy to lose track of why we care about these heroes. This first issue, however, shows that the Avengers have the potential to not just be terrific heroes, but to be compelling people as well. With some great art and a string of solid character moments, this could be the Avengers series that you don't want to miss.